U.S. Disability Policies

Introduction to Disability Policies - Education
As mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1975 (IDEA), and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 students with a documented disability must be allowed to receive services to augment their education.  This includes classroom and outside services such as social groups, support services, counseling, and even mentoring services.

Section 504 and IDEA are for children from ages 5 - 21 in primary and secondary education.  It is the ADA that requires the provision of accommodations to post-secondary students with disabilities.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Section 504 is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities.  Section 504 ensures that the child with a disability has equal access to an education in which the child may receive accommodations and modifications.  Section 504 turned into the law IDEA in 1975.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1975 (IDEA)
IDEA is the U.S.’s special education law.  IDEA was originally enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1975 to ensure that children with disabilities had the opportunity to receive a free appropriate public education, just as all U.S. children.  The law has been revised numerous times over the years with the most recent amendments being passed by the U.S. Congress in December of 2004.

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)
The ADA ensures civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion.  The ADA guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications.


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