Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act is a law that protects persons with disabilities against discrimination. When a covered institution violates this law, qualified individuals can file Section 504 lawsuits against the covered entity.
Below, we take a look at examples of Section 504 lawsuits and the settlements made by the groups and individuals involved.
Recently the US Senate held a congressional hearing on legislation to improve access to the Internet and other technologies for blind and deaf individuals. In the US House of Representatives, the Committee
on Energy and Commerce held a hearing on their version of this legislation called the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, by updating
the statutory provisions found in the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Hearing Aid Compatibility Act of 1988, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990,
the Television Decoder Circuitry Act of 1990 and the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
Committee Chairman, Henry Waxman, said that that this hearing was ‘the first step in a process to ensure that Americans with disabilities can more fully
participate in our evolving Internet-based society.” Chairman Waxman stated that he wanted the hearing “to outline and clarify where agreement exists …
and where some adjustment may be necessary.”
Section 504 is the more commonly used term for Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. It is a national law that defines the rights of persons with disabilities. Section 504 aims to eliminate discrimination on the basis of disability.
Section 504 applies to institutions such as public schools, colleges, and organizations providing vocational programs. It covers public services and government agencies. Section 504 also covers employers as well as private schools and agencies that receive federal funding or support.
Often times we hear the phrase "Section 508" in connection with accessibility or disabilities. In this article I would like to briefly explain what it is, who should pay attention to it, provide some information about compliance, and the Future of Section 508. At the end of the article you will find links if you are looking for further information.