The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990
The ADA is a landmark civil rights law for individuals with disabilities. It stipulates that colleges and universities receiving federal assistance must assure that the same educational programs and services offered to other students must be available to students with disabilities. Academic ability must be the sole basis for participation in post-secondary education.
Legal Implications for Higher Education
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the ADA prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. According to these laws, no otherwise qualified individual with a disability will, solely by reason of his/her disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity of a public entity.
“Qualified” with respect to post-secondary educational services means “a person who meets the academic and technical standards prerequisite to admission or participation in the education program or activity with or without reasonable modification to rules, policies or practices and with the removal of architectural or communication barriers or the provision of auxiliary aids and services.”
“Person with a disability” means 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 and working), (2) has a record of such an impairment, or (3) is regarded as having such an impairment