Athlete and Parent Resources

This page contains a variety of resources that can be useful to both athletes and parents of athletes. As new content is added it will be placed near the top. If content is removed it will be listed as such and the reason for it's removal listed (if applicable).

 

ECAC Board of Directors Casts Historic Vote...

Colleges/Universities that Offer Adapted Sports

US Dept. of Education - Dear Colleague Letter: Students with Disabilities in Extracurricular Athletics

Creating Equal Opportuniti4s for Children and Youth with Disabilities to Participate in Physical Education and Extracurricular Athletics

 


ECAC Board of Directors Cast Historic Vote to Add Varsity Sports Opportunities for Student-Athletes with Disabilities in ECAC Leagues and Championships

DANBURY, Conn. – On January 15, 2015, the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Board of Directors adopted an inclusive sport strategy that will provide new intercollegiate athletic opportunities for student-athletes with a variety of disabilities attending ECAC member colleges and universities in Division I, II and III.  By taking this pioneering action, the ECAC becomes the first NCAA sanctioned conference to provide a range of options for students with disabilities to realize their dreams of competing as intercollegiate varsity athletes.

“The ECAC is proud to promote and provide opportunities to potentially thousands of student-athletes with disabilities who attend ECAC member institutions,” said ECAC President and CEO Dr. Kevin T. McGinniss. “This historic action systematically includes student-athletes with disabilities in intercollegiate sports for the first time in any NCAA Division.  I believe this action will allow many more students, including wounded veterans returning to college, to experience the benefits of competitive intercollegiate sports.”  

This strategy includes providing reasonable accommodations in existing events and adding adaptive-specific events to existing ECAC Championship sports such as track & field, swimming, rowing, and tennis.  Over the coming few years, the ECAC also aspires to add new leagues and championships for adaptive team sports such as wheelchair basketball, sled hockey, goal ball and sitting volleyball.  To help insure the success of this strategy, the ECAC will provide all appropriate and necessary governance, administrative, operations, and sport technical support. 

The ECAC Board’s action culminated after a year of planning and discussions led by Dr. Ted Fay, who is a sport management professor at SUNY Cortland and a Paralympic expert as well as an ECAC Senior Advisor on Inclusive Sport.  He engaged former and current Paralympic athletes, coaches, intercollegiate sport administrators and athletic directors, and key officials from disability sport organizations and national sport governing bodies in helping to design this strategy. Work on this initiative will begin immediately with the first results anticipated to be seen in the 2015-16 academic year.   

About the ECAC

In the 76 years since its inception, the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) has emerged as the nation's largest NCAA conference. The ECAC has grown considerably from its charter membership of 58, currently boasting over 300 members in Divisions I, II and III, ranging in location from Maine to South Carolina, and westerly to Missouri.  At the conclusion of the 2014-15 academic year, the ECAC will host nearly 100 championships in 32 men's and women's sports as the sponsors of over 5,800 varsity teams and 111,000 male and female athletes. For more information, visit www.ecacsports.com.

 


 

American Collegiate Society for Adaptive Athletics

Colleges/Universities that Offer Adapted Sports

Sports and Team (types listed if known):

  • Arizona State—(http://drc.arizona.edu/athletics)
    • Sports offered: wheelchair basketball (men’s and women’s), wheelchair tennis, quad rugby, track and road racing
  • Auburn University,  http://auburn.edu/adaptivesports, http://auadaptive.org, http://facebook.com/auburnwcbb
    • Contact person: Jared Rehm, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • Sports offered: wheelchair basketball, wheelchair tennis
    • Team type: Intercollegiate Division of NWBA
  • Ball State, https://www.facebook.com/bsupowersoccer
    • Contact person:  Larry Markle, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • Sports offered: Power Soccer
    • Team type: University-sponsored club team, U.S. Power Soccer Association
  • Boise State,  http://rec.boisestate.edu/sports/wheelchair/
    • Contact person: Jared Cox,This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • Sports offered: wheelchair basketbal
    • Team type: Open wheelchair basketball, Intramural Wheelchair Basketball Tournament
  • Cypress College
    • Sports offered: wheelchair basketball
  • Edinboro
    • Contact person: Jim Glatch, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • Sports offered: wheelchair basketball (men’s and women’s)
    • Team type: Intercollegiate Division of NWBA
  • Grand Valley State
    • Contact person: Eric Garvelink, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • Sports offered: Varies (wheelchair basketball, wheelchair tennis)
    • Team type:  Club/intramural teams (teams can be developed based on enough interest/players)
  • Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW)
    • Contact person: Andre Garrasaville, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • Sports offered: wheelchair basketball
    • Team type: Club
  • Ohio State, http://recsports.osu.edu/intramural-sports
    • Contact person: Bonnie Hainline, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. OR This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • Sports offered: wheelchair basketball  (students will need to create an account on imleagues.com to register)
    • Team type: Intramural
  • Oregon State
    • Sports offered: wheelchair basketball
  • Penn State, http://www.gopsusports.com/ability/
    • Contact person:  Teri Jordan,  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • Sports offered: wheelchair basketball, Track and Field, powerlifting, swimming
    • Team type: Ability Athletics collegiate and wounded warrior outreach
  • Portland State
    • Contact person: Jennifer Armbruster
    • Sports offered: wheelchair basketball
    • Team type: Club (includes AB players)
  • Southern Illinois
    • Sports offered: wheelchair basketball
  • Southwest Minnesota State
    • Contact person: Derek Klinkner, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • Sports offered: wheelchair basketball
    • Team type: Intercollegiate Division of NWBA
  • Texas A&M
    • Program: Aggie Adaptive Sports
    • Sports offered: Wheelchair Basketball
    • Contact Person: Elliott Schwartz, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • Sports offered: wheelchair basketball
  • UCLA
    • Sports offered: wheelchair basketball
  • University of Alabama, alabamaadapted.com
    • Contact person: Brent Hardin, Athletics Director (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
    • Sports offered: Men's Wheelchair Basketball, Women's Wheelchair Basketball, Adapted Rowing, Wheelchair Tennis, Adapted Golf
    • Team type: Intramural, NWBA Intercollegiate Division (wheelchair basketball teams), Intercollegiate Tennis Association (tennis team)
  • University of Arizona
    • Sports offered: wheelchair basketball
  • University of Illinois
    • Contact person: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • Sports offered: wheelchair basketball (men’s and women’s), wheelchair track
    • Team type: NWBA Intercollegiate division
  • University of Missouri, http://www.mizzourec.org/programs/wheelchair_basketball/
    • Contact person: Ron Lykins, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • Sports offered: wheelchair basketball
    • Team type: NWBA intercollegiate division
  • University of Texas @ Arlington, www.uta.edu/movinmavs
    • Contact person: Doug Garner – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • Sports offered: wheelchair basketball (men’s and women’s) , wheelchair  tennis, cycling, fitness, field, swimming, table tennis, bocce
    • Team type: Intramural, US Tennis Assoc and Intercollegiate Tennis Assoc., NWBA, Wheelchair Basketball Intercollegiate Division, NWBA Division 3, U.S. Table Tennis Association
  • University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
    • Contact person: Jeremy “Opie” Lade, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • Sports offered: wheelchair basketball (men’s and women’s)
    • Team type: NWBA Wheelchair Basketball Intercollegiate Division
  • Wright State
    • Sports offered: wheelchair basketball

     


Dear Colleague Letter: Students with Disabilities
in Extracurricular Athletics (January 25, 2013)

Background and Fast Facts

 Background

On January 25, 2013, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released a Dear Colleague Letter (“Guidance”) clarifying the existing obligations of school districts to provide students with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in extracurricular athletics. You can find the Guidance at http://www.ed.gov/ocr/letters/colleague-201301-504.pdf.

 

Why did ED Issue the Guidance?

The Guidance, based on a long-standing disability law, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), and the Department’s implementing regulation, was issued at the recommendation of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).  A June 2010 GAO report found that students with disabilities participated in athletics at consistently lower rates than students without disabilities, and that schools lacked guidance on their responsibilities.  That GAO report can be found at http://www.gao.gov/assets/310/305770.pdf.

What does the Guidance say?

The Guidance says that students with disabilities have the right, under Section 504, to an equal opportunity to participate in their schools' extracurricular activities.  Ensuring that students with disabilities are given the opportunity to play alongside their peers—both with and without disabilities—is at the heart of the Guidance.

Does the Guidance Create New Legal Requirements?

No, the Guidance does not add new legal requirements.  It explains existing legal requirements and provides examples to inform school districts and other covered entities about how OCR evaluates whether they are complying with their legal obligations.  ED’s Section 504 regulation was issued in 1977 and has always applied to extracurricular activities, including athletic activities. 34 C.F.R. § 104.37.  This regulatory provision is discussed in pages 6-12 of the Guidance.

Does the Guidance Only Apply to Elementary and Secondary Schools?

Although the Guidance addresses K-12 activities, the main principles of inclusion and equal access it embodies apply to postsecondary schools as well.  Generally, the Guidance also applies to interscholastic athletic associations.

What Does the Guidance Say That School Districts Must Do?

A school district must provide students with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in its existing extracurricular athletic programs.  This means that a school district must not exclude students based on stereotypes and assumptions. It also means that a school district must make an individualized inquiry to determine if there are reasonable modifications, or necessary aids and services, which would allow a student with a disability the chance to take part in the activity.  Examples could include:

  • Using a light along with a starter pistol so that a deaf runner can compete; or
  • Providing for, or assisting with, the administration of needed medicine like insulin so that a student with diabetes can take part in an after-school gymnastics club.

Must School Districts Change Essential Elements of an Athletic Activity to Meet these Obligations?

No. The requirement to provide an equal opportunity does NOT mean:

  • Changing essential elements that affect the fundamental nature of the game;
  • Giving a student with a disability an unfair advantage over other competitors;
  • Changing the nature of selective teams – students with disabilities have to compete with everyone else and legitimately earn their place on the team; or
  • Compromising student safety.

The Guidance also notes that a school district need not provide a modification, aid, or service if doing so would put an undue burden on its program.  In most cases, however, we believe that providing reasonable modifications and necessary aids and services should not be unduly burdensome.

Does the Guidance Require School Districts to Create Separate, Parallel Extracurricular Athletic Programs for Students with Disabilities?

No.  Where students with disabilities cannot be included in existing extracurricular athletic activities, even with reasonable modifications and necessary aids and services, the Guidance urges–but does not require–that school districts create additional opportunities for students with disabilities to participate in separate or different extracurricular athletic activities.

The Department’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services issued a guidance document that, among other things, includes suggestions on ways to increase opportunities for children with disabilities to participate in physical education and athletic activities.  That guidance, “Creating Equal Opportunities for Children and Youth with Disabilities to Participate in Physical Education and Extracurricular Athletics,” August 2011, is available at http://www2.ed.gov/policy/speced/guid/idea/equal-pe.pdf.

How can I get help from OCR?

OCR offers technical assistance to help schools achieve voluntary compliance with the civil rights laws it enforces and works with schools to develop approaches to preventing and addressing discrimination.  A school should contact the OCR enforcement office serving its jurisdiction for technical assistance.  For contact information, please visit ED’s website at http://wdcrobcolp01.ed.gov/CFAPPS/OCR/contactus.cfm.

A complaint of discrimination may be filed by anyone who believes that a school that receives Federal financial assistance has discriminated against someone on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age.  The person or organization filing the complaint need not be a victim of the alleged discrimination, but may complain on behalf of another person or group.  For information on how to file a complaint with OCR, visit http://www.ed.gov/ocr/complaintintro.html or contact OCR’s customer service team at 1-800-421-3481 (TDD 1-800-877-8339).

This original article can be read by clicking here.

 


 

Creating Equal Opportuniti4s for Children and Youth with Disabilities to Participate in Physical Education and Extracurricular Athletics

This article can be viewed by clicking the link below

https://www2.ed.gov/policy/speced/guid/idea/equal-pe.pdf - published August, 2011

 

Back to top of page