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Children with disabilities may find more inclusion at school

It goes without saying that experiences in school are incredibly important for young people. Not only does school provide students with knowledge, but it also provides interaction and opportunities that can set a person on course for future success. For some students, however, having limited access to certain activities -- such as athletics -- could be detrimental to their overall development.

The U.S. Department of Education requires schools to provide equal athletic opportunities to children with disabilities. The federal agency says that children who are living with intellectual, developmental and physical disabilities should have the same chances to participate as their peers.

According to the federal policy, schools should provide support as necessary to facilitate this. In certain cases, however, schools could provide separate and adequately supported athletic opportunities.

Having the opportunity to participate in athletic events can mean a lot to a young person, regardless of their physical capabilities. As such, this is another way to provide support to young people with disabilities.

Beyond educational and extra-curricular opportunity, young people with disabilities might have concerns that need to be addressed back home. When parents don't have the financial resources to provide necessary care or support for their children, Supplemental Security Income may be a valid option. Of course, certain financial and medical criteria must be met in order for parents to receive SSI benefits to help provide for children who have a disability.

This policy designed to offer better opportunities for students with disabilities is an additional step in the effort to create more inclusive communities. Ultimately, the hope is that every child will have access to the tools needed to thrive.

Source: Disability Scoop, "Feds: Schools Must Open Sports To Kids With Disabilities," Michelle Diament, Jan. 25, 2013

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