What are Nonacademic Services and Extracurricular Activities?
IDEA specifies that these services / activities may include "counseling services, athletics, transportation, health services, recreational activities, special interest groups or clubs sponsored by the public agency, referrals to agencies that provide assistance to individuals with disabilities and employment of students, including both employment by the public agency and assistance in making outside employment available." 34 C.F.R. 300.107(b).
Extracurricular activities are basically those activities that school age kids participate in beyond the classroom setting, like sports, clubs, etc.
Mandate for Equal Opportunity:
IDEA 2004 states that "each public agency must take steps, including the provision of supplementary aids and services determined appropriate and necessary by the child's IEP Team, to provide nonacademic and extracurricular services and activities in the manner necessary to afford children with disabilities an equal opportunity for participation in those services and activities." 34 C.F.R. 300.107(a).
Under Section 504, Districts are required to provide nonacademic services and athletics in the manner necessary so as to afford students with disabilities an equal opportunity for participation in such services and activities. 34 C.F.R. 104.37(a)(1). Failure to ensure equal opportunity could give rise to a claim of discrimination under this Act.
What should the IEP team do?
IDEA 2004 broadened the definition of supplementary supports and services by specifying that such aids, supports and services are provided not only in the regular classroom setting and other education-related settings, but also within extracurricular and non-academic settings. 34 C.F.R. 300.42. This means that the IEP team must consider what supports may be necessary to ensure that the child has the ability to participate in the same extracurricular activities as are available to his/her non-disabled peers. For example, the student may need 1:1 assistance and support to attend club meetings or other activities; or require accommodations / modifications within the program.