IHSA Files Lawsuit to Clarify Policies for Student Athletes With Disabilities

After receiving repeated threats of legal action from representatives for the Illinois Attorney General, the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) has filed for declaratory judgment against the Illinois Attorney General.

The complaint seeks judicial direction regarding opportunities for student athletes with disabilities in state championships. IHSA’s filing in McLean County Circuit Court indicates that the Illinois Attorney General threatened action if IHSA refused to create separate events for students with disabilities at IHSA state championship track and field events, although the Illinois Attorney General has not filed any specific violation of any specific law.

"We are simply asking the court to provide us further guidance as we continue to champion the rights of student athletes with disabilities," said Marty Hickman, executive director of the IHSA. "We always have promoted opportunities for student athletes with disabilities, making accommodations upon request in a number of events."

According to Hickman, the lawsuit is not meant to limit the IHSA's provision of events for students with disabilities but rather to clarify state and federal law to ensure that the IHSA is in compliance.