IHCD's Inclusive Sports Initiative Celebrates the ECAC's Historic Decision to Add Varsity Sports Opportunities for Student-Athletes with Disabilities

Date: 
Jan 28, 2015

On January 15, 2015, the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Board of Directors adopted an inclusive sport strategy that will provide new intercollegiate athletic opportunities for student-athletes with a variety of disabilities attending ECAC member colleges and universities in Division I, II and III. By taking this pioneering action, the ECAC becomes the first NCAA sanctioned conference to provide a range of options for students with disabilities to realize their dreams of competing as intercollegiate varsity athletes.

"Momentum for a big idea depends upon leaders to embrace it as their own.  The commitment to inclusive sport by ECAC's Board of Directors kicks off a new normal in collegiate sports that we hope to see replicated across the nation."
- Valerie Fletcher, Executive Director, Institute for Human Centered Design.

"Congratulations and thank you to the ECAC Board of Directors for your leadership and vision for the full inclusion and integration of students with disabilities into the intercollegiate athletics environment and for creating the platform for students with disabilities who wish to pursue a dream of becoming varsity student-athletes."
- Eli A. Wolff, Director, Inclusive Sports Initiative, Institute for Human Centered Design 

"It was an honor to work together with the ECAC to embrace the full spectrum of inclusion and a universal design approach. Many individuals and organizations contributed along the way to get to this landmark moment. It takes a committed and dedicated team to collaborate and work closely together to facilitate change."   
- Dr. Ted Fay, Senior Research Fellow, Inclusive Sports Initiative, Institute for Human Centered Design  

"The ECAC's bold step makes a positive statement for inclusion in intercollegiate athletics by opening the door for student-athletes with disabilities to compete on a varsity level. We appreciate the conference Board of Directors' leadership and support and look forward to watching the implementation of this new policy as it leads to increased opportunities for people with disabilities in sport." 
- Dr. Mary Hums, Senior Research Fellow, Inclusive Sports Initiative, Institute for Human Centered Design 

“The ECAC’s decision to act on inclusion is a monumental moment in sport. We have witnessed these great moments in time for others when they were offered inclusion into athletic competition with open arms, and this is the time for athletes with disabilities. Soon, student-athletes with disabilities will be able to compete for their respective schools and showcase their abilities to a broader audience. Soon, young aspiring athletes with disabilities will be able to see role models competing at the intercollegiate level and say, ‘I want to be like her.’ All of this is possible because of the ECAC’s courageous decision to be a leader in inclusion for intercollegiate athletics.”
- Dr. Joshua R. Pate, Research Fellow, Inclusive Sports Initiative, Institute for Human Centered Design 

"The ECAC's inclusive stance is exciting and historic. As an athlete with a disability, though no longer a student myself, this is a tremendous actionable step towards helping to make our nation more inclusive. While I wish I was still a student-athlete some days, it is rewarding to see the new opportunities that will now exist for new generations of student-athletes with disabilities to compete at the varsity level. Thank you to the ECAC for emerging as a true leader for inclusion." 
- Dr. Anjali Forber-Pratt, Research Fellow, Inclusive Sports Initiative, Institute for Human Centered Design 

"The ECAC’s actions have provided an outlet for outstanding student athletes to receive the recognition their hard work, training, and commitment to being excellent student athletes deserves. This decision serves all students interests and guarantees more acceptance of students with disabilities at our Universities and in our field houses. I personally look forward to seeing these efforts advance and appreciate the ECACs leadership."
- Dr. Michael Cottingham, Research Fellow, Inclusive Sports Initiative, Institute for Human Centered Design 

ECAC Board of Directors Cast Historic Vote for Student-Athletes with Disabilities

 

ECAC Inclusive Sports Celebration!

Tuesday, February 3 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Institute for Human Centered Design
200 Portland Street Boston, MA 02114
Come join us at the Institute for Human Centered Design for an informal gathering to celebrate the historic decision by the ECAC to add varsity sports opportunities for student-athletes with disabilities!