ADA vs Section 504 – Difference and Comparison

What is ADA?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to virtually every institution in the United States, regardless of whether it receives government aid. The only two institutions exempt from the ADA are religious organizations and private clubs. Since they don’t get federal financing, private schools that aren’t religiously linked may be excluded from Section 504’s requirements but must comply with the ADA.

Discrimination based on a person’s disability is addressed in various parts of the ADA. Title, I of the Civil Rights Act, prohibits discrimination in the workplace, and title II includes state and municipal governments and schools among its provisions. Title III has set its sights on many public organizations, including hotel and restaurant companies, department stores, markets, and banking establishments. Access to goods and services for people with disabilities must be guaranteed under the Act.

It was enacted in 1990, albeit most of the provisions did not take effect until the following year. Although it is not exhaustive, it goes into great detail on the regulatory requirements of employers, complaint procedures, and the ramifications of dissent in employment and services.

What is Section 504?

It prohibits discrimination against persons who meet the criterion of disability established by the Act, and it applies to organizations receiving federal funding. “Respect the principles of basic justice by ensuring that government money is not used in a biassed manner,” according to Wegner, was the primary purpose of Congress when it passed Section 504. Equal opportunities should be provided to all pupils, regardless of their physical condition, for them to accomplish the same result, gain the same benefit, or achieve the same level of achievement. 

Because most public schools receive considerable federal funds due to their participation in various federally supported programs, they must comply with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. In 1973, Congress enacted Internal Revenue Code Section 504. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act requires that parents be told when their children are identified, evaluated, and placed in foster care. Documents should include some notification or report on them.

A report is required only in the event of a substantial shift in an assignment. Section 504’s two principal goals are to ban disability discrimination and offer free, adequate public education (FAPE) to students with disabilities in grades K–12. To ensure that academic requirements do not discriminate against qualified students and candidates with disabilities, academic accommodations must be made for those who qualify.

Difference Between ADA and Section 504

  1. Section 504 benefits are available to any organizations that receive government financial assistance. On the other hand, organizations that receive funding from the federal, state, or private sectors are covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  2. For the first time since Section 504, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does not impose a direct requirement on the federal government to ensure that everyone has access to a free and adequate public educational opportunity.
  3. No particular evaluation or placement criteria are specified under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in any way. Notice and consent are required under Section 504 for the review process. However, this is not required under Section 505.
  4. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights ensures that Section 504 is followed. Although the ADA is a federal law, the US Department of Justice is responsible for enforcing it.
  5. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 was adopted by Congress to protect people with disabilities. However, most Americans with Disabilities Act requirements did not take effect until 1992, even though it was passed in 1990.

Comparison Between ADA and Section 504

Parameters of ComparisonADASection 504
Applies on Organizations that receive government funding.This rule applies to organizations that receive funds from the federal, state, or private sectors, among other sources.
AccessA free & adequate public education is not the obligation of this state, which does not have the authority to enforce this mandate on its citizensAll students must have access to the free and adequate public education under their direct supervision.
Placement criteriaThere are no explicit evaluation or placement criteria specified in this document.For the review procedure, you will need to provide notice and consent.
Enforced byThe United States Department of Justice is responsible for this investigation.It is located under the United States Department of Education, in the Office for Civil Rights.
Enacted on1992.1973.