The Department of Education is telling schools that sports are a “right” for the disabled, and that schools will be guilty of discrimination if they do not include disabled students on sports teams or establish comparable alternatives.
The Associated Press could find no one willing to go on the record against the change, or with a word of caution.
“This is historic,” said Bev Vaughn, the executive director of the American Association of Adapted Sports Programs, a nonprofit group that works with schools to set up sports programs for students with disabilities. “It’s going to open up a whole new door of opportunity to our nation’s schoolchildren with disabilities.”
…”We need to determine how many children would qualify and then look to where kids can be integrated onto traditional teams appropriately. Where we can’t, then we need to add an adaptive program,” said Vaughn, who has advised states and districts how to be more inclusive.
“Typically, the larger school districts realistically could field a varsity and junior varsity team in each sport. In more rural areas, we would do a regional team. It’s not going to overwhelm our schools or districts. It’s just going to take some solid planning and commitment.”