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Access to Extracurricular Athletic Programs

On January 25, 2013, OCR published a Dear Colleague letter which included guidance regarding the obligation to provide equal opportunities for students with disabilities with respect to their participation in athletic programs (i.e., intercollegiate, club, and intramural). Despite the fact that the letter addresses the participation of students in elementary and secondary school environments, OCR specifically noted that postsecondary institutions have similar obligations regarding the access and participation of students with disabilities.  The letter addressed the following issues:

  • Participation in selective or competitive activities and/or programs;
  • The impact of rules of athletic associations, organizations, clubs or leagues;
  • Provision of separate or different services;
  • Proper procedures for accessing the ability of a student with a disability to participate;
  • Determining whether requested modifications are reasonable; and
  • Circumstances under which additional athletic opportunities should be offered.

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