» U.S. Department of Education Clarifies Schools’ Obligation to Provide Equal Opportunity to Students with Disabilities to Participate in Extracurricular Athletics
Home  |  Our Firm  |  Attorneys  |  Staff  |  Blog  |  Contact  |  Employment  |  Directions

U.S. Department of Education Clarifies Schools’ Obligation to Provide Equal Opportunity to Students with Disabilities to Participate in Extracurricular Athletics

January 28th, 2013

by Giulia Frasca, Esq.

What can you do if your school district tells you that your child with autism cannot participate in an after school sport? Fortunately, new guidance may help:

On January 25, 2013, the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil
Rights issued a letter offering guidance to school districts and
delineating theirs responsibilities with regard to providing appropriate
access and the opportunity for students with disabilities to participate
in extracurricular activities. Pursuant to Section 504 of the
Rehabilitation Act, students with disabilities have the right to an
equal opportunity to participate in their schools’ extracurricular
activities. Unfortunately, to date, many students with disabilities
have been denied the right to participate equally in extracurricular
activities. The guidance letter explains that school districts must
make reasonable modifications to existing policies, practices, or
procedures for students with intellectual, developmental, physical, or
any other type of disability so that they may participate equally in
extracurricular activities.

The guidance letter also provides examples
of how a school district may employ such modifications:

1) using visual cues along with a starter pistol for track meets so that students with hearing impairments may participate in track;

2) allowing a one hand finish at swim events for students who are missing an arm, but can otherwise swim competitively, and; 3) providing glucose testing and insulin administration for students with diabetes who want to participate in after school extracurricular activities. This guidance letter is an important step toward affording all students with disabilities a free and appropriate public education.

To read the guidance letter in its entirety go to:
http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-201301-504.pdf


For more information about special education advocacy, visit www.specialneedsnewyork.com.

Share





New York City Office
655 Third Avenue, 20th Floor
New York, New York 10017
(212) 490-2020 Phone
(212) 490-2990 Fax
Westchester Office
399 Knollwood Road
White Plains, New York 10603
(914) 684-2100 Phone
(914) 684-9865 Fax
New York Estate Planning | New York Elder Law | Website by SEO | Law Firm™, an Adviatech Company
This article does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon. If you need legal advice concerning this or any other topic please contact our offices to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys at 914-684-2100 or 212-490-2020.