Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 was the first civil rights law explicitly ensuring the rights of individuals with disabilities to employment and services. Section 504 specifically prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in programs receiving federal funds. The provisions of Section 504 are similar to those in Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which forbid employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin in programs that receive federal financial assistance. Individuals who have physical or mental impairments that substantially limit one or more major life activities, have a record of such impairments, or are regarded as having impairments are covered by Section 504 (29 U.S.C. § 706(7)(b)). Major life activities are “functions ...

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