Student participation in PE and sports has lots of benefits like improved social skills, confidence, general health, well-being and healthier weight. According to the CDC rates for obesity among students with disabilities are 38% higher than for students without disabilities. Students who have intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities and mobility limitations have the highest obesity rates. Ensuring that students with disabilities are afforded their right to participate in physical education and sports can be an effective strategy in making progress toward achieving our winnable battles.
Last week, in a letter to school districts, the US Department of Education provided sample scenarios and guidance for increasing participation of students with disabilities in PE and extracurricular activities, including sports. The guidance includes examples of reasonable modifications which may help schools in providing physical activities for all students. Under section 504, of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, students with disabilities are ensured access to educational and extracurricular activities available to other students; however sports opportunities have been limited. For more information you may contact our Office for Children with Special Health Care Needs.