Department of Education Announces Plans to Amend Regulations Implementing Section 504
May 12, 2022
On May 6, 2022 the Department of Education announced its plans to amend the regulations implementing Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Enacted in 1973, Section 504 prohibits disability discrimination in “public and private programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance.” According to Secretary Catherine Lhamon, such changes are long overdue. “Just as in 1977, the voices of the people with disabilities must be heard and incorporated as we [update 504].” In its press release, the Department stated that it will “solicit public comment” to determine the best method of improving regulations that better serve students with disabilities.
Although the amendment is in its beginning stages, it is notable that the Department made the announcement in May, which is Mental Health Awareness Month. Numerous studies show that young Americans are facing an unprecedented mental health crisis, and that vulnerable communities are disproportionately affected. In a recent press release, President Biden reiterated his commitment to addressing mental health and emphasized the need to enhance protections for disabled youth and adults. To learn more about the regulatory rulemaking process and how to submit a comment to the Office of Civil Rights, feel free to utilize the following resources:
ICS provides a wide range of compliance services for institutions and school districts. Contact us for more information.