USD 305's Hall: Order Raises Awareness, Opportunity
Jeff Garretson - Mon 01:40 PM 01/28/2013
Last week, the Department of Education ordered schools to include disabled students in existing sports programs, or create equal alternative options.
USD 305 Superintendent Bill Hall, stopped into the KSAL Morning News Monday with a look at what that means to area schools.
"Really this is going to have to be a case by case basis to a large extent," he said.
Hall, who learned about the order on Friday morning in the newspaper, spent the weekend researching the subject.
"It doesn't necessarily guarantee that students will disabilities will be guaranteed a spot on the team, just that they will be treated equitably to all other students who are going out."
Hall tells KSAL News that if modifications can be made to level the playing field, not to give disabled students an advantage but to make opportunities equal - those changes must be made.
Hall added that the modification cannot change the nature of the activity.
"If we have a student in a wheelchair who wants to go out for basketball - it obviously would change the nature of the game if you have students who are not disabled playing against a student in a wheelchair."
Hall says the Department of Education's order is raising awareness for children with disabilities, "I absolutely agree that students with disabilities need to have the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities. What that looks like is a discussion we still need to have."
Superintendent Hall says he is also looking for direction from the Kansas State High School Activities Association, "They are going to have to provide some guidance for all schools out there," he said.
"How do you go about making accommodations for students and if necessary to create a different set of activities for students with disabilities," he said. "What would that look like."