Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (PL 93-112) Civil rights law that says no individual can be excluded, solely because of his or her disability, from participating in or benefiting from any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance, which includes schools.
Adults and children benefit from Section 504
Students with disabilities who do not qualify for special education under IDEA may qualify under Section 504.
To qualify under Section 504, the disability has to impact a major life function, which includes education.
To meet Section 504 requirements, schools must make “reasonable accommodations” for students with disabilities so that they can participate in educational programs provided to other students.
Under Section 504, students may also receive related services, such as speech/language pathology, occupational or physical therapy, or counseling. :
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA; PL 101-336) (1990, amended 2008)
An anti-discrimination law that ensures that individuals, both adults, and children, with disabilities have access to businesses and other public and private entities. It mandates reasonable accommodations for individuals with special needs.
Those protected by ADA are defined as an individual with a physical or mental disability that substantially limits one or more major life activity.
ADA has two major provisions that affect the education of these students:
-Applies protection to nonsectarian private schools, including preschools.
-Requires public schools to make reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities.
ADA most often applies to make school facilities accessible to students with disabilities, such as by adding ramps, elevators, and other modifications to buildings.
Workforce Investment Partnership Act of 1998 (PL 105-220) (1998)
Seeks to consolidate, coordinate, and improve employment, training, literacy, and vocational rehabilitation programs in the United States.
Assistive Technology Act (PL 105-394) (1998)
Provides federal funding to assistive technology state grant programs that provide information, demonstration centers, and referral services to people with disabilities, allowing access to different types of assistive technology.
Establishes advocacy services for individuals needing legal assistance in obtaining assistive technology services.
Creates a federal/state partnership funding program that provides low-interest loans in order for individuals with disabilities to purchase assistive technology devices.