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Section 504 and the ADA

Section 504 and the ADA

September 2008 | 152 pages | Corwin
A concise legal desk reference to help educators support the rights of individuals with disabilities!This resource provides an expert review of the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and their impact on educational opportunities and access for persons with disabilities. Ideal for administrators, counselors, teachers, and special educators, the book covers: Provisions of Section 504 and the ADA regarding students who participate in educational programs and services Requirements affecting students in public Kû12 schools, private schools, and post-secondary institutionsThe rights of employees with disabilitiesLegal considerations involving parents
About the Authors
1. Introduction: Education and the American Legal System
Key Concepts in This Chapter


Sources of Law


Statutes and Regulations

Common Law

Court Systems

Finding Legal Materials


Exclusionary Practices

Civil Rights Movement

Equal Educational Opportunity Movement

A New Era for Students With Disabilities

The Right to an Appropriate Education Delineated

Landmark Litigation

Other Significant Cases

Legislative Response to PARC and Mills



2. Anti-Discrimination Legislation: An Overview of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans With Disabilities Act
Key Concepts in This Chapter


Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act

Individual With a Disability Defined

Otherwise Qualified Explained

Requirement to Provide Reasonable Accommodations

Application of Section 504 to Parents and Others Who Access a School

Americans With Disabilities Act

ADA's Definition of Individual With a Disability


Five Titles of the ADA

Similarities Between Section 504 and the ADA




3. Students
Key Concepts in This Chapter


Students in Elementary and Secondary Schools

Prohibition Against Discrimination

Definition of Disability

Otherwise Qualified Students With Disabilities

Reasonable Accommodations

Appropriate Education


Testing Accommodations

Undue Burden

Section 504/ADA Service Plans

Students in Non-Public Schools

Admissions Examinations/Standards

Students in Higher Education

Discriminatory Practices Prohibited


Otherwise Qualified Students With Disabilities

Reasonable Accommodations


Recommendations for Practice


4. Employees
Key Concepts in This Chapter


Discrimination Claims

Differential Treatment

Impairments Not Covered

Mitigation of Impairments

Disciplinary Action

Otherwise Qualified Individuals With Disabilities

Essential Job Functions


Failure to Meet Prerequisite Requirements

Poor Performance and Misconduct

Reasonable Accommodations

Accommodating Physical Challenges

Accommodating Disease and Illness


Relief Denied


Recommendations for Practice


5. Parents and the General Public
Key Concepts in This Chapter


Applicable Provisions of Section 504 and the ADA

Public Entities

Public Accommodations

Private Institutions


General Public


Recommendations for Practice


6. Defenses, Immunities, and Remedies
Key Concepts in This Chapter



Eleventh Amendment Immunity

Sovereign Immunity Under Section 504

Sovereign Immunity Under the ADA

Effect on State Agencies and School Boards


Individual Defendants

Attorney Fees

Exhaustion of IDEA Administrative Remedies

Statute of Limitations


Recommendations for Practice


Appendix 1
Appendix 2

"How do you protect the rights of every person who walks into your building? You do it by buying this book and keeping it on your desk as a ready reference manual on how to implement major laws.”

Robert J. Safransky, Adjunct Professor of School Law and American Government
Nova Southeastern University

"Provides comprehensive guidance for administrators, policy makers, and educational officials. The encyclopedic treatment of disability law within the context of these statutes offers readers best practices for ensuring that their actions are consistent with the law, treating students and employees fairly and minimizing potential liability."

Terrence Leas, President
Riverland Community College

"Educators need a source that is written in an easy-to-understand format. This book offers many examples of case law that can be applied to educational settings. It is a wonderful resource that covers a range of topics pertinent to teachers and administrators."

Carol Shiffer, Assistant Principal and 504 Coordinator
Quincy Public Schools, MA

“The most complex civil rights questions of the twenty-first century are those surrounding persons with disabilities. This book simplifies those issues and serves as an excellent starting point for further research. It is essential tool for any school board or university attorney.”

William E. Thro, Former General Counsel
Christopher Newport University

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 1

Charles J. Russo

Charles J. Russo, JD, EdD, is the Joseph Panzer Chair in Education in the School of Education and Allied Professions and adjunct professor in the School of Law at the University of Dayton. He was the 1998–1999 president of the Education Law Association and 2002 recipient of its McGhehey (Achievement) Award. He has authored or coauthored more than 200 articles in peer-reviewed journals; has authored, coauthored, edited, or coedited 40 books; and has in excess of 800 publications. Russo also speaks extensively on issues in education law in the United States and abroad.Along with having spoken in 33 states and 25 nations on 6 continents,... More About Author

Allan G. Osborne, Jr.

Biography Allan G. Osborne, Jr. is the retired principal of the Snug Harbor Community School in Quincy, Massachusetts, a nationally recognized Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. During his 34 years in public education, he served as a special education teacher, a director of special education, an assistant principal, and a principal. He has also served as an adjunct professor of special education and education law at several colleges, including Bridgewater State University and American International University.Osborne earned an EdD in educational leadership from Boston College and an MEd in special education from Fitchburg State College (now... More About Author

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