Disabled students gain equal access to athletics

Gov. Chris Christie is scheduled to sign a bill Thursday that requires public schools to ensure that disabled students can try out for and participate in mainstream athletics.

The bill instructs New Jersey school districts to work with disabled students, families and community advocates to identify opportunities for participation in phys ed and extracurricular sports.

The legislation was sponsored by Senate President Stephen Sweeney, who first ran for office after his daughter, Lauren, was born with Down syndrome.

The 21-year-old soccer player is competing in the Special Olympics, which are being held throughout Mercer County this week.

Sweeney says the events show that those with different abilities deserve opportunities to compete in athletics.

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