Policies & Standards

Nearly all colleges and institutions have non-discrimination policies consistent with federal civil rights legislation. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability for those institutions who are recipient of federal funding.

"No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States...shall, solely by reason of his or her disability, 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 or under any program or activity conducted by any Executive agency or by the United States Postal Service.”

(From https://www.disability.gov/rehabilitation-act-1973/)

California Community Colleges Accessibility Center

Similarly, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA), as amended in 2010, prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by public entities (Title II).

“No qualified individual with a disability shall, on the basis of disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of a public entity, or be subjected to discrimination by any public entity.”

(From http://www.ada.gov/regs2010/titleII_2010/titleII_2010_regulations.htm)

Together, these laws define the obligations by which an institution is expected to provide equal opportunity to individuals with disabilities and ensure individuals with disabilities are not excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of a public entity.

While both of these laws were originally drafted prior to the advent of electronic and information technology, the Department of Justice and Department of Education jointly issued a Dear Colleague Letter [PDF] affirming the rights of individuals with disabilities as it pertains to the use of technology in higher education.

Learn more about: