Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 states that
"No otherwise qualified person with a disability in the United States...shall, solely by reason of...disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance."
Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act addresses the right of access to public services by individuals with disabilities. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act Handbook (U.S. Department of Justice, 1991), the purpose of Title II is to "prohibit discrimination on the basis of handicap in all services, programs, and activities provided or made available by local or state governments and their affiliate agencies", regardless of whether they receive federal funding.
ADA Title II Applies To
While many public services are covered under ADA Title II the right of equal access to post-secondary education settings is one of the most important.
Title II of the ADA protects individuals with disabilities from being denied the opportunity of participating in post-secondary educational activities. However, it does not require universities to accept or accommodate everyone who has disabilities. Under the ADA, college applicants with disabilities must first:
- Satisfy the standards required by the university or college for all students.
- Be able to perform the "essential course activities" with or without "reasonable accommodations".
Several of key points relating specifically to the rights of students with disabilities in college, university, or technical school settings are examined below: