POSTED: Friday, January 25, 2013 - 5:49pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 - 9:04am
McAllen, TEXAS (KVEO NEWSCENTER 23) — For many kids, just like all others, they want the same opportunity to compete in sports. Advocates for students with disabilities believe they should have an equal right and not be excluded. UTPA Rehabilitation Professor Dr. Jerry Fischer says, "As it does protect their civil rights and i think it levels the playing field for everybody, they are not excluded now, they are part of our community."
Last week the U.S. Department of Education made a statement mandating that all schools ensure students with disabilities an equal right to benefit from sports. They say this push could bring sweeping changes to school budgets and locker rooms in order to accommodate the disabled. For advocates of the disabled they think this is a positive move.
Victor Alves is on the UTPA Tennis Team, as an athlete himeself he believes all kids should have an equal opportunity. Alves says, "For me as an athlete i know how much i love sports, so for those same kids who have that some love, they should have the same chance to try out it doesn't really cost the coaches much to allow them to atleast try out."
The Department of Education says they don't intend to change the tradition of sports dramatically or guarantee students with disabilities a spot on competitive teams, but instead insist they are not excluded.