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Indiana Protection & Advocacy Services

IPAS > Assistive and Information Technology > Federal Laws and Regulations for AT and IT Federal Laws and Regulations for AT and IT

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) – Formerly known as the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975, IDEA requires public schools to make a free, appropriate public education available to all eligible children with disabilities in the least restrictive environment suitable for their individual needs.

Rehabilitation Act of 1973 – The Rehabilitation Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs conducted by federal agencies and in programs receiving federal financial assistance.

Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act – Section 501 of this act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in federal employment and requires federal agencies to establish affirmative action plans for the hiring, placement and advancement of people with disabilities in federal employment. Additional information and definitions related to section 501 can be found on the EEOC Web site.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act – Section 504 prohibits discrimination based on disability in federally funded and federally conducted programs or activities in the United States, including employment programs.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Education)

Section 505 of the Rehabilitation Act – Section 505 establishes the enforcement procedures for title V of the Rehabilitation Act. Section 505 (A)(1) provides that the procedures and rights set forth in section 717 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 shall be available with respect to any complaint under section 501. Section 505 (A)(2) provides that the remedies, rights and procedures set forth in title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 shall be available to any person alleging a violation of section 504. Section 508 is also enforced through the procedures established in section 505 (A)(2).

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation ActIn 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act to require Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities. Section 508 was enacted to eliminate barriers in information technology, to make available new opportunities for people with disabilities, and to encourage development of technologies that will help achieve these goals. The law applies to all Federal agencies when they develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology. Under section 508 (29 U.S.C. 794d), agencies must give disabled employees and members of the public access to information that is comparable to the access available to others. See section 508 standards.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) - Prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity for people with disabilities in employment, state and local government services, pubic accommodations, commercial facilities and transportation. The ADA require that reasonable accommodations be provided in meetings the needs of individuals with disabilities. Additional assistance regarding the ADA is available through the ADA Technical Assistance Program.

Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 – Section 255 requires manufacturers of telecommunications equipment and providers of telecommunications services to ensure that such equipment and services are accessible to people with disabilities, if readily achievable. The Federal Communications Commission's Report and Order Implementing section 255 was released in September 1999.

The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board) issued final guidelines for accessibility, usability and compatibility of telecommunications equipment and customer premises equipment covered by section 255 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

Assistive Technology Act of 1998 – The 2004 amendments to the Assistive Technology Act of 1998 supports state efforts to improve the provision of Assistive Technology to individuals with disabilities through comprehensive statewide programs of technology-related assistance for individuals with disabilities of all ages. Additionally, the amendments provide states with financial assistance that supports programs designed to maximize the ability of individuals with disabilities and their family members, guardians, advocates and other authorized representatives to obtain Assistive Technology devices and Assistive Technology services.

Help America Vote Act – The Help America Vote Act requires all polling places to be accessible and mandates that polling places offer at least one voting machine allowing voters with disabilities, including those with visual impairments, to cast their ballots privately and independently.

Fair Housing Act – As amended in 1988, the Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status and national origin. Its coverage includes private housing, housing that receives federal financial assistance and state and local government housing.

Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) – The Architectural Barriers Act requires that buildings and facilities that are designed, constructed, or altered with federal funds, or leased by a federal agency, to comply with federal standards for physical accessibility. ABA requirements are limited to architectural standards in new and altered buildings and in newly leased facilities. They do not address the activities conducted in those buildings and facilities.

Source:Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs

Source:U.S. Department of Justice: A Guide to Disability Rights Laws