Boosting Inclusion for Students with Disabilities: A Look at the Law When Considering These Students in Extracurricular Activities and Athletics

By Fetter-Harrott, Allison; Steketee, Amy M. et al. | District Administration, September 2008 | Go to article overview

Boosting Inclusion for Students with Disabilities: A Look at the Law When Considering These Students in Extracurricular Activities and Athletics


Fetter-Harrott, Allison, Steketee, Amy M., Dare, Mary Jo, District Administration


ADMINISTRATORS IN PUBLIC schools are undoubtedly familiar with their duties under federal law to serve students with disabilities in the educational program. Far fewer, however, are aware of their legal obligations to these same students in after-school athletics and extracurricular activities.

Are students with disabilities entitled to participate in athletics and other after-school activities? If so, what types of services and accommodations should school officials and coaches provide? These questions often leave administrators in a quandary. But the failure to sufficiently work through these issues leaves school districts vulnerable to costly litigation. In addition to juggling the complicated legal issues related to serving students with disabilities who participate in athletics and extracurricular programs, many administrators are taking aggressive steps to promote healthy school communities by implementing body mass index (BMI) surveillance and screening measurement programs (see main story). While these programs offer an innovative approach to encouraging good health, they raise additional issues for busy administrators. Here are some district obligations, common traps for the unwary, and practical ways to comply with the law.

Legal Obligations

Section 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973

Section 504 requires school districts to provide athletics and extracurricular activities in such a manner as is necessary to afford a student with a disability an equal opportunity to participate in such activities. Providing an equal opportunity may require school districts to provide reasonable accommodations, such as sign language interpreters or modified drills, to students who are otherwise qualified for participation.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act.

IDEIA requires public schools receiving federal funding to identify eligible students with disabilities and to provide those students with special education and related services. Each student receiving services under IDEIA is entitled to a free appropriate public education, which is detailed in the student's individualized education program (IEP). The student's IEP--created by a team of school professionals, the student's parent(s), and perhaps others--includes the modifications or supports that will be provided to enable students to participate in extracurricular and nonacademic activities with other children. Generally, participation in athletics and extracurricular activities is not an essential aspect of a free appropriate public education.

In some circumstances, however, participation in athletics and extracurricular activities may be necessary for the child to benefit from the child's educational program. For instance, a student with an emotional disability may require participating in athletics to develop a positive self-image and acquire social and emotional skills. In these instances, the child's IEP may specify that the child participate in certain athletic programs and/or extracurricular activities.

Americans with Disabilities Act.

ADA prohibits public entities, including public schools, from excluding otherwise qualified students with disabilities from participating in athletics and extracurricular activities based on disability.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

FERPA requires educational institutions that receive federal funding, including public schools, to protect the confidentiality of student education records and the personally identifiable information contained in them, and to provide parents and eligible students access to these records. Thus, student IEPs, athletic records, and BMI screening records are subject to FERPA protections.

Policy Pitfalls and Solutions

Schools can and do meet these mandates every day, but these common pitfalls can be costly for the unwary.

Inflexible transfer requirements. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Boosting Inclusion for Students with Disabilities: A Look at the Law When Considering These Students in Extracurricular Activities and Athletics
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.