Eliminating Barriers to Educational Programs and Services

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973—Public Law 93-112 of the Social Security Act—is a comprehensive law that addresses the rights of handicapped persons and applies to all agencies receiving federal financial assistance. It applies to a variety of agencies and organizations including preschool, elementary, middle, secondary, vocational, and post-secondary educational programs. Compliance with Section 504 eradicates discrimination against individuals with disabilities while opening doors to a broader range of opportunities for them.

Eliminating barriers to educational programs and services, increasing building accessibility, and establishing equitable employment practices are thoroughly and specifically addressed in Section 504 regulations. The law is based on the same principles underlying the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, and national origin) and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (which prohibits discrimination based on sex).

Section 504 states:

No otherwise qualified handicapped individual … shall, solely by reason of his/her handicap, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 prohibit discrimination against handicapped (disabled) persons. All federal, state, and local governments, as well as all public and private schools, are required to fully implement these laws in order to protect the rights of all qualified individuals.

For further information regarding Section 504 eligibility and accommodations for students, please contact the Office of Section 504/ADA Services for Students at 678.676.1980.