U.S. Department of Education Rules Kids Have a Right To Participate in School Extracurricular Activities

“Feds: Schools Must Open Sports To Kids With Disabilities


January 25, 2013Text

For the first time, federal officials are telling school districts that they must offer students with disabilities equal access to school sports.

In guidance issued Friday to districts across the country, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights said that children with disabilities have the right to participate in their school’s extracurricular activities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

Accordingly, the agency said that students with intellectual, developmental, physical and other types of disabilities should be afforded opportunities to play for their school teams with modifications, aids and services as needed.

However, in cases where accommodations would “fundamentally alter” the game or create an unfair advantage, federal officials said schools are obligated to create separate, but equally supported opportunities for kids with disabilities to participate. Examples could be a wheelchair basketball league or unified teams where students with and without disabilities compete together, they said.

“Sports can provide invaluable lessons in discipline, selflessness, passion and courage, and this guidance will help schools ensure that students with disabilities have an equal opportunity to benefit from the life lessons they can learn on the playing field or on the court,” said Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

While students with disabilities have a right to participate in school sports, the Education Department made clear that they may have to meet certain standards of skill or ability in order to join a team so long as the criteria are not discriminatory.

The guidance spoke specifically to the responsibilities of elementary and high schools, but the Education Department said that colleges have a similar obligation to offer access.

Advocates for inclusion in school sports said the move could do for students with disabilities what Title IX did for women.

“OCR’s guidance is a landmark moment for individuals with disabilities, as it sends a loud message to educational institutions that students with disabilities must be provided opportunities for physical activity and sports equal to those afforded to students without disabilities,” said Terri Lakowski of the Inclusive Fitness Coalition.”


Autism & Law Enforcement, Recognition, Response & Risk Management – March 26, 2013

Courtesy of Chris Peters, Hasbrouck Heights Collaborative

Parent Committee (HHCPC)

The Bergen County Lawn and Public Safety Institute

Announce a Special Presentation by Renowned Autism Trainer Dennis Debbaudt

Autism and Law Enforcement:

Recognition, Response and Risk Management

Tuesday March 26, 2013

9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Bergen County Police Academy

Instructor: Dennis Debbaudt, Managing Partner of Debbaudt Legacy Productions, LLC,

Port St. Lucie, FL. Member of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers

Association. Developed Autism Trainers Guide and Video Training for NYPD.

Consultant to Chicago Police Department’s Autism Training Manual.

 This training session will focus on autism recognition and response, with a focus on increased responder and citizen safety, enhanced responder communication and response skills, effective management of time, manpower and resources, risk management and litigation avoidance, and creating enhanced community partnerships. Topics include recognizing social, communication, behavioral and sensory difficulties for persons with autism; as well as response and risk management , including predictable field contacts and 911 dispatches, with a special emphasis on dangerous and fatal wandering search and rescue; situational awareness and response, de-escalation tips; restraint, arrest and custody tips; interviewing tips for autism-related offenders, victims and witnesses; and model programs and cross educational opportunities for officers, children and adults who have autism, their families and supporters.

There is NO CHARGE for this training.  This training is open to all public service employees

Register with Lynn St. Thomas

                   Fax the application to 201-785-6036

 Visit:           www.autismriskmanagement.com      for great information on Autism

 Dennis Debbaudt will also have his training videos for sale at the seminar

Mini-Inclusion Conference – March 2, 2013

Preschooler Conference Logo

A Conference specifically designed for families of children 0-5 years of age.  Sign up now to reserve a space!

Saturday, March, 2nd 2013
8:30am – 12:00pm
Attend panels that detail key elements such as:
  • Strategies to include even the youngest learners with developmental challenges,
  • Learn what the newest research says about the importance of including kids with disabilities alongside typically developing peers,
  • Legal aspects you may not think of until you are facing a difficult situation,
  • And, lots more…

Click here or on the logo above to go directly to the informational brochure & registration form – don’t delay.

Please share this invitation with your friends, parent groups, and anyone who has a little one!

P.R.I.M.E. Preschool Mini-Inclusion Conference is a collaborative effort of the Inclusion Action Group,      0-5 Committee: “Changing Perceptions and Practices Around Inclusion”