Summer Camps Must Reasonably Accommodate Children With Disabilities
Summer camps are legally required to make reasonable accommodations to accept children with disabilities, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced today.
With summer approaching, parents are beginning to think about sending their children to summer camps. To help ensure that children with disabilities receive the opportunity to attend summer camp, the U.S. Attorney’s Office recently sent the attached flyer to hundreds of summer camps located within the Eastern District of Michigan reminding them of their obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).
Under the ADA, summer camps, both private and those run by municipalities, must make reasonable modification to enable campers with disabilities to participate fully in all camp programs and activities. This generally means that children with disabilities are entitled to attend any camp or activity that non-disabled children attend, that camps must evaluate each child on an individual basis and that camps must train their staff in the requirements of the ADA. Camps are obligated to pay for the cost of any reasonable modifications necessary for disabled children to participate in camp activities, and parents should not be charged any additional fee beyond standard camp enrollment costs.
“Summer camps present tremendous growth opportunities for children to learn independence, try new activities and gain self-confidence,” McQuade said. “The law requires camps to provide equal opportunities to disabled children whose needs can be reasonably accommodated.”
Additional information about the ADA is available at www.ada.gov, or through contacting the U.S. Attorney’s Office Civil Rights Hotline at (313) 226-9151.