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What is a Disability?

What is a Disability?

A disability under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, is described as a mental, or physical impairment that substantially limits a major life activity.  Examples of impairments that can have a substantial impact on a major life function are visual impairments and blindness, hearing impairment and deafness, mobility impairment, learning disabilities, or systemic medical conditions.

The definition of a disability and criteria for establishing eligibility for accommodations services under 504 and ADA for post secondary institutions may be different than the definitions and criteria implemented in the public schools, rehabilitation programs, social security, Veterans Administration, or as covered under insurance policies.

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Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act:

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 the participation in, or be subject to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance."

A person with a disability includes  …"any person who (1) has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities [including walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, caring for oneself, and performing manual tasks], (2) has a record of such an impairment, or (3) is regarded has having such an impairment."

A "qualified person with a disability" is defined as one …"who meets the academic and technical standards as requisite to admission or participation in the educational program or activity."

Monday, September 15, 2014 08:00:53 AM