Assistive Technology Resources


Each public agency must ensure that assistive technology devices or assistive technology services, or both are made available to a child with a disability if required as a part of the childs special education, related services, or supplementary aids and services.

ADA Title II

Title II covers all activities of State and local governments regardless of the government entitys size or receipt of Federal funding. Title II requires that State and local governments give people with disabilities an equal opportunity to benefit from all of their programs, services, and activities (e.g. public education, employment, transportation, recreation, health care, social services, courts, voting, and town meetings).

State and local governments are required to follow specific architectural standards in the new construction and alteration of their buildings. They also must relocate programs or otherwise provide access in inaccessible older buildings, and communicate effectively with people who have hearing, vision, or speech disabilities. Public entities are not required to take actions that would result in undue financial and administrative burdens. They are required to make reasonable modifications to policies, practices, and procedures where necessary to avoid discrimination, unless they can demonstrate that doing so would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program, or activity being provided.

Rehabilitation Act Section 504

Section 504 forbids organizations and employers from excluding or denying "qualified individuals with disabilities" an equal opportunity to receive program benefits and services.

"The Section 504 regulations require a school district to provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to each qualified student with a disability who is in the school districts jurisdiction, regardless of the nature or severity of the disability. Under Section 504, FAPE consists of the provision of regular or special education and related aids and services designed to meet the students individual educational needs as adequately as the needs of nondisabled students are met." (Cite the web site above)

Rehabilitation Act Section 508

In 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 794d) to require federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology public content accessible to people with disabilities

Section 508 requires that when federal agencies develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology, federal employees with disabilities have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to the access and use by federal employees who are not individuals with disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed on the agency. Section 508 also requires that individuals with disabilities, who are members of the public seeking information or services from a federal agency, have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to that provided to the public who are not individuals with disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed on the agency.

Contrary to what you may read on the web, Section 508 does not directly apply to private sector websites or to public websites which are not U.S. federal agency websites. In fact it does not even apply to the Congress or to the Judiciary. It also does not (generally) apply to agencies or establishments using federal funds.