Commend Governor for Affording Rights to Student Athletes with Disabilities


Target: Illinois Governor Pat Quinn

Goal: Applaud Governor Pat Quinn for allowing student athletes with disabilities to be excused from physical education classes

In Chicago, student athletes can opt out of gym class. This privilege was not extended to student athletes with disabilities up until recently when Illinois governor Pat Quinn signed a bill that affords disabled student athletes the same right. Now, as long as these students can provide proof that they participate in organized sports outside of school, they can be excused from physical education classes.

An Illinois high school student with cerebral palsy, Tyler Woodworth, inspired the passing of the bill. Previously, Woodworth was not allowed to opt out of gym class despite playing sled hockey, a form of ice hockey that caters to athletes with disabilities, outside of school. Woodworth wanted to opt out of gym class to take a computer design course. Now, due to the governor passing the new bill, all student athletes have the option of taking extra classes instead of participating in gym class.

“People with disabilities who participate in adaptive sports should be given the same consideration as all other athletes,” said Governor Quinn. Sign the petition to thank Governor Pat Quinn for giving young student athletes with disabilities more academic flexibility, which will allow them to focus more of their learning time on classes they need to prepare them for college and a career.


Dear Governor Pat Quinn,

Recently, you passed a bill that will give student athletes with disabilities the same right as their non-disabled student athlete peers to opt out of gym class. By doing so, you are sending an important message that Illinois does not discriminate against student athletes with disabilities.

Tyler Woodworth, a student athlete with cerebral palsy, inspired the bill. He was previously not given permission to opt out of gym class to take a computer design course even though he plays sled hockey outside of school. Upon hearing that you have passed the bill, he was described as being very happy and excited about the new rule. We want to thank you for making many students in your state happy and excited to take college preparatory classes instead of attending gym classes.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Center for Neighborhood Technology via Flickr

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