Friday, November 20, 2015

Out of School Time (OST) Programs

"An OST program is a program or activity where children participate in academic, athletic, recreational or cultural activities with other young people beyond the school day, before or after the school day or during the summer.  The law requires that almost all OST programs, regardless of size, take steps necessary so that all children can safely and meaningfully participate."


Do Section 504 and the ADA Apply to All OST Programs?

Whether Section 504 or the ADA applies depends on how the OST program is funded and operated. Section 504 applies to all programs that receive federal funds. This includes public schools, extracurricular programs or religious programs that receive federal funding. See page 25 for more information about Section 504. The ADA generally applies to all programs that provide services to the public, regardless of whether they receive federal funds. This includes schools, recreational centers and day care providers. There are some exceptions for religious organizations.

Disabilities That May Be Covered by Section 504 and the ADA
The disability must substantially limit a major life activity of the individual.
• Autism
• Diabetes
• Heart and respiratory conditions
• HIV, AIDS, hepatitis
• Intellectual disabilities
• Mental illness
• Neurological disabilities
• Orthopedic disabilities
Specific learning disabilities
• Visual, speech and hearing disabilities

What Must OST Programs Do to Comply With Section 504 and the ADA?*
• Provide equal access and equal opportunity for children with disabilities to participate in
programs or services.
• Make individual determinations about what a child may need to successfully participate in
the program.
• Make reasonable accommodations to enable children with disabilities to participate in all
aspects of the program.
• Meet architectural standards for physical accessibility.
• Avoid eligibility criteria that screen out children with disabilities.
Prohibit retaliation against an individual with disabilities who exercises her/his rights, including the right to file a complaint.

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