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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 116707
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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My name isXXXXX I am the father of a 15 year boy

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My name isXXXXX I am the father of a 15 year boy with disabilities. My child's disabilities affect his fine motor skills, hearing, cognitive abilities and speech. Last year we (my wife and I) signed Kenneth up to play in the Homestead Florida Little League baseball program. With spoke with the president regarding Kenneth's challenges. The Homestead Little League team, the homestead Little League board assessed my sons skills and placed him to play in a league group below his age level. We were pleased with this decision and agreed with their assessments. This year the same process took place and Kenneth played up until 4 weeks ago. Four weeks ago the Region office called the local office in Homestead and demanded that Kenneth be removed from playing in the age group. We asked if their was anything we could do to reverse this ruling and we were instructed to follow the "waiver" process. The "waiver" process consist of nothing more than writing an email stating your request to have an exception made. We were asked to provide medical data, information from schools and any emails I have written to this point. We complied with the request. We were denied and the ruling was Kenneth can not play outside his age group. Kenneth disabilities limit him from playing above his age level. We are unsure which direction to proceed. We have been told we can appeal the ruling but the Region office is less than helpful in regard to what we need to provide. We would like to discuss with your office our alternatives. We are unsure if this is an ADA issue.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

You are correct in thinking this is an ADA issue. Upon your complying with the league's rules and providing proof of his disabilities, your son is entitled to a reasonable accommodation for his disabilities. You need to exhaust your administrative remedies before proceeding to court, which means you have to follow the appeals process and appeal the denial of the waiver through that process first. You are going to have to provide documentation from his doctor regarding his limitations and the accommodation that he requires along with a letter from the local team he was playing with explaining that he is qualified to play at the lower level and why he cannot make it playing in the age appropriate level. Along with that documentation you need to be specific in your appeal letter regarding his entitlement to reasonable accommodation under the ADA based on his disability.

If the appeal is denied, then you are entitled to proceed to court with a suit for denial of his rights pursuant to the ADA.

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