Students With Disabilities to Be Included in School Sports Programs

Lynchburg, VA - Sports in public schools could be changing for one minority group. The U.S. Department of Education may require schools to include students with disabilities in their sports programs or provide an equal alternative.

Arc of Central Virginia is a 50-year-old organization that works with adults with disabilities. They know how important it is to keep these kids active and involved.

Executive director Karen Wilder says their sole purpose is to improve the lives of those with disabilities.

"I think people with disabilities do deserve the opportunity to do things."

At Arc, they have adaptations to sports like volleyball, track and bowling-- where some use a ramp to roll the ball.

"With bowling they always come back with a little slip of paper with their score and they love to show you what their score is and they're so proud of it," said Wilder.

For volleyball, they use a balloon.

"That way if someone can't hit it and it accidentally hits them nobody is going to get hurt so it's just fun."

Wilder knows the positive effect that sports have on them. She says she can see it in their faces.

"It just makes you feel so good to know they're having a good time and that they feel like they can do things that their peers can do."

She believes everyone deserves a chance to take part.

"They want to have a meaningful life, they want to have a life like ours and have fun things to do and I think sports and activities help them do that," she said.