Episode 18:

Models of Inclusion (Part 2)

Published: December 2011: Updated: April 2013. August 2017

Partners: Matt LaCortiglia, Perkins School for the Blind, MA, USA

More acronyms—but more useful models to use! This time we looked at FAMME and FAIRE models. The idea here is that you understand these models and choose what suits you best—but they all achieve similar goals. We see here a detailed explanation of the FAIRE model from Matt LaCortiglia from the Perkins School for the Blind.

In the last episode, we explored a few simple aide-mémoire that can assist practitioners in adapting and modifying physical activities in order to provide the best possible opportunities for young people who have a wide range of abilities.

In this part, we look at another two systems. However, whilst adopting easy-to-remember acronyms, these approaches concentrate on the process of adaptation and modification.


Kasser and Lytle (2005), outline a step sequence aimed at the inclusion of all abilities in physical activity, which they label the FAMME model (a Functional Approach for Modifying Movement Experiences). Using this process in a logical way, coaches can apply their imagination and observational skills to modify activities appropriately for each participant.

FAMME sets out the following four-step procedure. I have added some examples to show how this may apply in practice.

Step 1:
Determine underlying components of skills—in other words, what components are necessary to perform a movement skill successfully.

Moving to catch a ball involves eye-hand coordination, but it also involves speed, balance and spatial awareness. Differences affecting any of these components will require a modified approach. For example, in general, throwing and catching (or sending and receiving) are normally learnt and practised together as if they are complementary.

However, where an individual has coordination difficulties, a large ball may be easier to catch and a smaller ball easier to throw. Therefore, for some children, initial practices may involve coaching these skills separately using appropriate equipment.

Step 2:
Determine current capabilities of the individual—for example, a difference in age will affect skill acquisition, with an eight year-old child obviously having less strength, balance and coordination than an adolescent.

A swimming coach might have less modification to consider with a swimmer who has single lower limb impairment than a coach working with a similar individual whose discipline is track athletics.

Step 3:
Match modification efforts to capabilities—this means, for example, ensuring that modifications are necessary and support inclusion.

If an individual is capable of holding a lightweight bat or racquet, then their existing capabilities are reduced if the practitioner insists on attaching a full-size implement to the individual’s arm using a glove-bat (an assistive device to enable a young person with an impaired or absent grip to participate in a racquet sport).

Step 4:
Evaluate modification effectiveness—here the practitioner uses their powers of observation and analysis to check whether any suggested modification or adaptation is contributing to skill acquisition and development, or failing to support, or even hindering, the process.

A practitioner observing the throwing action of a wheelchair user might focus on their arm action, when an adjustment in the positional angle of their wheelchair in relation to the direction of throw might enable the athlete to throw more freely.


Another inclusive activity acronym has been coined by a physical educationalist at Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, MA, USA (LaCortiglia 2009). This is an example of a process devised to meet the needs of a specific population, but with wider application in other settings.

LaCortiglia’s system, called FAIER, is essentially an individual-centred structure within which practitioners, such as coaches, can seek creative solutions, in progressive steps, to ensure the inclusion of young people in physical activity.

The FAIER process is organised along a similar activity-modify-review process to that of Kasser and Lytle. Again, I have provided some examples to illustrate its wider application.

This involves identifying achievable goals for each participant, and the activities likely to lead to the goals being met.

When considering the use of a strengthening activity leading to a long-term goal of improved performance in a throw it is also important to identify the strengths, capabilities and preferences of the individual as these can be a starting point for the subsequent development of the activity. Finally, available resources required to conduct the sessions, such as space and equipment, are considered.

Here the practitioner takes into consideration any aspects specific to the individual.

Certain communication methods may be required, such as ‘finger Braille’ for deaf-blind children, or regular reinforcement and repetition of key messages. These considerations should not be central to the process, but act more as ‘supporting information.’ For example, in a wider application, a child who has an intellectual impairment may benefit more from an accurate demonstration of a skill than a verbal explanation.

In this phase, the activity is constructed based upon the factors identified in the foundation and awareness stages.

This can include modification of the activity or equipment used if this is necessary for the successful completion of the activity goal and progress towards the long-term goal.

This is where the practitioner observes the individual’s performance and suggests modifications or changes in technique or equipment.

Manual guidance may be needed to help reinforce verbal instruction. The safety of the activity can also be assessed.

The practitioner analyses the performance and suggests changes that might be required to challenge the individual further, or to develop a specific aspect leading towards attainment of the long-term goal.

Underneath you’ll find a series of 6 videos by Matt LaCortiglia, a physical education teacher, where he explains FAIER bit by bit. Thanks to Matt and the Perkins School for the Blind for giving us permission to stream these videos here.

Each video is only 2 – 3 minutes long and Matt gives a really clear explanation of each part of FAIER. The sequence goes from left to right.


These systems are designed to provide a structure against which sports practitioners can apply task differentiation; where tasks are set, adaptation and support is provided to reflect the needs of the learner.

The key factor is the flexibility of these systems, with potential application in any physical activity and sport scenario and across a range of abilities. The systems empower sports practitioners allowing them to change their approach or modify their delivery to provide optimum opportunities for the athletes/end users.


  • Participant centred
  • Easy-to-remember acronyms
  • Describe an easy-to-follow logical step process
  • Enable flexible application across a range of settings and abilities


  • Requires a longitudinal approach; not designed as an ‘instant’ solution
  • Works best with an in-depth knowledge and awareness of the participating young people; systems like TREE and STEP can be applied to any group without necessarily having an intimate knowledge of the end users.

Where models of inclusion are truly participant centred, they also empower the person as well as the practitioner?

We hope that this look at different practical models of inclusive practice helps you consider what works best for you.

You chose!

Until next time.


Kasser, Susan L, & Lytle, Rebecca K (2005), ‘A Functional Approach for Modifying Movement Experiences (FAMME) in ‘Inclusive Physical Activity: a lifetime of opportunities’ USA, Human Kinetics, pp138

LaCortiglia, Matt (2009), ‘Adaptive Physical Education’ [online], Perkins School for the Blind, Massachusetts, USA

For a wider discussion see also Chapter on ‘Coaching Disabled Children’ by Ken Black in Coaching Children in Sport, Ian Stafford (ed) May 2011
ISBN 978-0-415-49391(paperback); ISBN 978-0-203-85068(e-book)

Like this episode – then subscribe –

About the author: Peter Downs

About the author: Peter Downs

Founding Director - The Inclusion Club

Peter is Founding Director of The Inclusion Club and Manager of Play by the Rules – a national initiative to promote safe, fair and inclusive sport. Peter has worked for over 25 years in the field of inclusive sport, disability sport and physical activity including 17 years managing the Australian Sports Commission’s Disability Sport Unit.  In 2013 Peter was fortunate enough to receive a Churchill Fellowship to study models of best practice in inclusive sport and physical activity.