The Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides a clear and comprehensive mandate to ban discrimination against individuals with disabilities. The act has had a powerful impact on schools in that it strengthens “the least restrictive environment” principle and creates greater opportunities for a child’s inclusion in schools and the community.

42 U.S.C. Section 12132: Discrimination

Subject to the provisions of this subchapter, no qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs or activities of a public entity, or be subjected to discrimination by any such entity.

Enforcing Rights Under Section 504 and the ADA

For disagreements over a Section 504 issue or an ADA violation:

  • Make every attempt to resolve any differences within the school building. Follow-up all discussions with a written letter to confirm your understanding of the outcome.

  • If concerns continue, contact the Director of Special Services to help mediate the situation.

  • File a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Education.

  • As a final alternative, seek enforcement of Section 504 and ADA through court action. This should be the last option.


How to Be an Effective Advocate for Your Child

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