IHSA launches disabled students program after lawsuit filed

June 12, 2012 5:44:14 AM PDT
The Illinois High School Association is starting up a two-year pilot program for student athletes with disabilities.

The Association made the announcement Monday.

Last month, Illinois Attorney Gen. Lisa Madigan and an advocacy group for the disabled filed a federal lawsuit against the IHSA. The suit was filed after a paralyzed high school swimmer was not allowed to compete at the state level.

The lawsuit accuses the association of violating disabilities laws by not providing equal access.

The IHSA says the pilot program will now offer separate events in which disabled students can compete.

IHSA spokesman Mat Troha says during state finals for cross country, bowling, swimming, diving and track, there'll be separate events for disabled students. The two-year pilot program starts in the upcoming school year.

Executive director Marty Hickman says the association has been listening to stakeholders and advocacy groups about how to improve opportunities.

A spokeswoman for Madigan says the pilot program doesn't affect the lawsuit's status.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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