“Participation in extracurricular athletics can be a critical part of a student’s overall educational experience,” said Seth Galanter, of the department’s civil rights office. “Schools must ensure equal access to that rewarding experience for students with disabilities,” he added.

The 1973 Rehabilitation Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs conducted by federal agencies, including public education…

Examples of reasonable modifications schools might make to meet their responsibilities included providing “visual clues” alongside a starter pistol to allow hearing disabled students to compete in track events, and waiving the “two-hand touch” finish at swim meets to allow one-armed swimmers to compete.