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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Louisiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 8, 2015

Summer camps must reasonably accommodate children with disabilities

SHREVEPORT/LAFAYETTE/MONROE/LAKE CHARLES/ALEXANDRIA, La. – Summer camps are required to make reasonable accommodations to accept children with disabilities, U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today.

2015 Marks the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). The ADA prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, state and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation.

Summer is here and the U.S. Attorney’s Office wants to ensure that children with disabilities have the opportunity to experience the fun of summer camps. The U.S. Attorney’s Office recently sent the attached flyer to hundreds of summer camps located within the Western District of Louisiana reminding them of their obligations under the ADA.

Summer camps, both private and those run by municipalities, must make reasonable modifications 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 is always a special time for children,” Finley said. “Summer camps foster an environment where they can learn to work together, think creatively, and to be independent. Disabled children, whose needs can be reasonably accommodated, must be given the same opportunity as other children.”    

Additional information about the ADA is available at www.ada.gov, or through the U.S. Attorney’s Office at (337) 262-6618.

Updated June 8, 2015