Category Archives: Disability Discrimination

Policy guidance materials related to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Office for Civil Rights Releases ADHD Guidance

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights(OCR) today issued guidance clarifying the obligation of schools to provide students with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with equal educational opportunity under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504).  The guidance—in the form of a Dear Colleague Letter and accompanying Resource Guide—provides a broad overview of Section 504 and school districts’ obligations to students with ADHD, including appropriately evaluating and providing services to such students, and ensuring due process. … Read the rest

Guidance Addressing the Risk of Measles in Schools while Protecting the Civil Rights of Students with Disabilities

The Fact Sheet addresses how school officials can implement recommendations and resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  related to protecting children and their families from measles without discriminating on the basis of disability, particularly in the case of students who are medically unable to receive a vaccine because of a disability, and explains what school officials must do to ensure continuity of learning if a student is legitimately excluded from school.  … Read the rest

Guidance on Protecting Civil Rights in Juvenile Justice Residential Facilities

“Dear Colleague” letter from Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon and Acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, Vanita Gupta, U.S. Department of Justice, concerning the applicability of Federal civil rights laws to juvenile justice residential facilities. The letter provides a reminder that juvenile justice residential facilities receiving Federal funds are subject to the same Federal civil rights obligations as all other public schools, and highlights some of the legal requirements related to access to academic coursework and career and vocational training, students with disabilities, English language learners, and the administration of discipline. … Read the rest

Guidance on Effective Communication for Students with Hearing, Vision, or Speech Disabilities in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools

“Dear Colleague” letter and accompanying Frequently Asked Questions document (FAQ) and Parent Fact Sheet from Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon, Acting Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services Michael K. Yudin, and Vanita Gupta, Acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Justice, concerning effective communication for students with hearing, vision, or speech disabilities in public elementary and secondary schools. … Read the rest

Guidance on Bullying of Students with Disabilities

“Dear Colleague” letter from Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon, concerning the obligation of elementary and secondary schools to respond to the bullying of students with disabilities, including those students who are not eligible for services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act but are entitled to services under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. … Read the rest

Guidance on Charter Schools

The letter provides a reminder that charter schools are subject to the same Federal civil rights obligations as all other public schools, and highlights some of the legal requirements related to admissions, student discipline, students with disabilities, and English language learners.
  • “Dear Colleague” letter PDF (179K)
    Carta a los estimados colegas: Escuelas Chárter PDF (186K)
 … Read the rest

Guidance to Health-Related Schools Regarding Hepatitis B Discrimination

Joint OCR/DOJ/HHS “Dear Colleague” letter, addressing the rights of students with hepatitis B in postsecondary medical, dental, nursing, and other health-related programs. The letter discusses the latest recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding the participation of students with hepatitis B in health-related schools, and how the CDC recommendations relate to the federal laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability, race, color, and national origin. … Read the rest

Guidance on Schools’ Obligation to Provide Equal Opportunity to Students with Disabilities to Participate in Extracurricular Athletics

“Dear Colleague” letter from Acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Seth Galanter, addressing equal access to extracurricular athletics for students with disabilities. The “Dear Colleague” letter provides an overview of the obligations of public elementary and secondary schools under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504), and the Department’s Section 504 regulations; cautions against making decisions based on presumptions and stereotypes; details the specific Section 504 regulations that require students with disabilities to have an equal opportunity for participation in nonacademic and extracurricular services and activities; and discusses the provision of separate or different athletic opportunities. … Read the rest

Guidance on ADA Amendments Act Amended Legal Standards

“Dear Colleague” letter to elementary and secondary education officials with attached Frequently Asked Questions document (FAQ), from Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Russlynn Ali. The “Dear Colleague” letter and FAQ discuss the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (Amendments Act), Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504) in the context of students with disabilities attending public elementary and secondary schools. … Read the rest