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DISABILITY LEGISLATION

Legal Issues

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ( ADA ) prohibit discrimination against individuals with disabilities.

According to these laws, no otherwise qualified individual with a disability shall, solely by reason of his/her disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity of a public entity.

"Qualified" with respect to post-secondary educational services, means "a person who meets the academic and technical standards requisite to admission or participation in the education program or activity, with or without reasonable modifications to rules, policies or practices; the removal of architectural, communication or transportation barriers; or the provision of auxiliary aids and services."

"Person with a disability" means "any person who 1) has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities [including walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working], 2) has a record of such an impairment, or 3) is regarded as having such an impairment."

Disabilities covered by legislation include (but are not limited to) AIDS, Cancer, Cerebral Palsy, Diabetes, Epilepsy, head injuries, hearing impairments, specific learning disabilities, loss of limbs, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, psychiatric disorders, speech impairments, spinal cord injuries, and visual impairments. 

Related Links

The Department of Justice Americans with Disabilities Act Home Page - The Department of Justice provides information, technical assistance, and publications on the accommodations provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Go to www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada .

ADA Document Center - The ADA Document Center has an exhaustive amount of resources, publications, and information on all aspects of the ADA . Go to http://www.jan.wvu.edu/links/adalinks.htm .

The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board - The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board provides information, publications, and technical assistance for the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines. Go to www.access-board.gov .

DisabilityInfo.gov - This easy-to-use Web portal is a directory of government Web links relevant to people with disabilities, their families, employers, service providers and other community members. Go to http://www.disability.gov .