News and Updates

Summer Camps Must Reasonably Accommodate Children With Disabilities

Columbia, SC – With summer approaching, parents and camps alike are making
plans for terrific, fun opportunities for young campers to learn new skills and grow in
their confidence and abilities. The United States Attorney’s Office has taken the
opportunity to increase the understanding of camp organizers and parents about the
law that pertains to camps which ensures that all children are welcome, especially
those with disabilities. To help ensure that children with disabilities are allowed 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 District of South
Carolina reminding them of their responsibilities and 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 – whether in a tent or a gym – present tremendous growth
opportunities for our children. Camp is not only fun, but the camp experience offers
the camper the opportunity to try new things, develop some independence, and gain
self-confidence in the process,” said U.S. Attorney Drake. “All of our kids should have
access to summer camps and in fact 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 Team at (864) 282-2100 or
https://www.justice.gov/usao-sc/civil-rights.

 

ADA Summer Camp Info and Resources

ADA Summer Camp Flyer