Justice Department settles with Midget Football League

March 21, 2012

At this stage of the game, should tinted visors really be an issue?

The Justice Department stuck its foot in the game to ensure children with disabilities are offered an equal opportunity to play midget football.  This case stems from the Mountain Valley, Pa., Midget Football League’s refusal to allow a seven-year-old boy with ocular albinism from wearing a tinted visor on his helmet while playing football.  The league specifically ruled that though the seven-year-old boy has this serious eye condition, league policy does not allow for tinted visors during game play.

The mother was not satisfied with the league’s explanation, or lack thereof, and filed a complaint under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Ocular albinism is a condition in which a person has little or no pigment in the eyes making for extreme sensitivity to sunlight.  The Justice Department took one look at this case and ruled that the league violated the ADA by failing to make reasonable modifications to its policy to permit the child from wearing a tinted visor.

The ADA requires public accommodations to provide individuals with recognized disabilities equal access. This is a big win for the little league.

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