Sports, Clubs, Competitions, Oh My! Ensuring Equal Opportunity to Extracurriculars for Students with Disabilities
Bring on the extracurriculars! Educators, families, and students would likely agree – extracurricular activities are a significant part of education. Both the IDEA and Section 504 must provide students with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities.
What does this mean for school districts? A guidance from the Department of Education gives us some insight. First off, school districts should avoid denying students with disabilities the opportunity to participate in or benefit from an aid, benefit, or service because of the student’s disability. Instead, school districts must afford students with disabilities an equal opportunity for participation in extracurricular services and activities. Remember that Section 504 protects the rights of students with disabilities even if that student is not eligible for services under IDEA.