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The GAP Attorneys Blog

Meeting the needs of people with disabilities, their families, educators & service providers

Posts Tagged ‘related aids and services’

Districts must make extracurricular programs, including athletics, accessible to students with disabilities

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

Dear Colleague Letter, 60 IDELR 167 (OCR 2013):  The federal Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) issued policy guidance on school district responsibilities relating to extracurricular activities, particularly extracurricular athletics.  OCR noted that a district must ensure students with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate in extracurricular athletics, even if such opportunity requires that a school provide needed aids and services. Similarly, if a school cedes any control over its interscholastic athletic program to outside associations or leagues, such associations or leagues would also have to comply with Section 504 and ensure students with disabilities are reasonably accommodated.

OCR further noted that, where necessary, a school may need to create separate or different athletic opportunities.  However, such opportunities would only be indicated where a student (or students) with a disability cannot suitably participate alongside their nondisabled peers even with reasonable modifications.

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