Difference Between ADA and Section 504

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: July 16, 2022

       

Difference Between ADA and Section 504 Difference Between ADA and Section 504

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Introduction

Discrimination hits the heart of what it means to be human. Someone's civil liberties are being invaded just because of who they are or what they think. Discrimination is destructive and contributes to inequity. People are often discriminated against based on their religion, race, caste, sexual preferences, abnormal medical conditions, community, physical or mental disability, and so on. Any kind of discrimination is forbidden by the law. The discrimination doesn’t need to be purposeful for it to be illegal.

Discrimination on based only takes place when you are treated unfairly or put at a disadvantage because of your disability. Disables are discriminated against on many levels and in many ways. This is covered under the equality law. 

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 ensure that persons with disabilities in the United States are not discriminated against because of their disability.

Section 504 was enacted by Congress in 1973. Section 504 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 served as the foundation for the ADA. It was signed into law in 1990, although most of the provisions did not take effect until 1992. The Americans with Disabilities Act strengthens Section 504 by expanding it to private institutions, companies, and other previously excluded organizations.

Section 504 vs. ADA

ADA is the extension to section 504; however, Section 504 only applies to the listed entities that receive federal financial support. The Americans with Disabilities Act, on the other hand, covers non-profits that receive funding from the federal, state, or private sector. 

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 are both civil rights laws. The Division for Civil Rights of the United States Department of Education is in charge of enforcing Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The Americans with Disabilities Act, on the other hand, is enforced by the US Department of Justice.

Difference Between Section 504 and Ada in the Tabular Form

Table: Section 504 vs. ADA

Parameter

Section 504

ADA

Year of enactment

Section 504 was enacted in the year 1973 by Congress.

ADA became a law in 1990, however, most of the provisions were enacted post-1992.

Application

Entities that are backed financially by the federal government

Entities that get funding from the federal, state, or private sector.

Enforced by

The US Department of Justice.  

The Directorate for Civil Rights of the US Department of Education

Educational access

Has no direct responsibility for ensuring that all children receive a free and appropriate public education.

Has direct responsibility for ensuring that all children receive a free and appropriate public education.

Evaluation and placement procedures

Do establish evaluation or placement methods.

Does not establish evaluation or placement methods.

Due process

Requires local education agencies to provide impartial hearings for parents who disagree with the identification, evaluation, or placement of a student

There are no explicit due process procedures defined.

What Are Section 504 and ADA?

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 was the first disability civil rights statute in the United States. It outlaws discrimination against people with disabilities. Physically or mentally disabled people in federally funded programs have paved the way for the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Section 504 works in tandem with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to protect children and adults with disabilities from exclusion and inequitable treatment in schools, the workplace, and the community.

Protection is provided to the people with the disabilities:

  • People who have a physical or mental disability that significantly limits one or more key life activities.
  • People who have a history of, or are thought to have, a physical or mental handicap that significantly restricts one or more major life activities.
  • Self-care, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, working, performing manual tasks, and learning are all major life activities.
  • Disabilities that, even with medicine or aids/devices, can significantly hinder major life activities-  AIDS, alcoholism, blindness or a visual impairment, cancer, deafness or hearing impairment, diabetes, drug addiction, heart disease, and mental illness. 

Who are qualified individuals with disabilities?

The following are the conditions that qualify you for disability. If you detect any one out of these mentioned below you are entitled to get benefits under the USA equality act. 

  • Disorders of the muscles and bones (e.g., bone, joint injuries, skeletal spine injuries)
  • Speech and special senses (e.g., visual disorders, blindness)
  • Diseases of the lungs (e.g., chronic bronchitis, emphysema, asthma)
  • Disorders of the cardiovascular system (e.g., chronic heart failure)
  • Gastrointestinal disorders are a group of conditions that affect the digestive system (e.g., inflammatory bowel disease, liver dysfunction)
  • Disorders of the genitourinary system (illnesses involving the urinary and genital organs)
  • Blood-related disorders (illnesses of the blood, blood-forming organs)
  • Disorders of the skin (e.g., dermatitis, burns, chronic skin infections)
  • Endocrine problems (e.g., pituitary gland disorders, thyroid gland disorders)
  • Multiple body systems are affected by congenital diseases.
  • diseases of the nervous system (e.g., epilepsy, benign brain tumors)
  • Disorders of the mind (e.g., bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression)
  • Cancer is an illness that affects people (malignant neoplastic diseases)
  • Immune system malfunctions (e.g., HIV infection, lupus, inflammatory arthritis)

General discriminatory acts that are observed in workplaces-

Section 504 forbids all acts of discrimination against those who are mentally or physically disadvantaged in the workplace. Intentional or unintentional discriminatory acts that are prohibited by the law are as follows:

  • Allowing qualifying individuals to engage in or benefit from federally supported programs, services, or other benefits is prohibited.
  • As a result of physical impediments, deny access to programs, services, benefits, or opportunities to participate.
  • Deny them job chances, such as hiring, promotion, training, and fringe benefits, despite the fact that they are otherwise qualified.

Reasonable Accommodation

A modification or alteration to a job or work environment that allows a qualified candidate or employee with a disability to participate in the application process or execute essential job responsibilities is known as a reasonable accommodation. Adjustments to ensure that a qualified individual with a disability has the same rights and privileges in the workplace as non-disabled employees are also included in reasonable accommodation.

Actions to be taken at workplaces to eliminate disability discrimination

Employers must ensure that there is zero discrimination based on disability. Many times people indirectly discriminate unknowingly. To avoid this, educating fellow employees about this is essential. Few majors can be taken by employers at workplaces are as follows:

  • Employ and help persons with disabilities. Help them in such a way that they don't feel missed out. Frequent extraordinary treatment can also make them feel odd.
  • Create reasonable accommodation for disabled employees exclusively.
  • Make it clear that extremely offensive comments will not be tolerated. This includes things that some would consider 'banter' or jokes, but which are inappropriate, disrespectful, or derogatory toward disabled persons.
  • It's critical to have a conversation with your team about how to use acceptable terminology when discussing disabilities. This applies both when speaking directly with a disabled person and in general workplace contacts.
  • An employer must frame a policy and make their employees knowledgeable about the same. The policy should be all-inclusive and should prohibit all discriminatory acts. - A policy against bullying, discrimination, and harassment, as well as how you will handle complaints.

What is ADA?

An anti-bullying, anti-discrimination, and anti-harassment policy, as well as how you'll deal with complaints in 1990, President Ronald Reagan signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all aspects of public life, including employment, education, transportation, and the general public is welcome to attend all public and private venues. The purpose of the law is to ensure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as the general public.

Access to public accommodations, employment, public transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications is guaranteed to those with disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is split into five parts (or sections), each of which deals with a different element of public life.

Employment, State and Local Government, Public Accommodations, telecommunications, and Miscellaneous Provisions are the 5 titles that are included in the ADA provision.

  • Employment

Under this title, people with disabilities are entitled to get equal job opportunities as normal people do. Employers must give reasonable accommodations to eligible applicants or employees, as previously stated.

Employers must give reasonable accommodations to qualified applicants, as previously stated. Employers with 15 or more workers are subject to this law. The Title I regulations define disability, establish standards for the reasonable accommodation process, address medical examinations and inquiries, and define "direct threat" as a considerable risk of substantial harm to an individual employee with a disability.

  • State and Local Government

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) outlaws discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in all public programs, activities, and services. It applies to all state and municipal governments, as well as their departments and agencies, as well as any other state or local government instrumentalities or special purpose districts. It lays out detailed operational guidelines for public transportation networks like commuter and intercity rail. This title specifies the requirements for making reasonable adaptations to policies, practices, and procedures to avoid discrimination, as well as the necessity to identify architectural barriers and communicate effectively with people who have hearing, visual, or speech problems.

  • Public Accommodations and Commercial Facilities

Privately owned, leased, or operated facilities such as hotels, restaurants, retail merchants, doctor's offices, golf courses, private schools, daycare centers, health clubs, sports stadiums, and movie theatres are examples of public accommodations.

When serving people with impairments, this title instructs businesses to make "reasonable adaptations" to their customary procedures. It also mandates that public accommodations eliminate obstacles in existing structures where doing so is simple and inexpensive. It also compels them to take the necessary steps to properly interact with clients who have vision, hearing, or speech impairments.

  • Telecommunications

 Telephone and Internet providers are required to provide a nationwide system of interstate and intrastate telecommunications relay services under this law. This makes it possible for people with hearing and speech impairments to communicate over the phone. Closed captioning is also required for federally funded public service announcements under this law.

  • Miscellaneous

The final title contains several provisions relevant to the ADA's overall social status, such as its link to other laws, state immunity, the impact on insurance providers and benefits, prohibitions against retribution and coercion, unlawful drug use, and attorney’s fees. There's also a list of conditions that aren't deemed impairments in this book.

Difference Between Section 504 and ADA in Points

  • In 1973, Congress passed Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law in 1990, but the majority of its provisions did not go into force until 1992.
  • The Office for Civil Rights of the United States Department of Education is in charge of enforcing Section 504. The Americans with Disabilities Act, on the other hand, is enforced by the US Department of Justice.
  • Only federally funded entities are covered by Section 504. The Americans with Disabilities Act, on the other hand, covers organizations that receive funding from the federal, state, or private sector.
  • There are no formal evaluation or placement standards in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The review process under Section 504 does, however, necessitate notice and approval.
  • There are no formal evaluation or placement standards in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The review process under Section 504 does, however, necessitate notice and approval.
  • Section 504 requires local education authorities to provide parents with fair hearings if they disagree with a student's identification, evaluation, or placement. ADA does not require any of this.

Conclusion

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 are both civil rights laws. The United States Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights is in charge of enforcing Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The Americans with Disabilities Act, on the other hand, is enforced by the US Department of Justice.

Many students with disabilities will require strong self-advocacy skills to succeed, and one of the most crucial parts of effective self-advocacy is understanding your rights. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 are both constitutional provisions that can be evaluated by anybody who meets the requirements of the legislation. Despite the fact that these two appear to be nearly identical in every way, they have different requirements.


Category

Law


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