Legal Issues and Policy Development
Information on this page includes links to the full text of important pieces of legislation as well as web sites that provide technical assistance and analysis of important court cases. Please note - the information provided here is not legal advice. For specific questions about the law or situations at your institution, please consult your legal counsel directly.
The full text of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 is available online.
ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG)
This document contains scoping and technical requirements for accessibility to buildings and facilities by individuals with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. These scoping and technical requirements are to be applied during the design, construction, and alteration of buildings and facilities covered by titles II and III of the ADA to the extent required by regulations issued by Federal agencies, including the Department of Justice and the Department of Transportation, under the ADA.
Higher Education Act
The Higher Education Act (HEA) authorizes the major federal student aid programs that are responsible for the majority of financial assistance to postsecondary students. To encourage growth and change, it must be re-approved or "reauthorized" by Congress, generally every five years. In addition to major reauthorization bills, Congress also considers many bills that may directly or indirectly impact the HEA.
Rehabilitation Act Section 504
The full text of The Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1973 is available online.
Rehabilitation Act Section 508
Standards that cover various means of disseminating information, including computers, software, and electronic office equipment. They provide criteria that spell out what makes these products accessible to people with disabilities, including those with vision, hearing, and mobility impairments. The Board developed these standards under section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. The law applies to all Federal agencies when they develop, procure, maintain, or use such technology. New standards provide technical criteria specific to technologies and performance-based requirements, which focus on the functional capabilities of covered technologies--software applications and operating systems; web-based information or applications; telecommunications functions; video or multi-media products; self contained, closed products such as information kiosks and transaction machines, and computers. Also covered is compatibility with adaptive equipment people with disabilities commonly use for information and communication access.
Section 504 FAQ
The Department of Education has put together a comprehensive page describing the role and impact of 504 in protecting the rights of studens with disabilties and answering frequently asked questions.
The Access Board is an independent Federal agency devoted to accessibility for people with disabilities. Created in 1973 to ensure access to federally funded facilities, the Board is now a leading source of information on accessible design. The Board develops and maintains design criteria for the built environment, transit vehicles, telecommunications equipment, and for electronic and information technology. It also provides technical assistance and training on these requirements and on accessible design and continues to enforce accessibility standards that cover federally funded facilities.
ADA Document Center
The ADA Document Center is part of the Job Accommodation Network which is a service of the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) of the U.S. Department of Labor. JAN is one of several ODEP projects. The site features many documents detailing ADA law and enformcement as well as a wealth of additional materials.
AHEAD Legal Page
Compilation of court cases and OCR rulings.
Dept of Justice ADA home page
Provides technical assistance on ADA enforcement and program access as well as ordering information for publications.
Office of Civil Rights (OCR)
The mission of the Office for Civil Rights is to ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence throughout the nation through vigorous enforcement of civil rights. The site provides information on programs and initiatives, rights and responsibilities, office contacts, prevention, reports and resources, a reading room, news, questions and answers.