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Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 states that:
No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States … shall, solely by reason of … disability, be denied the benefits of, be excluded from participation in, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.
A “person with a disability” includes “any person who:
A “qualified person with a disability” is defined as one who meets the requisite academic and technical standards required for admission or participation in the post-secondary institution’s programs and activities.
Section 504 protects the civil rights of individuals who are qualified to participate and who have disabilities such as, but not limited to, the following:
Colleges and universities receiving federal financial assistance must not discriminate in the recruitment, admission, or treatment of students. Students with documented disabilities may request modifications, accommodations, or auxiliary aids which will enable them to participate in and benefit from all post-secondary educational programs and activities.
Post-secondary institutions must make such changes to ensure that the academic program is accessible to the greatest extent possible by all students with disabilities.
Under the provisions of Section 504, universities and colleges may not:
For college students with disabilities, academic adjustments may include adaptations in the way specific courses are conducted, the use of auxiliary equipment and support staff, and modifications in academic requirements. A college or university has the flexibility to select the specific aid or service it provides, as long as it is effective. Such aids or services should be selected in consultation with the student who will use them.
Modifications may include:
This section is derived from the pamphlet, “Section 504: The Law and Its Impact on Post-secondary Education”, Association on Higher Education and Disability, Columbus, Ohio; 2011.
Gallaudet University, chartered in 1864, is a private university for deaf and hard of hearing students.
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