Sports: IEPs, GRADE STANDARDS, and FOOTBALL

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Andrew:  My son is on an iep and he plays youth football. The youth football team does grade checks and since he is only in 2nd grade, they are evaluated on whether they meet grade level standards. Now if he doesn’t meet the standards can the football team punish him by not allowing him to play? The team is a 501c3, so they receive a federal tax exemption.

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Jill G

The team must decide if the accommodation is a financial burden for them (unlikely) or a fundamental change to the program (more likely). If they decide either of these, they can deny the accommodation but must consider other accommodations that may allow your son to play. If they decide neither of these, then they must provide the accommodation for your child.
If you have questions about requesting accommodations or feel a requested accommodation was unfairly denied, you can contact the Justice Department (1-800-514-0301). They provide technical assistance regarding and enforcement for the ADA. Your state may also offer additional enforcement mechanisms.

Jill G

Andrew –
Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires private entities like the football team to make reasonable accommodations for your son (and other individuals with disabilities).
Your have to ask for this right to exercise it! So your best bet is to put your request to the team in writing. You can notify the team that your child has a disability, the nature of his disability, and the accommodation you are asking for (waiving the academic standard or, perhaps, that he be allowed to meet a different standard). You may want to include documentation about his disability, such as a letter from a clinician or relevant parts of the IEP.