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Disability Rights

Inclusion of Students with Disabilities in Extracurricular Activities: “We’re all on the same team.”

The Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) just released much-anticipated guidance (available here) on the inclusion of students with disabilities in extracurricular activities – which includes club, intramural, and interscholastic athletic programs.

The guidance provides information to schools on their obligations under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, which prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in federally funded programs. Section 504 requires schools (traditional and charter) to provide a qualified student with a disability an opportunity to benefit from the school district’s program equal to that of students without disabilities. Under Section 504, a disability is any physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one of more major life activities (students who receive services under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA) qualify as students with disabilities under Section 504). Read more »