Overview of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Congress prohibited discrimination against persons with disabilities in the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, in a segment most often referred to simply as "Section 504." This is a broadly worded prohibition that covers both children and adults. The principles enumerated in this section were later expanded and served as the basis for the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Additionally, the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 also amended some definitions of Section 504. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act is a federal civil rights law and prohibits discrimination by school districts receiving federal financial assistance against persons with disabilities. Included in the U.S. Department of Education regulations for Section 504 is the requirement that students with disabilities be provided with a free appropriate public education (FAPE). These regulations require identification, evaluation, provision of appropriate services, and procedural safeguards in every public school in the U.S.