Schools must provide sports for disabled, US says

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by Reader, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. Reader

    Reader New Member

    Messages:
    7,020
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    http://www.centurylink.net/news/read.php?id=19278122&ps=1011&cat=&cps=0&lang=en

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Students with disabilities must be given a fair shot to play on a traditional sports team or have their own leagues, the Education Department says.

    Disabled students who want to play for their school could join traditional teams if officials can make "reasonable modifications" to accommodate them. If those adjustments would fundamentally alter a sport or give the student an advantage, the department is directing the school to create parallel athletic programs that have comparable standing to traditional programs.

    "Sports can provide invaluable lessons in discipline, selflessness, passion and courage, and this guidance will help schools ensure that students with disabilities have an equal opportunity to benefit from the life lessons they can learn on the playing field or on the court," Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a statement announcing the new guidance Friday.

    More at link.....
     
  2. Loading...


  3. Nova

    Nova New Member

    Messages:
    19,111
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    My first reaction is "Good!"

    But then I wonder if tone-deaf students must be given leads in the school musical?
     
  4. Reader

    Reader New Member

    Messages:
    7,020
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    LOL...Is a musical considered a sport? IDK but anyway, they do say this:

    Education Department officials emphasized they did not intend to change sports traditions dramatically or guarantee students with disabilities a spot on competitive teams. Instead, they insisted schools may not exclude students based on their disabilities if they can keep up with their classmates.

    This will be a gradual change:

    "Some cautioned that progress would come in fits and starts initially.

    "Is it easy? No," said Brad Hedrick, director of disability services at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and himself a hall-of-famer in the National Wheelchair Basketball Association. "In most places, you're beginning from an inertial moment. But it is feasible and possible that a meaningful and viable programming can be created."
     
  5. Nova

    Nova New Member

    Messages:
    19,111
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Reader, I was being partially facetious. (Although a lot of the arguments for performing arts are the same as for organized sports: they teach collaboration, responsibility, etc. Most kids who perform in high school don't even intend to have professional careers in the arts.)

    I guess I don't understand the issue. If the student with a disability can keep up with his or her classmates and his presence isn't a hazard, why would s/he be excluded in the first place?

    Although paraplegics who play basketball are amazing athletes, I can see how the presence of one wheelchair on the court would be unfair and perhaps even hazardous. (I do think schools should be encouraged to form "wheelchair leagues", even if it means making up a team from more than one school.)

    But do schools really keep deaf children, say, from running track? Whatever for?
     
  6. Reader

    Reader New Member

    Messages:
    7,020
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hi, Nova, I do agree with you about the performing arts being beneficial to students in a lot of the same ways as sports but haven't heard of disabilities keeping students from participating in the arts if they wanted and were able. Maybe there's not the same risk?

    Sports apparently have been handled differently, why, I'm not sure. Maybe because of fear of injuries and being sued, insurance coverage, just a couple of thoughts. Maybe some of the teachers here can help with understanding that. The article does have this:

    This boy is a good example of one who is already competing in a restricted way but wants to be in the full game:

    [​IMG]

    In this July 28, 2012 photo provided by Lisa Followay, Casey Followay competes in the the USATF Junior Olympics in Maryland. Breaking new ground, the U.S. Education Department is telling schools Friday, Jan. 25,
    2013, they must include students with disabilities in sports programs or provide equal alternative options. The directive, reminiscent of the Title IX expansion of athletic opportunities for women, could bring sweeping changes to school budgets and locker rooms for years to come. "I heard about some of the other people who joined their track teams in other states. I wanted to try to do that," said 15-year-old Casey Followay, who competes on his Ohio high school track team in a racing wheelchair. Current rules require Followay to race on his own, without competitors running alongside him. He said he hopes the Education Department guidance will change that and he can compete against runners.(AP Photo/Lisa Followay)
     
  7. Nova

    Nova New Member

    Messages:
    19,111
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Reader, I think a wheelchair in a dance routine could be as problematic as a wheelchair in a crowded foot race. Or not, if the chair is properly integrated into the movement, as GLEE proves every week.

    I don't know Mr. Followay's event, but if I picture a crowd of runners jostling for the lead in a crowded lane, I think a metal chair might indeed be a hazard. I'm also not sure of the fairness, since a wheelchair is propelled by an entirely different muscle group.

    This isn't to say I don't respect Followay's achievement, but I'm not sure how one accommodates all distinctions and still achieves a level playing field.
     
  8. Reader

    Reader New Member

    Messages:
    7,020
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    If they really choose to accomodate the disabled that want and can compete according to the new law, it seems there could be wider lanes made for the wheelchairs to run in, or either have separate sections of the course for runners and wheelchairs. There are not always level playing fields in any sports it seems to me (what little I see now)....each team or player has different strengths and weaknesses, and someone is going to prevail unless there is a tie...If the disabled player wants to take that chance and compete, why not let them?
     
  9. Nova

    Nova New Member

    Messages:
    19,111
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Because the hazard isn't just to the disabled player, but to the other competitors as well.

    Yes, teams are often uneven in terms of skill levels, but we don't allow the weaker team to use special equipment to make up the difference.

    Special lanes for wheelchair racers doesn't change the fact that wheeling a chair is an entirely different activity than running on two legs. (Accommodations are already made for runners with prostheses and I think that's a good thing, though even there a question has arisen as to whether modern prosthetic feet aren't superior to natural feet.)

    As a rule, I'm all for accommodating ADA students and I certainly made every effort to do so as a college professor. But I think the issues get much more complicated when it comes to innately physical competitions.

    I'm old, slow and not very athletic: maybe I can compete by riding a motorcycle around the track, eh?
     
  10. Donjeta

    Donjeta Adji Desir, missing from Florida

    Messages:
    19,248
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Maybe the motorcycle racing could fall under this provision
    ..."the department is directing the school to create parallel athletic programs that have comparable standing to traditional programs".

    If there is no danger involved in the disabled students and the rest of them taking part in the same sport and the only problem is that the disabled student may do better than some or all the non-disabled students I don't really see why that is a problem. Someone is always going to do better than the others anyway. Why can't it be a disabled student every once in a while?
     
  11. ScarlettScarpetta

    ScarlettScarpetta When the going gets tough, drink coffee

    Messages:
    12,667
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    However, When competing in school there are kids who are cut from the team. The best players make it, The ones who are not do not. I think competition is good for kids and this new culture of give everybody a trophy for showing up is just making kids feel they are entitled instead of having to earn anything.

    That being said, I think that all children should have an opportunity to play sports, That is why there are the paralympics and the disabled leagues. Our kids little league has a field and a special team for children with Autism and disabilities to get the opportunity to play also.

    I am all for kids trying out for the main team but what I worry about is if they don't make it, will their parents sue? Will they take sports in school and take them away from those who make the team on merit to make places for those who don't.

    Most kids use sports as their ticket to college. They need those scholarships to get in. This concerns me.
     
  12. Nova

    Nova New Member

    Messages:
    19,111
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    If you were swimming a triathlon as I went zooming by on a jet-ski, I think the "problem" might be apparent.

    Yes, after a certain age, all competitions have winners and losers. But they win or lose based on their own ability, not the use of special equipment. (There are regulations of the content of baseball bats, the size and shape of balls, helmets, pads, etc. and so forth.)

    Of course amputees will use prostheses, but if a prosthesis poses a hazard or conveys an advantage, then it's time for a "parallel program". I am all for "parallel programs", Donjeta.
     
  13. Donjeta

    Donjeta Adji Desir, missing from Florida

    Messages:
    19,248
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    If an amputee wins a running competition and the others had the nerve to complain they would be just petty and sore losers in my eyes. He wouldn't need the special equipment if he had his own legs. Everybody would saw their legs off if it was an advantage. They don't, so...

    I would take my own two feet over prostheses any time, even if I could run lightning fast... I've worked with amputees and on the whole I think their running prowess has been for the most part greatly exaggerated. It's a tough rehab, not completely devoid of pain, and if someone succeeds and heals well enough to run lightning fast, good for him. No one can say with a straight face that he worked any less than the other students for his running ability and doesn't deserve to win.

    Jet-ski vs swimming is nowhere comparable to running with legs and prostheses imo, it's not even in the same ballpark. I don't think anyone is suggesting that jet skis should be introduced in triathlon competitions.

    Edit:
    Amputee runners's two best times in the 100 m race:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2012/sep/06/paralympics-jonnie-peacock-medal-target

    The world record in 100m running with legs is 9.58


    Granted, fewer people run with prostheses than with legs so there is a greater pool of talent in the legs race but based on the records an amputation doesn't seem to make you so much faster that the fast two-legged runners should be worried. If you're a slow two-legged runner then it's probably not totally unfair if you don't always win.

    I think the programs should be inclusive whenever possible because of the practical difficulty in creating parallel programs (particularly in team sports) when there are very few similarly disabled students in the same age group in the same school or school district and they may not all be interested in the same sport. The non-disabled kids can suck it up imo.
     
  14. txsvicki

    txsvicki New Member

    Messages:
    14,189
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I know everyone is thinking wheelchairs, but could this help the learning disabled who consistently make poor grades in some subjects and haven't been allowed to play because of that?
     
  15. momrids6

    momrids6 JUSTICE FOR JENNIFER

    Messages:
    6,720
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    36
    No- they have to make the same grades required of a non disabled student. If they are making poor grades- it is a reflection of needed IEP changes or violation of folks not following a well written and appropriate IEP.

    Been there- done that.
     
  16. Nova

    Nova New Member

    Messages:
    19,111
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Donjeta et al.,

    I actually agree with you all and the spirit of this ruling. I'm just trying to think about the ramifications. Even if prosthetics don't convey an unfair advantage now, what about 5 years from now? I don't think a blanket ruling re disabled students is quite the same as one re equal opportunities for females.
     
  17. Reader

    Reader New Member

    Messages:
    7,020
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I think I understand where you've coming from, Nova, but for some reason, I just can't get my mind around the idea that having a prosthetic(s) is an advantage over competing with all your limbs and hands...

    Anywho...if a school finds that an advantage is given to the disabled students that want to compete, they can always change to comparable programs just for the disabled students to compete with each other per the OP:

    I think it would be wonderful if this change worked out for mixed competitions though. Like any new program it will have to be tried and tested to see how it works.
     
  18. Nova

    Nova New Member

    Messages:
    19,111
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Well, obviously, you were too young to watch THE BIONIC MAN (and WOMAN) in the 1970s! :)

    Seriously, I'm not saying a prosthesis is an advantage in all areas of life or that people are going to be rushing out for voluntary amputations. But it is certainly conceivable that future improvements will shift the advantage toward those using special equipment.

    I don't seriously think they are going to let paraplegics ride jet-skis in the 400-meter butterfly at the Olympics. I was just trying to get a discussion going about where do we draw the line between evening the playing field and actually reversing the disadvantage?

    In my mind, sports present special challenges in this area, challenges that are not inherent to traditional affirmative action programs.

    Your quote would seem to settle the issue, but we both know the issue is only settled until the first person challenges the ruling in court. LOL.
     
  19. Reader

    Reader New Member

    Messages:
    7,020
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    RSBM

    True dat! I'm sure there will be some court findings along the way....but it is encouraging to see disabled students empowered to take part in all opportunities at their school, instead of being discriminated against as in the past.
     
  20. Nova

    Nova New Member

    Messages:
    19,111
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I could not agree more!
     
  21. T4Tide

    T4Tide Verified Registered Nurse

    Messages:
    2,187
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    My children aren't in the public school system, but two years ago when they were, we went to open house at my son's middle school. We rotated around our child's schedule, and met in the location they were going to meet, and met his teachers. We were in the gym, and the PE teacher was so excited to show us all the updates to the gym, including individual lockers with pre-installed combination locks in the "changing rooms," newly designed gym clothes and matching painted walls with the school's colors and emblems. The school had fundraisers last year that helped purchase these new upgrades. Then, we proceeded to my child's science class. There, we were met with a classroom of half desks and half wonky tables, and were told that the kids would not be bringing home a science book, as the school did not have enough for each child and the books would have to be kept at the school for everyone to use.

    Seriously.

    I raised my hand and asked why in the world did the gym have all those new "upgrades," yet there were not enough books? Why did they ask me to pay $40 for a new set of gym clothes for my child, but no one asked me if I'd like to buy him a science book?

    My other son's gifted program was dismantled, as the school system needed to "save money." Legally, my son's gifted special education is as important and protected as the education of children with mental and physical disabilities, but they didn't care. They got buy the legal stuff by saying they would meet his gifted needs in the classroom, which we all knew wasn't going to happen.

    While I love the idea of sports for everyone (and I LOVE sports, don't get me wrong...) I think that our schools are already strapped financially and we are robbing Peter to pay Paul, and Paul is a coach and Peter a science teacher. Our schools should be funding EDUCATION first, and then all that other stuff is extra butter in the baked potato. JMHO
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice