Jonathan Hart

Runner with Cerebral Palsy Gets Lapped in Court

An Illinois high school senior is fighting to make his lifelong dream a reality, but this track star has one major hurdle to jump over. Aaron Holzmueller, of Evanston Township High School, is challenging the Illinois High School Association upon its decision to not implement a category that would allow para-ambulatory runners, or those with disabilities who do not use wheelchairs, to compete in the state meet, as they have in swimming and even track for athletes in wheelchairs.


Other states have adopted qualifying standards for the same population, but Illinois says it could open a Pandora’s box. If they allow there to be a division for para-ambulatory runners, then other conditions would have precedent to create their own division. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agrees with the state association. “Simply put, the qualifying times ensure that the state championship meet is reserved for the best and fastest runners in Illinois,” the court wrote. “The odds are overwhelming that runners like [Holzmueller] would not meet the qualifying times even if they were not disabled.”

Illana Rovner, the lone dissenter on the panel of three, argued that the same concept is applicable to the female competitors, as they don’t ask to compete for the same championship as males, but have their own separate category. “If such a female athlete filed a lawsuit seeking to have a separate category for female runners with different qualifying times, she would not have been asking to be guaranteed a spot in the state finals, but rather she would be asking to have the same opportunity to participate as her male peers,” she wrote.

Two of the IHSA’s core beliefs are that “each individual is important” and “respect, appreciation, and acceptance of diversity.” Unfortunately for this athlete, it seems those covenants need not apply to this situation. Executive Director of IHSA Craig Anderson noted in a statement that member schools should request new competitive categories, as the association is committed to inclusion.

Even though the case didn’t go in Holzmueller’s favor, the ruling does not impede the IHSA from considering implementing such divisions in the future. It simply means member schools will have to be the ones to decide. The family is considering future appeals based on the strength of the dissent that Rovner provided. Sadly, even if the appeal succeeds, it will come after this year’s competition for Hollzmueller.

“I want the opportunity to compete,” Holzmueller said, according to the Chicago Tribune. “I want someone else to have that opportunity, even if I’m not the one.”

Read more news @ DiversityInc.com

Latest News

What Friends Tell Friends: Choose Kaiser Permanente

Originally published on about.kaiserpermanente.org. Integrated, nonprofit health plan tops NICE Satmetrix customer experience benchmark study for 10th straight year. For the 10th year in a row, more people would recommend Kaiser Permanente to a friend or colleague than any other health plan in the nation, according to the recently released…

Cesar Conde

NBCUniversal Sets Ambitious 50% Diversity Goal for Women, People of Color

Cesar Conde, chairman at NBCUniversal News Group, announced a groundbreaking goal to have a 50% diverse workforce at NBCUniversal, according to Deadline. Conde, the first Latino in this role, outlined his plans in an internal video for employees on Wednesday. The ultimate goal is for NBCUniversal, No. 7 on DiversityInc’s 2020…

Mastercard Expands ShopOpenings.com to the U.S. & Canada, Delivering a Search Tool That Identifies What Stores Near You Are Open for Business

Originally published on mastercardcontentexchange.com. Search solution complements new Digital Acceleration for Small Business global initiative which helps small businesses advance digitally and drive online commerce As businesses seek to draw customers back both in store and online, Mastercard is introducing new tools to support them. Today, Mastercard announced the geographic…

TIAA Launches Programs to Raise Awareness of Racial Injustice and Support Communities in Need through the “Be The Change” Initiative

On June 30, TIAA announced new virtual programs designed to raise awareness of racial injustice and support communities in need as a part of the company’s recently launched “Be the Change” initiative. One is TIAA’s “Race Against Racism,” an effort in support of The Innocence Project which included more than…

Stop TB Partnership and Johnson & Johnson, with support from USAID and The Global Fund, Announce Price Reduction for SIRTURO® (bedaquiline) for Treatment of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

Originally published on jnj.com. Joint efforts aim to accelerate scale-up of WHO-recommended all-oral treatment regimens – a transition urgently needed to help protect the health of people with drug resistant-tuberculosis who are particularly vulnerable during COVID-19 pandemic In 2020, the initiative aims to reach at least 125,000 patients and could…

Toyota, Alabama A&M and Huntsville Hospital Collaborate to Make COVID-19 Testing Easier

Originally published on pressroom.toyota.com. $100,000 grant provides free service to the community Alabama A & M University (AAMU), Huntsville Hospital and Toyota are developing a mobile health clinic initiative to provide free COVID-19 testing to underserved communities in Madison County. Launching later this year, the mobile medical clinic program has…

Sanofi and Regeneron Provide Update on Kevzara® (sarilumab) Phase 3 U.S. Trial in COVID-19 Patients

Originally published on sanofi.com. Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: REGN) today announced that the U.S. Phase 3 trial of Kevzara® (sarilumab) 400 mg in COVID-19 patients requiring mechanical ventilation did not meet its primary and key secondary endpoints when Kevzara was added to best supportive care compared to best supportive care alone (placebo)….