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Federal Laws for Students with Disabilities

Several federal laws address accessibility and protect the rights of persons with disabilities. These include the following:

  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (1973) requires all employers and organizations receiving federal assistance including most universities to provide people with disabilities equal access to information, programs, activities, and services.
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (1990) applies the same general principle as Section 504 equal opportunity to participate in programs and services but extends the reach to private organizations and any state or local entities not covered under Section 504.
  • The 1998 Amendment to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act does not directly apply to universities, but it does mandate specific conditions for Internet and Web accessibility that are used as guidelines in designing and creating federal agency Web sites.
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