Legislation for Individual with Disabilities

(Olguin, 2005)


Public Law 93-112, Rehabilitation Act of 1973

First major legislative act to protect the civil rights of individuals with disabilities. Purpose was to prevent discrimination in a variety of public settings (employment, transportation and education). This law is limited to programs (not buildings) that receive federal funding. No one shall be excluded from participation, denied benefits, or subject to discrimination. Section 504 was the final passage within the Rehabilitation Act and indicates Free Appropriate Public Education/Equal opportunities to children and adolescents with disabilities. Section 508 is the Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities.



Public Law 94-142, Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975

In order to receive federal funding, states must provide: free and appropriate education, parental involvement in IEP, due process for parents to challenge and appeal educational decisions, and education in the least restrictive environment. Education of the Handicapped Act Amendments of 1983 (Public Law 98-199), Congress amended, or changed, the law to expand incentives for preschool special education programs, early intervention, and transition programs.



Public Law 98-524, The Vocational Educational Act of 1984

Referred to as the Carl D. Perkins Act, or the Perkins Act, and authorizes Federal funds to support vocational education programs. One of the goals of the Perkins Act is to improve the access of those who either have been underserved in the past or who have greater-than-average educational needs. Under the Act, special needs students include those who have a disability, are disadvantaged, or have limited English proficiency. This law is particularly important because it requires that vocational education be provided for students with disabilities. It was reauthorized as the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-392).



Public Law 95-602 (Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act), Rehabilitation, Comprehensive Services, and Developmental Disabilities Amendments of 1978

Amended section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to prohibit discrimination on the basis of handicap in programs or activities conducted by Executive agencies or the United States Postal Service. Individuals responsible for the education and care of individuals with Developmental Disabilities (5 years or older) must serve as advocates to move individuals towards independence, productivity and integration into communities. Assistance can be received until age 22, likely to continue indefinitely. To empower individuals with disabilities to maximize employment, economic self-sufficiency, independence, and inclusion and integration into society, through comprehensive and coordinated state-of-the-art programs of vocational rehabilitation; independent living centers and services; research; training; demonstration projects; guarantee equal opportunity; and the Federal Government plays a leadership role in promoting the employment is individuals with disabilities, especially those with severe disabilities.



Public Law 101-476

Education of the Handicapped Act Amendments of 1990 were signed into law. This law resulted in some significant changes. For example, the name of the law, the Education of the Handicapped Act was changed to Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 1990. Many of the discretionary programs authorized under the law have been expanded. Some new discretionary programs, including special programs on transition, a new program to improve services for children and youth with serious emotional disturbance, and a research and information dissemination program on attention deficit disorder were created. In addition, the law now includes transition services and assistive technology services as new definitions of special education services which must be included in a child's or youth's IEP. Also, rehabilitation counseling and social work services are included as related services under the law. Finally, the services and rights under this law are expanded to more fully include children with autism and traumatic brain injury.



Public Law 102-119, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Amendments of 1991 was signed into law. This law reauthorized the Part H program and amended definition of children with disabilities to allow states to provide services to 3-5 year olds who are experiencing developmental delays. Also, the law required states to plan for transition of children from Part H to preschool programs. This amendment also added vision services, assistive technology and services, and transportation to the definition of early intervention services. The legislation amended language to support early intervention in integrated settings.



Public Law 90 480, Architectural Barriers Act of 1968

This legislation requires that certain Federally owned, leased, or funded buildings and facilities be accessible to individuals with physical disabilities.



Public Law 93-380, The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974

This law gives parents of students under the age of 18, and students age 18 and over, the right to examine records kept in the student's personal file.



Public Law 99-372, The Handicapped Children's Protection Act of 1986

This law provides for reasonable attorneys fees and costs to parents and guardians who prevail in administrative hearings or court when there is a dispute with a school system concerning their child's right to free appropriate special education and related services.



Public Law 99 401, Temporary Child Care for Handicapped Children and Crisis Nurseries Act of 1986

This law is actually part of a larger Federal law, the Children's Justice Act. Title II of this law includes provisions to fund temporary child care (e.g., respite care) for children who have a disability or chronic illness and crisis nurseries for children at risk of abuse or neglect.



Public Law 101-336, The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990

The ADA, based on the concepts of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in employment, public accommodation, transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications. It is the most significant Federal law assuring the full civil rights of all individuals with disabilities. http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/adahom1.htm