The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 modelled many of its criteria after Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Discrimination against anyone with a mental or physical disability is prohibited under both statutes.
Anything that significantly impairs essential daily activities like walking, seeing or hearing is considered a disability under the statutes. Despite their underlying similarities, the two statutes differ significantly in their scope and application.
- The ADA is a comprehensive civil rights law prohibiting discrimination based on disability, while Section 504 applies specifically to programs receiving federal financial assistance.
- The ADA covers a broader range of entities, including private businesses, while Section 504 is limited to federally funded programs and organizations.
- Both laws mandate reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities, but the ADA provides more extensive protections and applies to various situations.
ADA vs Section 504
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed in 1990 and prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life. Section 504 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance.
Individuals with disabilities are entitled to the same civil rights protections as people of other races, sexes, national origins, and religions under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
It ensures that people with disabilities have equal access to every aspect of society, be it work, transport facility, services provided by the government, accommodation, or any other facility.
Discrimination done based on physical imparity is illegal under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as modified. This statute covers a variety of institutions, including public elementary and secondary schools.
Section 504 may make special education and associated services available to children with disabilities. Because the definition of disability under Section 504 is wider, this is the case.
|Parameters of Comparison||ADA||Section 504|
|Applies on||Entities that receive federal financial support.||Applies to organisations that receive monies from the federal, state, or private sector.|
|Access||Has no direct obligation for ensuring that everyone has access to a free and adequate public education.||Has direct obligation for ensuring that everyone has access to a free and adequate public education.|
|Placement criteria||Does not provide any specific evaluation or placement criteria.||Need a notice and permission for the review process.|
|Enforced by||US Department of Justice.||United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.|
What is ADA?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights statute that safeguards disabled individuals. Regardless of whether or not it gets government assistance, the ADA applies to practically every institution in the United States.
The only two institutions excluded from the ADA are churches and private clubs.
As a result, private schools that are not affiliated with a religious organization must comply with the ADA’s regulations but because they do not receive federal money, they may be excluded from Section 504 requirements.
The ADA was called the Emancipation Proclamation for Individuals with Disabilities in America by the Chicago Tribune after it was approved.
Several titles of the ADA deal with different issues of handicap discrimination. Discrimination in the workplace is prohibited under Title I. State and local governments, including schools, are included under Title II.
Hotels, restaurants, department shops, grocery stores, and banks are among the public facilities targeted by Title III. Entities covered are obligated to provide reasonable adjustments or changes to ensure that people with disabilities have access to products and services in all situations.
The ADA was based on Section 504 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It became legislation in 1990, although most of the clauses did not go into force until 1992.
There are no procedural safeguards for special education in the ADA. However, it goes into depth about the regulatory obligations, complaint procedures, and repercussions for dissent in employment and services.
What is Section 504?
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 protects disabled people’s civil rights. It outlaws discrimination against those who fulfil the act’s criterion of handicap, and it applies to federally funded organizations.
According to Wegner, Congress’ principal goal in adopting Section 504 was to “respect the principles of simple justice by ensuring that government money is not spent in a biased manner.”
The Rehabilitation Act’s Section 504 is straightforward. Equal opportunities should be offered to all students, irrespective of their physical status, to acquire the same outcome, to gain the same benefit, or to achieve the same degree of success.
Only entities that receive federal assistance are covered under Section 504. Because most public schools receive significant federal monies as a consequence of their involvement in different federally funded programs, they must adhere to Section 504’s requirements.
Section 504 was enacted by Congress in 1973. Section 504 requires that parents be notified about the identification, evaluation, and/or placement of their children. It is suggested that a notification or report be inscribed.
Only before a significant change in placement must a report be submitted. Section 504’s two principal goals are to ban disability discrimination and to offer FAPE to K–12 children with disabilities.
Academic accommodations must be made for qualifying students and candidates with disabilities to ensure that academic requirements do not discriminate against such individuals.
Main Differences Between ADA and Section 504
- All the entities that receive federal financial support are eligible for Section 504. The Americans with Disabilities Act, on the other hand, applies to organizations that receive monies from the federal, state, or private sector.
- Unlike Section 504, the ADA has no direct obligation for ensuring that everyone has access to a free and adequate public education.
- The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does not provide any specific evaluation or placement criteria. Section 504 does, however, need notice and permission for the review process.
- Section 504 is enforced by the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. The ADA, on the other hand, is enforced by the US Department of Justice.
- Congress enacted Section 504 in 1973. The Americans with Disabilities Act was enacted in 1990, although most of its provisions did not go into force until 1992.
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Emma Smith holds an MA degree in English from Irvine Valley College. She has been a Journalist since 2002, writing articles on the English language, Sports, and Law. Read more about me on her bio page.