The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 modeled 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.
ADA vs Section 504
The main difference between ADA and Section 504 is that the fact that section 504 can only be accessed by one associated with any institution that takes federal monies, the truth is that most post-secondary institutions do. In addition, Section 504 was used to mimic the ADA Title II regulations that impact state-funded schools. The larger 504 or ADA Title II criteria do not apply to private postsecondary schools that do not receive government assistance. These schools are subject to a lesser burden requirement under Title III of the ADA.
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.
Comparison Table Between ADA and Section 504
|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 does go into depth about the regulatory obligations, complaint procedures, and repercussions for dissent in both 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 fulfill 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 the 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 became enacted in 1990, although most of its provisions did not go into force until 1992.
Students and their supporters must learn about their rights and obligations in postsecondary education because, while there are safeguards in place, the student bears far greater responsibility for requesting and designing their adaptations. And this is a continuing obligation.
Many students with disabilities will need solid self-advocacy skills to succeed, and understanding your rights is one of the most important aspects of effective self-advocacy.
Both the ADA and section 504 are laws in the constitution for disabled people that can be assessed by any person fulfilling the criteria of those laws. Although these two may seem almost similar in every aspect, despite that they are having different criteria.
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