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Clarification issued about equal opportunities for students with disabilities

January 25, 2013 | 10:57 am

The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights has issued guidance on school districts' legal obligations to provide equal access to extracurricular athletic activities to students with disabilities.

The guidance letter gives examples of the types of "reasonable modifications" that schools may be required to make on policies, practicies or procedures with students.

They include allowing a visual cue alongside a starter pistol to allow a student with a hearing impairment for track and the waiver of the "two-hand touch" finish in swim events.

The guidance notes that the law does not require that a student with a disability be allowed to participate in any competitive program offered by a school district as long as the selection or competition criteria are not discriminatory.

-- Eric Sondheimer