The Rehabilitation Act Turns 50: Check Out the Clearinghouse's Section 504 Cases

Sept. 27, 2023

An outdoor ramp path to a building; a sign next to the ramp has a picture of a wheelchair, and arrow, and the word "accessible."

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the first federal civil rights law protecting people with disabilities from discrimination, turns 50 this month.  The Act requires equal opportunity and access for people with disabilities and prohibits discrimination by federal agencies, in federal employment and by programs receiving federal financial assistance.  

The Clearinghouse has more than 500 cases in our collection that bring claims under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, which prohibits discrimination or exclusion of otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities from programs or activities receiving federal funding. These include sidewalk and other pedestrian route accessibility cases; lawsuits addressing access to voting and polling places; lawsuits seeking effective communication for people with communication disabilities in jails and prisons; and cases about equal access to education and related services, among many other other categories.