[Nfbc-info] Fw: Athletic Equity Law

Lisamaria Martinez, NOMC lmartinez217 at gmail.com
Sun Nov 16 16:58:46 UTC 2008

Good Morning,

The email below comes from an athlete who took gold in Beijing with her goalball team. I do believe we passed a resolution to begin communicating with the powers-at-be and to proceed in equalizing the playing field for disabled, particularly blind, athletes.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: Jessie Lorenz 
To: jessie Lorenz 
Sent: Sunday, November 16, 2008 3:35 AM
Subject: Athletic Equity Law

Hello, I am sending this email to you because you were a part of helping to make my dream of a Paralympic gold medal a reality. Thank you for your support
on this journey.  I know that you understand the positive role sports can play in ones life- for I am living proof of this.    

Because I am committed to ensure that the young girl who comes after me has the same opportunities to participate in sports that I had I  recently joined
a coalition of advocates spearheading The California Athletic Equity Law. This is a  piece of state  legislation that would dramatically increase  the
number of opportunities for students with disabilities to participate in sports.    

To learn more or to get involved you can go to:  


I have attached some information on the legislation to this message and have pasted the text of an introductory cover letter below. Please don't hesitate
to contact me should you have any questions or if you'd like to see the proposed text of the bill. We are courting the legislature and would welcome suggestions
on individuals who may be willing to take the lead and author the bill in either the state assembly or the senate.    

Some on this distribution list are not from California- it is still important to be aware of what we're doing out here- so you can learn from our mistakes
and our best practices.   

 All students with disabilities deserve the chance to participate in competitive sport.   

Please join me in spreading the word about this important effort.     

In sport,   

Jessie Lorenz  

"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go."  

T. S. Elliot     

(Begin coverletter)  

California Athletics Equity Law for Students with Disabilities    

Dear Friends and Colleagues,   

We are asking you to join us in our efforts to create the California Athletics Equity Law for Students with Disabilities.  We are a group of disabled athletes,
parents, coaches, educators and friends.   

Our goal is to create system change by promoting legislation in California to ensure that youth with disabilities receive the benefits that come from equal
access to school physical education and athletic programs. This law then could be used as a national model.   

The benefits of youth participating in school sports programs are well documented. Grade-point averages, attendance rates, and graduation rates are higher
for student-athletes, while discipline referrals and dropout rates are lower.  Participating in sports helps to teach the value of hard work, goal setting,
communication and teamwork.  Additionally, participating in sports helps to establish healthy life style habits.    

Unfortunately, the opportunity for students with disabilities to participate in their schools interscholastic sports programs does not exist in California.
Presently, a limited number of kids with disabilities get access to sports through community-based organizations in a few locations in California.  These
organizations offer exciting and challenging athletic opportunities, but operate outside of the school system and can serve only a fraction of the disabled

It is now time to guarantee that all California school children with disabilities receive the same benefits of school sports programs as their non-disabled
peers.  This April, the state of Maryland passed the legislation that we are working on, the first of it’s kind in the country.  Similar efforts are taking
place throughout the country.  Our plan is to build a coalition of support and in the fall of 2008 identify a California legislator to author our bill
for the 2009 session.    

This historic change will not take place unless those of us in the disabled sports movement take a leadership role in this effort. We need help with every
aspect of this effort, from hosting informational get-togethers, recruiting supporters, contacting legislators, testifying at legislative hearings and
contributing financially to support this effort.  Enclosed you will find a draft of the legislation, an information page and a sign-up form.     

Together, we can help bring about this historic change.   


table with 3 columns and 15 rows
Rick Spittler,   

Cheri Blauwet,    

Tim Orr,    

Director, Title IX2   

2008 Paralympic Athlete, Medical Student    

USA National Junior Track & Field and Basketball Coach: 1989-2005     

Jessica Lorenz,    

Chris Finn,   

Jon Newman    

2008 Paralymic Gold Medelist    

Head Coach, USA Power Soccer   

US Power Soccer Association, Western Regional Director     

Dr. Barry Lavay,    

Richie Bennett,   

Jen Howitt     

CSU, Long Beach,   

Kinesiology Department    

Coach, BORP Bay Cruisers   

Wheelchair Basketball   

Paralympic Athlete, Rhodes Scholar     

Lisa Hilborn,    

Trooper Johnson,   

Susan Henderson,    

Rancho Wheelchair Sports Director    

Paralympic Athlete, BORP Youth Sports Coordinator   

Executive Director, Disability Education Rights and Defense Fund     

Tersesa Favuzzi,    

Adam Elix,   

Doug Garner,    

Executive Director, California Foundation For Independent Living Centers    

Therapeutic Specialist, City of San Jose   

National Wheelchair Basketball Association, Junior Division Commissioner     

Dmitri Belser,        

President, Ed Roberts Campus                          
table end  
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