90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Opening School Sports To Kids With Disabilities

The U.S. Department of Education is telling schools they must include students with disabilities in sports. How will that work?

Seattle Seahawks football player Kennard Cox hands the football off to Juan Herrera during the fifth annual 12th Man Football Cheer Camp in Miami Lakes, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012. The 12th Man Football Cheer Camp was created by Miami Dade police officer Allen Lowy to give those with special needs or disabilities the opportunity to be a part of organized football. (AP)

Seattle Seahawks football player Kennard Cox hands the football off to Juan Herrera during the fifth annual 12th Man Football Cheer Camp in Miami Lakes, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012. The 12th Man Football Cheer Camp was created by Miami Dade police officer Allen Lowy to give those with special needs or disabilities the opportunity to be a part of organized football. (AP)

New guidance from the U.S. Department of Education for schools across the country on disability and sports. On Friday, the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights issued a directive to say students with disabilities must be given equal opportunity to compete in school sports.

No presumptions permitted that they can’t do it. And reasonable accommodations must be made. A starting light instead of a gun for a deaf sprinter. And more.

It’s being hailed as a landmark, like Title IX.

This hour, On Point: Opening sport to disabled students. What it means. How it will work.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Christina Samuels, staff writer for Education Week.

Terri Lakowski, CEO of Active Policy Solutions and policy director for the Inclusive Fitness Coalition.

Michael Petrilli, executive vice president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a conservative think tank focused on education issues, and a contributor to the Education Gadfly newsletter.

Bruce Whitehead, executive director of the National Athletic Administrators Association.

From Tom’s Reading List

Associated Press “Students with disabilities must be given a fair shot to play on a traditional sports team or have their own leagues, the Education Department says.”

Forbes “Advocates for students with disabilities are rightly equating with the historic Title IX a Department of Education order, released Jan. 25, that orders schools receiving public funding to make reasonable accommodations so that those students may participate in athletics, and asks schools to create additional athletic opportunities for those students for whom reasonable accommodations wouldn’t be enough to ensure their participation.”

Flypaper Blog “The step that federal officials are taking today will have wide-ranging consequences for decades to come. It potentially puts school districts on the hook for billions of dollars in new spending. At the very least, the changes should be subject to the regular regulatory process, which allows for public input, demands an accounting of potential costs, and gives all sides to voice their concerns. A better solution is to let legislators take up this question—and appropriate funds if they decide that wheelchair basketball and the like is a key priority.”

Detroit Free Press “Owen, an eighth-grader with Down syndrome at Van Hoosen Middle School in Rochester Hills, had been practicing with Howell for a couple of months. Now, Owen ran down the court, came off a pick and hit a three-pointer. The crowd at Wednesday’s game against Troy’s Boulan Park went wild, screaming, chanting and waving signs emblazoned with Owen’s name.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Mar 31, 2015
Some of the hundreds of people who gathered outside the Indiana Statehouse on Saturday, March 28, 2015, for a rally against legislation signed Thursday by Gov. Mike Pence stand on the Statehouse's south steps during the 2-hour-long rally. (AP)

Indiana’s controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Critics call it anti-gay. Business leaders say bad for the economy. The governor’s not backing down. We’ll dive in.

Mar 31, 2015
Jazz icon Billie Holiday performs in New York City's Club Downbeat in February 1947.  (Library of Congress / Creative Commons)

A meditation on the life and music of Billie Holiday. The lady who sang the blues.

RECENT
SHOWS
Mar 30, 2015
Sweet Briar College, an all-women's liberal arts college in Virginia, announced in early 2015 that it would unexpectedly close its doors at the end of the school year. (Courtesy Sweet Brian College)

Fareed Zakaria weighs the value of a liberal arts education in our technology-driven time.

 
Mar 30, 2015
A stele and flowers laid in memory of the victims are placed in the area where the Germanwings jetliner crashed in the French Alps, in Le Vernet, France, Friday, March 27, 2015. The crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 into an Alpine mountain, which killed all 150 people aboard, has raised questions about the mental state of the co-pilot. (AP)

The pilot who crashed his plane in the Alps. What we know now. And what to do about pilots’ psychological health.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: March 27, 2015
Friday, Mar 27, 2015

More on the incessant email debate, plus some goats living their best lives and the sad allure of Manhattan’s shuttered Pommes Frites.

More »
2 Comments
 
Mobile Payments Offer Convenience If You Keep Your Email Safe
Thursday, Mar 26, 2015

Thinking about moving your wallet to your phone? You can! And maybe you should? But TechCrunch senior writer Josh Constine has a few things to tell you before you do.

More »
1 Comment
 
Using Technology To Get Your Kids Outside
Thursday, Mar 26, 2015

The latest and greatest — using apps to make natural exploration more fun for your kids.

More »
Comment