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U.S. Paralympics and
Yes U Can Corporation
Partner to Create
Paralympic Sport - Delaware

Newark, DE - U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee, and Yes U Can Corporation have partnered to create Paralympic Sport - Delaware.

Paralympic Sport - Delaware is a community-based sports club developed to involve youth and adults, including active duty service members and veterans, with physical and visual disabilities in ongoing sports and physical activity, regardless of skill level. All programs and activities will be based in Delaware and run by Yes U Can Corporation.

"U.S. Paralympics is dedicated to creating opportunities for individuals with physical and visual disabilities to be physically active in their own communities.

Participation in physical activity enhances not only self-esteem and peer relationships, but also results in greater achievement, better overall health and higher quality of life," said Mike Mushett, U.S. Paralympics Director of Community Programs.

With 21 million Americans living with a physical or visual disability, including thousands of military personnel who've been severely injured while on active duty, this is an important community need.

Yes U Can USA is Delaware's only disabled sports program and Paralympic Sport Club. Their mission... to keep them 'movin'. Co-founder Debora Woolwine reminds us that, "The ability to move our bodies affects our performance, culture, and especially, the quality of our lives."

"At Yes U Can USA, if you are disabled or have limited mobility, WE GET U MOVIN!" Co-founder and President / CEO Vickie George reinforces this message and adds, "Supporting Yes U Can USA is giving the gift of movement and accessibility to individuals who otherwise would not have the opportunity to take part in experiences that most of us take for granted".

Paralympic Sport Clubs will soon be located in all 50 states in the U.S. and the network continues to grow.

For more information about Yes U Can USA, please contact Vickie George at (302) 286-1399 or info@yesucanusa.org. Visit them on the web at yesucanusa.org

For more information about U.S. Paralympics, please contact Beth Bourgeois at (719) 866-2039 or beth.bourgeois@usoc.org.

About U.S. Paralympics:   U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee, is dedicated to becoming the world leader in the Paralympic sports movement and to promoting excellence in the lives of persons with physical disabilities. Visit the U.S. Paralympics website at www.usparalympics.org.

Yes U Can Corporation (Yes U Can USA) is a 501(c)(3) dedicated to helping people with disabilities and limited mobility stay active by creating adapted sports, fitness and recreation programs.


US Dept of Education Mandates
Access to Sports for
Students with Disabilities

by Arne Duncan, US Secretary of Education

Washington DC - :

Nicolai calabria, No. 13 above, was born without a right leg and hip, but has been playing soccer all his life. Even before the Department of Education's ruling, Nicolai was playing on his high school varsity soccer team.

The video of one of his scores went viral on YouTube. Today's ruling will give thousands of other student adaptive athletes the right to compete. Photo @ Carl Calabria

Playing sports at any levelóclub, intramural, or interscholasticócan be a key part of the school experience and have an immense and lasting impact on a studentís life.

Among its many benefits, participation in extracurricular athletic activities promotes socialization, the development of leadership skills, focus, and, of course, physical fitness.

Itís no secret that sports helped to shape my life. From a very early age, playing basketball taught me valuable lessons about grit, discipline, and teamwork that are still with me to this day.

Students with disabilities are no different Ė like their peers without disabilities, these students benefit from participating in sports.

But unfortunately, we know that students with disabilities are all too often denied the chance to participate and with it, the respect that comes with inclusion.

This is simply wrong.

While itís the coachís job to pick the best team, students with disabilities must be judged based on their individual abilities, and not excluded because of generalizations, assumptions, prejudices, or stereotypes.

Knowledgeable adults create the possibilities of participation among children and youth both with and without disabilities.

The EDís Office for Civil Rights has released guidance that clarifies existing legal obligations of schools to provide students with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate alongside their peers in after-school athletics and clubs.

We make clear that schools may not exclude students who have an intellectual, developmental, physical, or any other disability from trying out and playing on a team, if they are otherwise qualified.

This guidance builds on a resource document the Department issued in 2011 that provides important information on improving opportunities for children and youth with disabilities to access PE and athletics.

Federal civil rights laws require schools to provide equal opportunities, not give anyone an unfair head start. So schools donít have to change the essential rules of the game, and they donít have to do anything that would provide a student with a disability an unfair competitive advantage.

But they do need to make reasonable modifications (such as using a laser instead of a starter pistol to start a race so a deaf runner can compete) to ensure that students with disabilities get the very same opportunity to play as everyone else.

The guidance issued today will help schools meet this obligation and will allow increasing numbers of kids with disabilities the chance to benefit from playing sports.
(signed)

Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education


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