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Physical Therapy Services (PT)


What is Physical Therapy?

Definition: Physical therapists work collaboratively with a student’s IEP team to improve student access and participation in school and community settings. Physical therapists provide professional expertise in the areas of self-help skills, foundational gross motor skills, mobility skills (transfers, walking, and equipment use), posture and positioning, and recreational skills for age-appropriate play. Physical therapy interventions promote skill acquisition and environmental adaptation and are commonly embedded within the context of student activities and routines.



Physical Therapy may be provided as a related service to support a student’s individualized educational program if:

The Student . . .

  • requires regular monitoring and modification of physical strategies or equipment to maintain school accessibility and participation.
  • has neuromuscular, orthopedic, or medical issues limiting their access and/or participation in school routines and environments.
  • has poor functional motor skills limiting their ability to navigate the educational setting and/or participate in developmentally appropriate interactions with peers during recreational activities.
  • has impaired mobility skills limiting their ability to navigate stairs, ramps, uneven terrain, or change positions effectively.
  • has decreased independent living skills limiting their ability to manage personal needs in the cafeteria, bathroom, and locker room.
  • due to a chronic condition, is at risk for developing complications that may limit school access and/or participation.


Physical therapists must successfully complete a physical therapy program that is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency and be licensed by the Colorado State Department of Regulatory Agencies.


Technical Assistance

Technical Assistance: School Physical Therapist (PDF)

FAQ about OT/PT (coming soon!)


The Colorado Department of Education Physical Therapy listserv supports school-based PTs: 1) by providing information and news regarding the profession; 2) by announcing professional development and training opportunities; and, 3) by posting school-based job openings. There are no advertisements from vendors or contract-based companies. This service is also chat-free.

To subscribe to the PT/PTA listserv:

  • Please complete the online listserv subscription request, PT/PTA Listserv Subscription.
  • Once you have been added, you will receive a confirmation email.

Job Posting

More information coming soon. 


Occupational Therapy / Physical Therapy Advisory Council

The Exceptional Student Services consultant for PT along with regional PT representatives who comprise the Physical Therapy Advisory Council, meet throughout the year to inform the Colorado Department of Education on statewide PT professional learning and technical assistance needs and assist in the development of guidance materials to support the profession.


For more information, please contact:

Shani O'Brien
Email Shani O'Brien
(303) 868-8351


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