Introduction of Section 504
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 - Simply States:
"No otherwise qualified handicapped individual in the United States...shall, solely by reason of his handicap, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance."
Three federal laws have had a significant impact on the ways in which school districts address the rights and needs of individuals with disabilities. They are Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).
In 1973, the Vocational Rehabilitation Act was signed into law. As part of the act, Section 504 provided that individuals cannot be discriminated against solely on the basis of their disabilities. Section 504 became the first federal civil rights law to protect the rights of persons with disabilities. The law protects every school-aged child who meets the broad definition of a person with a disability, i.e., (1) has , or (2) has had a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity, or (3) is regarded as disabled by others. Major life activities include walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, caring, for oneself, and performing manual tasks.
ADA (Title II) vs. Section 504
For information please contact the Section 504 Liaison at your school.
Further information can be obtained by contacting:
Director, Psychological Services
600 SE Third Avenue, 5th Floor
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301