San Diego, CA, February 02, 2013 --(PR.com
)-- In response to a Department of Education mandate, Kids Included Together has created a list of 5 tips to help K12 athletic directors include youth with disabilities in sports programs:
1. Modify uniforms and equipment (for instance, a child/youth with sensory differences may need to wear a rash guard for competitive swimming, which may require an exception according to swim regulations)
2. Allow athletes to have a personal aide and/or use assistive devices
3. Understand that modeling and repetition may be necessary for athlete to participate successfully
4. Allow frequent breaks for reasons that may include: medication management, restroom use, hydration and nutrition and fatigue
5. Provide ongoing staff training on how to include athletes and interested athletes with disabilities
The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that students with disabilities are not being afforded an equal opportunity to participate in extracurricular athletics in public elementary and secondary schools. The GAO recommends the Department of Education remind schools of their responsibilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which protects the rights of individuals with disabilities in school programs and activities.
According to KIT CEO, Torrie Dunlap, “Often times all it takes is a simple accommodation to make sure everyone can be on the team. KIT exists because we believe everyone benefits when all kids are included. We can help athletic programs figure out what it takes to comply with this mandate.”
In order to help athletic program staff, KIT is offering a free webinar on February 19, 2013 from 10-10:30 am PST. Register here: www.KITonline.org/FreeWebinar.
About Kids Included Together: Kids Included Together (KIT) is a registered 501(c)(3) non–profit organization founded in San Diego, California in 1997. The mission of Kids Included Together (KIT) is to provide learning opportunities that support recreation, child development and youth enrichment programs to include children with and without disabilities. We invite you to explore our site and learn more about our work with out–of–school time programs across the United States and internationally at www.KITonline.org.
KIT will host its Annual International Conference on Inclusion March 13-15th, 2013 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt, San Diego, CA. More information is available at www.KITconference.org.