Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Education Department Calls for Change in School Sports Program Favoring Disabled Students

Recent news sources reported that the Education Department is currently requesting all schools around the country to make a reasonable change in their sports programs so that students with disabilities can also play, and/or create separate teams for them.

The new guidance issued by the agency on January 18 received positive impression from people with disabilities community. However, critics say the idea could only cost big bucks for cash-limited schools.

In a statement released by the executive director of Disabled Sports USA Kirk Bauer, he claims that the new order is a huge and historic, and could likely to have the same effect as Title IX did for women if properly implemented.

Title IX is a part of the Educational amendments of 1972. The act states that no person shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any school program or activity receiving financial assistance on the basis of gender or sex.

In comparison with the said amendment, the Education Department claims that athletics is likewise a civil right for students with disabilities. Thus, schools that will not protect the same could lose federal funding.

Under the recent rule, schools must change traditional sports programs to give qualified students a chance of playing as long as they can do it without essentially changing the sport or giving anyone an advantage.

For an example, instead of the traditional starter pistol, a visual aid will be implemented for the deaf runners. Meanwhile, in a baseball game, instead of four bases, schools will be adding a fifth base to the field to shorten the running distances.

In addition, if the alterations to a traditional team are not possible, schools must develop a sports program that is open to students with disabling medical condition, the order noted. In cases where in there aren’t enough students to participate in the amended sports program, schools should seek to create district-wide, regional or mixed-gender programs.

Meanwhile, several lawyers from a Los Angeles social security disability firm are pretty much satiated with the overflowing support provided by the federal government to the community of people with disability aside from the Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program provided by the federal government, children with disabilities from birth up to 18 years of age may receive benefits under certain conditions.