How should school districts handle disabled athletes?

Avatar for Cmmelissa
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
How should school districts handle disabled athletes?
Tue, 01-15-2013 - 4:25pm

School officials are struggling with how to include disabled athletes into their current programs.  According to the article below, there are no federal or state guidelines to follow for school activities that occur outside the school day:

Federal laws have long provided guidance on what students with disabilities are legally entitled to during the school day. But what constitutes reasonable accommodation or equal opportunity under the law has become widely debated when it comes to after-school sports.

The number of cases involving disabled students in sports is not officially tracked by disability groups, but lawyers, advocates and officials say they are encountering more questions regarding inclusion. The increase in interest has prompted the federal Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights to prepare additional guidance.

Read the complete article at:

There was even a disabled athlete at the Summer Olympics this past summer, world class runner Oscar Pistorius.  How much effort should school districts be required to accomodate disabled athletes when they are already stretched to the limits financially?

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2012


This is gonna be a tough one for the schools I am sure. I know that in our small town, there has been problems since our autistic granddaughter has moved here as they have enough difficulties meeting the IEP requirements for her education and PE. I could not imagine what it would be like if she wanted an after school sports program too.

I know that she is welcome and has a great time in Girl Scouts, and there are a couple other special needs kids in her troup, and their Leader is a special and talented person.

I would hope, that any child that wanted to be in after school programs of any kind, that the school district, parents and community leaders would come up with a plan that would enable them to be able to participate.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-16-2013

What a great topic!  I honestly think that all children, regardless of ability, should be welcome in any sport or activity offered by the school. I don't think their IEP should cover extracurricular activities, but I do think that it is the moral responsibility of the school to include them if they want to be included.  They should be encouraged to participate and accomodations should be made when necessary.  While they obviously can't change rules, they can find equipment that would help, and most importantly, provide the encouragement the they would give to any other child.  In my experience, they are discouraged from the get-go when they really don't know a thing about the child's ability.

~ Ashley ~

~ Expecting Our First in SEPTEMBER! ~

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-16-2013

If they can't acccomodate disabled athletes then they need to discontinue sports and find less expensive after school programs for all children. Besides, Why on earth should the disabled have to do without because there is no money? Why not let the able-bodied do without. The disabled are already doing without enough in their lives.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-15-1999

Hi. At our high school we have alot of disable kids being integrated into the school system.  Our varsity basketball cheer leading squard has 2 disabled young ladies, and the boys varsity team has a disabled young man as their manager.  He even played in the disabled olympics  (in basketball) and his team  won!

I don't have much to say about the financial aspect here....sorry.

I love to see them being a part of the school body!


       basketball mom!