• Title II – A section of the Americans with Disabilities Act that prevents discrimination based on a disability by state and local government entities, of which schools are a part.
  • Section 504 – A portion of 1973’s Rehabilitation Act that prevents most entities that receive federal financial assistance from discrimination based on a disability. It also lays out the creation of a “504 Plan” which can provide accommodations for students who are struggling in school, but don’t qualify for an IEP because of a disability.
  • Reasonable Accommodation – A change to the normal procedures, equipment, or facilities that allows equal opportunity for a person with a disability, but that doesn’t fundamentally alter the program or result in an unreasonable burden (unreasonable accommodations).
  • IDEA – The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (1975) is a special education law that mandates schools to assess students thought to have a disability without charging families (child find). Parents are also given a great deal of control concerning their child’s education. In order to qualify, children must fall under one of 13 categories and be shown to require education assistance because of their disability. If they qualify, the school and parents work together to create an Individual Education Plan (IEP) to provide accommodations to help children succeed in school. Ulike the ADA, this law focuses specifically on young people in the school system, not the entire nation’s population.
  • Universal Design – The idea that buildings (public, commercial, and residential) should be designed for ease of use by all people (including those who would be covered by the ADA). Here is a list of recommended design features from Universal Design vs. Accessible Design: What’s the Difference:
    Open Concept Floorplan – avoid sharp boundaries between rooms without doorways
    Lever Handle Door Hardware vs. Round Door handles
    Lowered Height Light Switches
    Raised Height Electrical Outlets – no bending down
    Euro Style Showers that are larger and have a smaller step to enter
    Wall Mounted Vanity to open up more floor space
    Shower and Bathtub Valves that are easy to reach
    Single Handle Valves that turn on the water and adjust the temperature as you turn one handle.
    Larger Bedrooms and Bathrooms
    More Space on the same level of the home
    Pull Out Shelves
    Multi Height Countertops
    No Step Entry to the home or rooms in the home
    Appliance Drawers that pull out vs. doors for dishwasher/refrigerator/freezer
    Rounded Corners on Countertops