Cerebral Palsy and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973Cerebral PalsyCerebral PalsyCerebral PalsyCerebral Palsy

The Rehabilitation Act (Public Law 93-112, Section 504) is a civil rights law protecting the rights of individuals with disabilities. Section 504 0f the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 goes on to ban discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in federally funded programs. The law states that “No otherwise qualified individual with handicaps in the United States… shall, solely by reason of his handicap, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance…”

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy

An “individual with handicaps” is any person who has a physical or mental disability that significantly reduces one or more of that person’s “major life activities,” which are defined as: “caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning and working.” The U.S. Supreme Court has determined that an “otherwise qualified” handicapped individual is one who is “able to meet all of a program’s requirements in spite of his handicap.” Programs or activities that receive federal funds are required to make reasonable accommodation to allow for the involvement of otherwise qualified people with disabilities. This includes programs such as: education of handicapped children programs, vocational programs, public and private day care centers, preschool programs, public and private elementary schools, public and private adult programs, public and private colleges, or any program or activity receiving federal funds.

 Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act has been utilized as an aid to enforce the right of disabled children to be integrated in their school district, to contest placement decisions, and to assert the right to special education services for children who do not qualify for services under IDEA. Even if a child’s level of functionality disqualifies him or her from services under IDEA, his or her right to services may be enforceable under Section 504. This may be significant for parents of high functioning cerebral palsied children who may somehow not be eligible for services under IDEA. Every local education agency is obliged to have a Section 504 Coordinator to answer any questions that you as a parent of a child with a disability may have. As with other legal issues, you should consult a qualified lawyer to explore claims under Section 504. Section 504 allows for the retrieval of reasonable attorney’s fees if you succeed in your claim.

 The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 was amended to reflect the philosophy and service needs of the 1990's. The amendments call for provisions for training, equipment, and other services that people with disabilities may need in order to work and live independently in their communities. The Rehabilitation Act states that: "Disability is a natural part of human experience and in no way diminishes the right of individuals to: live independently; enjoy self-determination; make choices; contribute to society; pursue meaningful careers; enjoy full inclusion and integration in the economic, political, social, cultural, and educational mainstream of American society."

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