When the Americans With Disabilities Act was passed 25 years ago, many people may have assumed that the law was written only to protect the rights of people with physical disabilities.
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The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that reasonable accommodation be provided, if necessary, for all people with disabilities, whether hidden or visible.
Reasonable accommodations must be determined on a case-by-case basis and can range from making facilities accessible for wheelchairs to job restructuring or modifying equipment.
Section 504 protects the rights not only of individuals with visible disabilities but also those with disabilities that may not be apparent. shall, solely by reason of her or his handicap, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance...." The U. Department of Education (ED) enforces Section 504 in programs and activities that receive financial assistance from ED.
Section 504 provides that: "No otherwise qualified individual with handicaps in the United States . Recipients of this assistance include public school districts, institutions of higher education, and other state and local education agencies.
Yet despite an aging population and a looming labour skills shortage, this significant talent pool is being overlooked.
The evidence gathered from our consultations with Canadian private sector companies and existing research has convinced us that there is a business case for employing people with disabilities.(The addresses and telephone numbers of the OCR regional offices are included at the back of this pamphlet.) This pamphlet answers the following questions about the civil rights of students with hidden disabilities and the responsibilities of ED recipients: DISABILITIES COVERED UNDER SECTION 504 The ED Section 504 regulation defines an "individual with handicaps" as any person who (i) has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities, (ii) has a record of such an impairment, or (iii) is regarded as having such an impairment.The regulation further defines a physical or mental impairment as (A) any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological; musculoskeletal; special sense organs; respiratory, including speech organs; cardiovascular; reproductive; digestive; genitourinary; hemic and lymphatic; skin; and endocrine; or (B) any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities.ED maintains an Office for Civil Rights (OCR), with ten regional offices and a headquarters office in Washington, D.C., to enforce Section 504 and other civil rights laws that pertain to recipients of ED funds.We must find ways to engage with and employ these individuals so we can benefit from their education and skills.