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Disability Laws and Regulations

The Civil Rights Act of 1964

This act made discrimination based on race, religion, sex or national origin illegal.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

This act said that no otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States shall solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefit of or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal Financial assistance or under any program or activity conducted by any Executive agency or the U.S. Postal Service.

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

The language of the ADA was based on Section 504. It prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, State and local government, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation and telecommunication.

The Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act of 2008:

The ADAAA was passed in response to a number of decisions by the Supreme Court that interpreted the original text of the ADA. Congress felt that the courts were moving away from the anti-discrimination spirit of the ADA and, based on their rulings, eroding the law to be more focused on individuals needing to prove their membership in this protected class under civil rights law. The ADAAA changed the language of the ADA in a way that nullified those previous court rulings and attempted to return the emphasis to individuals with disabilities.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

First passed in 1975, the purpose of this act is to ensure children with disabilities have the opportunity to receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE), just like other children. Individuals from birth through 21 or until the end of their secondary education are covered.