Thursday, January 31, 2013

Administration: Students with Disabilities Have a Right to Play Sports

The U.S. Department of Education has clarified the legal obligations of school districts to provide access to extracurricular sports activities for students with disabilities. In a letter from Seth Galanter, acting assistant secretary for the Office of Civil Rights, the department encourages school districts to work with community organizations to expand opportunities for students with disabilities.

Galanter said, "Participation in extracurricular athletics can be a critical part of a student's overall educational experience. Schools must ensure equal access to that rewarding experience for students with disabilities.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan: "Sports can provide invaluable lessons in discipline, selflessness, passion, and courage, and this guidance will help schools ensure that students with disabilities have an equal opportunity to benefit from the life lessons they can learn on the playing field or court."

Read "For Disabled Athletes, a Right to Compete in School?" and "What Everyone's Getting Wrong About Special-Ed Sports." Read the full 13-page guidance from the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights.

Disability Scoop

Special Ed News (Education Week)

Special Education Law