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Disability Access: LEGAL ISSUES

Disability defined...

The term "disability" means, with respect to an individual, a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual; a record of such an impairment; or being regarded as having such an impairment. Major life activities include, but are not limited to, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working.  A major life activity also includes the operation of a major bodily function, including but not limited to, functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions. Being regarded as having such an impairment if the individual establishes that he or she has been subjected to an action prohibited under this chapter because of an actual or perceived physical or mental impairment whether or not the impairment limits or is perceived to limit a major life activity but shall not apply to impairments that are transitory and minor.  A transitory impairment is an impairment with an actual or expected duration of 6 months or less.

Notice of Non-Discrimination

The Board of Regents stipulates that no student of the University System, on the ground of race, color, sex, religion, creed, national origin, age, or disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity conducted by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia or any of its several institutions now in existence or hereafter established.  In addition, in accordance with the policy of the Board of Regents, on the ground of race, color, sex, religion, creed, national origin, age, or disability, there shall be no discrimination of employees in their appointment, promotion, retention, remuneration, or any other condition of employment.

Consistent with these principles, it is Dalton State College's policy not to discriminate in offering access to its educational programs and activities or employment opportunities on the basis of race, color, sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, national origin, religion, creed, disability, or veteran’s status.


"Accessible" means a person with a disability is afforded the opportunity to acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services as a person without a disability in an equally effective and equally integrated manner, with substantially equivalent ease of use. The person with a disability must be able to obtain the information as fully, equally and independently as a person without a disability. Although this might not result in identical ease of use compared to that of persons without disabilities, it still must ensure equal opportunity to the educational benefits and opportunities afforded by the technology and equal treatment in the use of such technology.

Americans with Disabilities Act/Rehabilitation Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal civil rights statute that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities.  

Section 504 (of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973) is a program access statute. It states that "no otherwise qualified person with a disability in the United States...shall, solely on the basis of disability, be denied access to, or the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity provided by any institution receiving federal financial assistance.

Section 508 (of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973) is regarding electronic and information technology.  Upon development, procurement, maintenance, or use of electronic and information technology, each Federal department or agency...shall ensure, unless an undue burden would be imposed on the department or agency, that the electronic and information technology allows, regardless of the type of medium of the technology. 

Section 508 is pertinent to Dalton State so individuals with disabilities who are members of the public seeking information or services from a Federal department or agency have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to the access to and use of the information and data by such members of the public who are not individuals with disabilities.

The ADA provides additional protection for persons with disabilities in conjunction with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  The ADA is designed to remove barriers, which prevent qualified individuals with disabilties from enjoying the same opportunities that are available to persons without disabilities.  

The ADA in relation to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act states that institutions that recieve federal funds, such as Dalton State, are converd under Section 504.  The ADA does not supplant Section 504, but those situations where the ADA provides greater protection the ADA standards apply.  Therefore, postsecondary institutions must adhere to both the Rehabilitation Act and the ADA.




Section 508

Section 508 (USG) - an amendment to the United States Workforce Rehabilitation Act of 1973, is a federal law mandating that all electronic and information technology developed, procured, maintained, or used by the federal government be accessible to people with disabilities.