Overview of Relevant Laws
Please visit these pages to learn more about access and disability resources at Wheelock.
Access and Disability Resources
Wheelock Library Building, Suite 205A
Boston, MA 02215
Director: Jennifer Pike
Confidential Fax: 617-879-2163
Note: If content is needed in an alternate format, please contact ADR at firstname.lastname@example.org so that accessible content can be provided.
A student with a disability is entitled to equal access to College services and programs. Two laws protect students with disabilities in post-secondary education.
Section 504 of The Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Section 504, 29 U.S.C. §794, states:
No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States... shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.
Section 504 is a civil rights law. Its purpose is to protect individuals with disabilities from discrimination for reasons related to their disabilities. It specifically applies to any program or activity offered by an institution receiving federal funds.
Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act (2008)
The Americans with Disabilities Act, as it applies to public entities, states:
Section 12132. Discrimination
Subject to the provisions of this subchapter, no qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of a public entity, or be subjected to discrimination by any such entity.
ADA broadened the agencies and businesses that must comply with the non-discrimination and accessibility provisions of the law.
Definition of a Disability
The ADA defines a person with a disability, as an individual who:
- has a physical or mental impairment that "substantially limits . . . one or more . . . major life activities,"
- has a record of such impairment, or
- is regarded as having such an impairment.
Major life activities include reading, learning, writing, performing math calculations, walking, seeing, hearing, and speaking.