Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
Inspiring students, one robot at a time.

Single Team Judging and the ADA

Alec Miller (Event Partner)

In this response you indicated that teams cannot receive credit for teamwork during an interview if they are a single-member team. If a participant is on a single person team and believes that being on a single-member is a reasonable accommodation under the ADA, what actions should be taken by all involved? To give an example that immediately comes to mind, I can imagine there may be students on the autism spectrum who use robotics as an opportunity to work on their interpersonal skills, but who would still find it difficult to be on a team with other students.

To summarize my concerns If single person teams are penalized, then I think it's entirely possible that that may be argued to be discrimination based on disability, especially if the student can point to alternative methods of demonstrating "teamwork," e.g. collaboration with other teams online. If there is an accommodation process, and the team still does not win the award, I would still be concerned that discrimination could be argued. If there is an accommodation process and the team does win the award, my concern is that this would create drama about a team winning that "shouldn't" have because they were a single person team, and obviously details of the ADA accommodation and details of judging in general should not be disclosed.

Guidance on how to approach this issue both as an EP/judge as well as for any teams that feel this would apply to them would be appreciated.

Answered by Competition Judging Committee

The REC Foundation supports the ADA in all areas of our programs. Mentors requiring an ADA accommodation for a team member should contact their REC Team Engagement Manager for directions on how to submit an accommodation request. Details of ADA accommodation requests received by the REC Foundation and accommodations made are confidential matters that are not open to discussion on a public forum. This is to protect the rights of the individual requesting the accommodation.