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Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

Prior to the enactment of the American with Disabilities Act, the statute that provided the most comprehensive rights to disabled children other than IDEA was the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. This act forbids any entity that receives federal financial funding from discriminating on the basis of disability. The act protects all individuals with physical or mental impairments that substantially limit their major life activities and are regarded as having such impairments. Major life activities under this description include an individual’s ability to care for himself or herself, performance of manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning and working. If an entity, such as a school, violates the provisions of the Rehabilitation Act, the Department of Education will investigate. The most likely remedy for these violations is termination of federal financial assistance to the entity.

Inside Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973