This is week 54 in my series of Shape Up! The weekly post on what I did over the last week in my quest to getting healthier.
So, I think many people have seen this story already. The U.S. Department of Education is now requiring schools to do something I wish they required a longtime ago. Students with disabilities must be given a fair shot to play on a traditional sports team or have their own leagues. 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. The groundbreaking order is reminiscent of the Title IX expansion of athletic opportunities for girls and women four decades ago and could bring sweeping changes to school budgets and locker rooms for years to come.
Federal laws, including the 1973 Rehabilitation Act and the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, require states to provide a free public education to all students and prohibit schools that receive federal money from discriminating against students with disabilities. Going further, the new directive from the Education Department’s civil rights division explicitly tells schools and colleges that access to interscholastic, intramural and intercollegiate athletics is a right.
This is a great change for schools! For a long time, people with disabilities (like me) have been forced to sit on the sidelines while the average people can compete in sports or in P.E. These changes will help disabled people become active again! Sure, many disabled kids will not fit in with regular sports. I would like to see a group of schools in an area come together and offer a sports league for people in wheelchairs and disabled. People with disabilities already have a tough time fitting in to society. And changes like this will be a big benefit to all people!
One other thing, on Monday me and a friend will be spending a few hours walking up and down Quintard Ave. in Anniston wearing these signs below. On the back, the signs will say “Looking for Work.” On the front, one sign will say “Masters Degree in I.T. Can’t Find Work! Borrowing Money to Survive!” The other sign will say “I Voted for Obama, and Have A Disability. I Want to Earn A Living!” On Monday Night, I will be at the Norwood-Hodges Community Center where the Anniston mayor and city council is holding a listening tour. What can I do folks, I have been unemployed for 19 months now! And I feel like a step like this is a good thing to do! There’s a good chance I will be in the news again! Stay tuned!
Here is what I ate last week:
Saturday: Pizza, Sweet Tea.
Sunday: Hotpockets, Sweet Tea.
Monday: Steak Sandwich and Fries, Sweet Tea.
Tuesday: Pork Chops and Brown Rice, Sweet Tea.
Wednesday: Steak Sandwich and Fries, Sweet Tea.
Thursday: Pork Chops and Brown Rice, Sweet Tea.
Friday: Hotpockets, Sweet Tea.
Have a wonderful week everyone!
- Sunday Discussion: Why East Alabama Is In Deep Trouble (geekalabama.com)
- Sports Are a Civil Right for Disabled, US Says (abcnews.go.com)
- Shape Up! – Week 53 (geekalabama.com)