OCR Guidance on Extracurricular Athletics for Students with Disabilities (k-12)

On January 25, 2013, the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released guidance that significantly expands expectations for students with disabilities about participating in extracurricular sports. OCR is taking the position that, under Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act (Section 504), schools not only must provide students with disabilities any needed aids and services to participate in existing district-sponsored extracurricular sports, it is also calling for districts to develop additional extracurricular activities for students with disabilities who are unable to participate in existing extracurricular sports. The guidance applies to all school-sponsored extracurricular sports at all age levels and all levels of competition or participation.