Section 504 is civil rights legislation for persons with disabilities. It prohibits discrimination against individuals who meet the definition of disability in the act, and it is applied to entities that receive federal funding. The primary objective of Congress in enacting Section 504 was to "honor the requirements of 'simple justice ' by ensuring that federal funds not be expended in a discriminatory fashion & quot. Section 504 is a relatively simple part of the Rehabilitation Act. Section 504 states,
No otherwise qualified individual with a disability ... shall solely by reason of her or his disability be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.
Schools must afford students with disabilities with equal opportunities "to obtain the same result, to gain the same benefit, or to reach the same level of achievement" as students without disabilities. Section 504 applies only to entities that receive federal funds. Most public schools receive substantial federal funds through their participation in various federally supported activities, and as a result, they must comply with the provisions of Section 504.
Like Section 504, the ADA is civil rights legislation for individuals wi...
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...ans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. As a practical matter for schools, that means no a priori policies can be adopted consigning pupils who have, have had, or have been thought to have a certain “type” of disability to a certain “type” of program. It means pupils with impairments affecting major life functions cannot be deprived of access to learning opportunities by architectural or attitudinal barriers, and that all pedagogical decisions, including placement, must be based on individual, rather than categorical, considerations. This legal protection from discrimination also affects pupils who have disabilities but who have not been found eligible for special education (including many with special health care needs, such as asthma, sickle cell disease, and HIV/AIDS) as well as those who are eligible for special education (Cushner, McClelland & Safford, 2012).
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