College students with disabilities are not being afforded the same access to physical activity and sporting opportunities as their peers without a disability, and exploring this gap is the foundation of Kathleen’s research. Legislation, such as Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), ensures that no individual with a disability is denied access to activities that are otherwise available to their peers without a disability. Further clarification from the Office of Civil Rights, in the form of a Dear Colleague Letter in 2013, specified that extracurricular and sporting events were not exempt to this mandate. However, this clarification only identified grades K-12, leaving no policy for collegiate programming through which these athletes can matriculate. Drawing from the experience of women in college after Title-IX, Kathleen’s focus will be exploring current collegiate programs, including identified barriers and facilitators, and advocating for the creation of new ones.
MORE ABOUT KATHLEEN
Kathleen believes, strongly, in recognizing the physical potential of all people and advocates for equitable access for folks to realize it within themselves. Her life goal is to use the training and opportunities given by HPRS to champion the prioritization of a Title IX- mirroring policy for disability.