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ADA / 504 Legal Rights

Educational institutions have a basic legal responsibility to ensure access for students with disabilities.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

Section 504 states that "No otherwise qualified disabled person in the United States, as defined in section 7, shall, solely by reason of disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity..."

The regulation defines a person with a disability as any person who has "a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such impairment, or is regarded as having such impairment."

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), an individual with a disability is anyone who:

  • has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities (e.g., caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and/or working)
  • has a record of such an impairment (has a history of, or has been classified as having a mental or physical impairment)
  • is regarded as having such an impairment (is perceived by others in the environment as being limited in performing certain major life activities)

Disabilities include, but are not limited to:

  • attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • blindness or visual impairments
  • cerebral palsy
  • deafness or hearing impairments
  • epilepsy or seizure disorders
  • orthopedic impairment
  • psychiatric disabilities
  • specific learning disabilities
  • speech disorders
  • spinal cord injury
  • traumatic brain injury
  • chronic illnesses such AIDS, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, or muscular dystrophy

Court cases continually reinterpret Section 504 and the ADA. These rulings affect definitions of key legal terms such as "reasonable accommodation," "undue hardship" and "fundamental alteration" (of courses and curricula). Pima Community College staff continually monitor changes in judicial interpretation when making decisions about services and accommodations.

Please refer to the Rights and Responsibilities web page for additional information.  Further resources are provided on the U.S. Department of Justice ADA home page.

The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), ADAAA, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (1973):

Ken Hosto, ADR Director 
Student ADA/504 Coordinator
Access and Disability Resources Administration
Pima Community College - West Campus
2202 West Anklam Road, C-132
Tucson, AZ 85709
[email protected]

Complaint Procedures

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