Summer Camps Must Reasonably Accommodate Children With Disabilities
ALBANY, NEW YORK –The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York is participating in a national initiative designed to make summer camps accessible to Americans with disabilities announced United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian.
With school quickly coming to a close, many parents have already made, or are in the process of making, summer camp arrangements for their children. 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 Northern District of New York, 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.
"From the earliest days of the civil rights movement, eliminating barriers to recreational activities has been a key part of efforts to ensure equal opportunity in our society. We continue this tradition by ensuring that children with disabilities have equal access to the wonderful opportunities afforded by summer camps not only for children to have fun, but to interact with their peers and the natural environment in ways that will build their confidence, improve their health, and provide life-long memories." Hartunian said.
Additional information about the ADA is available at www.ada.gov, or through contacting the U.S. Attorney’s Office Civil Rights Unit at (518) 431-0247.