Friday, January 25, 2013

Schools to Provide Sports for Disabled Youth

Today, for the first time, the Department of Education issued new guidance for schools nationwide that makes sports a civil right for students with disabilities.  The new guidance says that students with disabilities must be given a fair chance to play on traditional sports teams within the school system, or have their own leagues.

This is a huge step forward for children living with disabilities, including amputees.  The guidance does not guarantee a spot on a competitive team, but it does require that students with disabilities not be excluded from participation because of their disability.

As long as reasonable accommodations can be made for students with disabilities to participate, then those accommodations must be made.  In an instance where the accommodations would "fundamentally alter" the game, or create an unfair advantage, federal officials said that schools will be obligated to create separate  but equally supported opportunities for kids with disabilities to participate (ex: wheelchair basketball, sled hockey, etc).

To read the full guidance released today by the Department of Education, you can click here:  http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-201301-504.pdf

To read more coverage of the new guidance, check out these articles:
US Department of Education
AP

1 comment:

  1. This is really great news. Despite being on a handicapped wheelchair, kids are full of energy and desire to be active with their peers. Education institutions should understand that and be supportive of the child's need to be physically and socially active despite physical circumstances.

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