Disability Laws & Policy

Americans With Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, state and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation. The ADA requires that reasonable accommodations be provided in meeting the needs of individuals with disabilities. Actual text of the law is available at http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/publicat.htm. Additional technical assistance regarding the ADA is available through the ADA Technical Assistance Program.

Assistive Technology Act Of 1998

The Assistive Technology Act of 1998 establishes a grant program, administered by the U.S. Department of Education, to provide Federal funds to support State programs that address the assistive technology needs of individuals with disabilities.

The Rehabilitation Act

The Rehabilitation Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs conducted by Federal agencies, in programs receiving Federal financial assistance, in Federal employment, and in the employment practices of Federal contractors. The standards for determining employment discrimination under the Rehabilitation Act are the same as those used in title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Section 501

Section 501 requires affirmative action and nondiscrimination in employment by Federal agencies of the executive branch. To obtain more information or to file a complaint, employees should contact their agency's Equal Employment Opportunity Office.

Section 504

Section 504 states that "no qualified individual with a disability in the United States shall be excluded from, denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under" any program or activity that either receives Federal financial assistance or is conducted by any Executive agency or the United States Postal Service.

Section 508

Section 508 establishes requirements for electronic and information technology developed, maintained, procured, or used by the Federal government. Section 508 requires Federal electronic and information technology to be accessible to people with disabilities, including employees and members of the public.

Telecommunications Act​

Section 255 and Section 251(a)(2) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended by the Telecommunications Act of 1996, require manufacturers of telecommunications equipment and providers of telecommunications services to ensure that such equipment and services are accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities, if readily achievable. These amendments ensure that people with disabilities will have access to a broad range of products and services such as telephones, cell phones, pagers, call-waiting, and operator services, that were often inaccessible to many users with disabilities.

Presidential Orders

Executive Order 13164
Requiring Federal Agencies To Establish Procedures To Facilitate the Provision of Reasonable Accommodation

Executive Order 13518
Employment of Veterans in the Federal Government

Executive Order 13548
Increasing Federal Employment of Individuals With Disabilities

Executive Order 13583
Establishing a Coordinated Government-wide Initiative to Promote Diversity and Inclusion in the Federal Workforce