In efforts to address barriers for students with disabilities, fix outdated language and align with civil rights laws the US Department of Education (USDE) is expected to publish a proposed Section 504 rule update in August 2023. According to a Spring 2023 announcement, the update is aimed at bringing clarity to how Section 504 accommodations for students with disabilities aligns with the civil rights protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
The update is expected to provide update outdated language and needed guidance for K-12 school districts and colleges regarding regulations for Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which have remained relatively unchanged since their inception.
A according to an annual report, in FY 2022, the USDE’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) received 6,467 complaints regarding Section 504 and ADA Title II issues and it resolved 5,187 of those complaints. Most of the complaints (3,363) centered on issues around free appropriate public education (FAPE). In addition to an informal request for public comments, the USDE held listening sessions to gather feedback regarding the proposed rules.
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