Athletics And Persons With Disabilities

2068 Words Oct 6th, 2014 9 Pages
Athletics and Persons with Disabilities

It wasn’t that long ago when the words “athletics” and “persons with disabilities” did not belong together. If a person was born with a physical or intellectual disability, sports fell into the group of activities that were excluded from their life. If an athlete acquired a physical or intellectual disability, sports became an activity they could no longer participate in. Sports and athletic pursuits belonged solely to non-disabled persons. Persons with disabilities could only watch from the sidelines. Our society did not encourage or support any physical sports programs that allowed persons with disabilities to pursue their athletic dreams. Slowly, a cultural shift has altered our perception of what is possible for persons with disabilities.
Part of this shift can be attributed to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s. Once the Civil Rights Act was signed into law, the walls of discrimination and segregation began to crumble. Although the Civil Rights Act initially sought to ensure equality for African Americans and other people of color, it eventually expanded to protect other vulnerable classes in our society.1
A piece of legislation that has contributed greatly to the rights of those with disabilities is the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. This legislation is considered as far reaching and important as the Civil Rights Act. The core of the legislation focuses on prohibiting discrimination against persons…
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