Disabled Students Must Have Fair Access to Sports: Education Dept.

The Education Department announced on Friday that students with disabilities must be given access to sports or have their own leagues, The Associate Press reported, and activists applaud the move as a watershed moment for disabled students. "This will do for students with disabilities what Title IX did for women," said Terri Lakowski, who for a decade led a coalition pushing for the changes. "This is a huge victory." Under the new guidance, disabled students who want to join traditional sports teams could do so if officials make "reasonable modification" to accommodate them. If the modification fundamentally alters the sport, the department is directing the school to create athletic programs with comparable standing to traditional programs. Education Department officials emphasized they did not intend to change sports traditions dramatically or guarantee students with disabilities a spot on competitive teams. Instead, they insisted schools may not exclude students based on their disabilities if they can keep up with their classmates.

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