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.

BRINGING KNOWLEDGE TO THE TABLE

How to Be an Effective Advocate for Your Child

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