What are the laws…

Federal Disability Laws
The chart below shows similarities and differences among the laws that affect students with disabilities. Postsecondary institutions such as colleges and universities must comply with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).

COMPARISON BETWEEN SECTION 504 AND THE ADA:

TOPIC Colleges & Universities SECTION 504 ADA
MISSION PVAMU To establish a “level playing field” and prevent discrimination based on a disability. Strengthens Section 504 and extends coverage to employment, private institutions and other previously unnamed agencies and organizations.
APPLIES TO PVAMU All institutions and programs receiving federal financial assistance. Includes private institutions where students receive federal financial assistance (i.e. colleges and universities receiving federal aid). Public and private education, employment, transportation, accommodations and telecommunications, regardless of whether there is federal funding (i.e., all colleges and universities).
COVERS PVAMU All qualified persons with disabilities regardless of whether they received services in elementary or secondary school. A person is “other wise qualified” if she/he is able to meet the requisite academic and technical standards, with or without accommodations. All qualified persons with disabilities and people without disabilities who are discriminated against because of their relationship with a person with a disability.

Occasionally there is confusion on what constitutes a “qualified individual”.  Someone is considered to be “otherwise qualified” if, with or without reasonable accommodation, they meet the same standards – academic, professional, technical and behavioral standards – as do others.  It means one must meet established criteria (e.g. admissions, course expectations, graduation, and code of conduct).

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