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ERIC Number: EJ1088841
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Sep
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1525-1810
Students with Disabilities Participation in Extracurricular Athletics: School District Obligations
Yell, Mitchell L.; Losinski, Mickey L.; Katsiyannis, Antonis
Journal of Special Education Leadership, v27 n2 p86-96 Sep 2014
On January 25, 2013 the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) in the U.S. Department of Education issued a Dear Colleague letter (DCL) that addressed the obligations of school districts under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act regarding the participation of students with disabilities in extracurricular athletic activities (U.S. Department of Education, 2013, January 25). When the letter was released, reactions from a number of quarters were rapid and opinions varied widely regarding the meaning of the letter. For example, some compared the DCL to Title IX of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibited discrimination based on sex, and the law's subsequent affect on women's sports. On the other hand, some school district personnel and educational officials believed that the DCL represented regulatory overreach and would result in unfunded financial hardships imposed on school districts. The purpose of this article is to examine this important guidance letter from OCR and explain what it means for school districts. Prior to addressing the content of the letter, an explanation of DCLs and how they are important to school district administrators is provided. The article then (1) offers background information on the athletics DCL; (2) discusses a 2010 study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) on the participation of students with disabilities in school athletics; and (3) summarizes a statement from Mr. Arnie Duncan, the Secretary of U.S. Secretary of Education. Finally, the article proposes suggestions to administrators to ensure that their school district is in compliance with the procedures outlined in the letter.
Council of Administrators of Special Education. Fort Valley State University, 1005 State University Drive, Fort Valley, GA 31030. Tel: 478-825-7667; Fax: 478-825-7811; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Rehabilitation Act 1973 (Section 504)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A