LAWS RELATED TO DISABILITY RIGHTS1. Americans with Disabilities Act2. Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission (EEOC)3. Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)4. Sections 501/502/504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 19735. Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)6. Vocational Rehabilitation’s Individualized Plan of Employment (IPE)7. Carl Perkins Act8. Person-centered planning9. Family Rights Privacy Act10. Adult status at age 1811. OSHA
1. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, State and local government,public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation, and telecommunications. It also applies to theUnited States Congress.To be protected by the ADA, one must have a disability or have a relationship or association with anindividual with a disability. An individual with a disability is defined by the ADA as a person who has aphysical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has ahistory or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such animpairment. The ADA does not specifically name all of the impairments that are covered.2. Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission (EEOC)The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing federal lawsthat make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the persons race,color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or geneticinformation. It is also illegal to discriminate against a person because the person complained aboutdiscrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discriminationinvestigation or lawsuit.Most employers with at least 15 employees are covered by EEOC laws (20 employees in agediscrimination cases). Most labor unions and employment agencies are also covered.The laws apply to all types of work situations, including hiring, firing, promotions, harassment, training,wages, and benefits.3. Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)The FLSA establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment standardsaffecting employees in the private sector and in Federal, State, and local governments. Covered nonexemptworkers are entitled to a minimum wage of not less than $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009. Overtimepay at a rate not less than one and one-half times the regular rate of pay is required after 40 hours of work ina workweek.
4. Rehabilitation ActThe Rehabilitation Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs conducted by Federalagencies, in programs receiving Federal financial assistance, in Federal employment, and in the employmentpractices of Federal contractors. The standards for determining employment discrimination under theRehabilitation Act are the same as those used in title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act.Section 501Section 501 requires affirmative action and nondiscrimination in employment by Federal agencies of theexecutive branch. To obtain more information or to file a complaint, employees should contact their agencysEqual Employment Opportunity Office.Section 503Section 503 requires affirmative action and prohibits employment discrimination by Federal governmentcontractors and subcontractors with contracts of more than $10,000. For more information on section 503,contact:Office of Federal Contract Compliance ProgramsU.S. Department of Labor200 Constitution Avenue, N.W.Room C-3325Washington, D.C. 20210www.dol.gov/esa/ofccp(202) 693-0106 (voice/relay)Section 504Section 504 states that "no qualified individual with a disability in the United States shall be excluded from,denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under" any program or activity that either receivesFederal financial assistance or is conducted by any Executive agency or the United States Postal Service.
Each Federal agency has its own set of section 504 regulations that apply to its own programs. Agencies thatprovide Federal financial assistance also have section 504 regulations covering entities that receive Federalaid. Requirements common to these regulations include reasonable accommodation for employees withdisabilities; program accessibility; effective communication with people who have hearing or visiondisabilities; and accessible new construction and alterations. Each agency is responsible for enforcing its ownregulations. Section 504 may also be enforced through private lawsuits. It is not necessary to file a complaintwith a Federal agency or to receive a "right-to-sue" letter before going to court.5. Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires public schools to make available to alleligible children with disabilities a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environmentappropriate to their individual needs.IDEA requires public school systems to develop appropriate Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) foreach child. The specific special education and related services outlined in each IEP reflect the individualizedneeds of each student.IDEA also mandates that particular procedures be followed in the development of the IEP. Each studentsIEP must be developed by a team of knowledgeable persons and must be at least reviewed annually. Theteam includes the childs teacher; the parents, subject to certain limited exceptions; the child, if determinedappropriate; an agency representative who is qualified to provide or supervise the provision of specialeducation; and other individuals at the parents or agencys discretion.If parents disagree with the proposed IEP, they can request a due process hearing and a review from the Stateeducational agency if applicable in that state. They also can appeal the State agencys decision to State orFederal court. For more information, contact:Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative ServicesU.S. Department of Education400 Maryland Avenue, S.W.Washington, D.C. 20202-7100
6. Vocational Rehabilitation’s Individualized Plan of Employment (IPE)The Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) is a written plan outlining an individuals vocational goal,and the services to be provided to reach the goal.The IPE formalizes the planning process through which the vocational goal, service delivery and timeframes for service delivery are determined. The IPE identifies the individuals employment objective,consistent with their unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities and capabilities and providesa plan for monitoring progress toward achievement of the goal.Through the IPE, individuals are informed of their rights and responsibilities in the rehabilitation process.The individuals involvement in developing the plan is reflected throughout the IPE. Consistent with theprinciple stated above, the IPE must be jointly developed, agreed upon and signed by the consumer and thecounselor.7. Carl Perkins ActThe Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act was first authorized by the federal governmentin 1984 and reauthorized in 1998. Named for Carl D. Perkins, the act aims to increase the quality of technicaleducation within the United States in order to help the economy.On August 12, 2006 President George W Bush signed into law the reauthorization of the Act of 1998. Thenew law, the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006, was passed almostunanimously by Congress in late July, 2006.The new law includes three major areas of revision: 1) Using the term "career and technical education" instead of "vocational education" 2) Maintaining the Tech Prep program as a separate federal funding stream within the legislation 3) Maintaining state administrative funding at 5 percent of a state’s allocationThe new law also includes new requirements for “programs of study” that link academic and technicalcontent across secondary and postsecondary education, and strengthened local accountability provisions thatwill ensure continuous program improvement.
The Perkins Act provides almost $1.3 billion in federal support for career and technical education programsin all 50 States, including support for integrated career pathways programs. The law will extend through2012.8. Person-centered planningPerson Centered Planning is an ongoing problem-solving process used to help people with disabilities planfor their future. In person centered planning, groups of people focus on an individual and that persons visionof what they would like to do in the future. This "person-centered" team meets to identify opportunities forthe focus person to develop personal relationships, participate in their community, increase control over theirown lives, and develop the skills and abilities needed to achieve these goals. Person Centered Planningdepends on the commitment of a team of individuals who care about the focus person. These individuals takeaction to make sure that the strategies discussed in planning meetings are implemented.9. Family Rights Privacy ActThe Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federallaw that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive fundsunder an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their childrens education records. These rights transfer tothe student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students towhom the rights have transferred are "eligible students." Parents or eligible students have the right to inspect and review the students education recordsmaintained by the school. Schools are not required to provide copies of records unless, for reasons such asgreat distance, it is impossible for parents or eligible students to review the records. Schools may charge afee for copies. Parents or eligible students have the right to request that a school correct records which they believe tobe inaccurate or misleading. If the school decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student thenhas the right to a formal hearing. After the hearing, if the school still decides not to amend the record, the
parent or eligible student has the right to place a statement with the record setting forth his or her view aboutthe contested information. Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to releaseany information from a students education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose thoserecords, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31): School officials with legitimate educational interest; Other schools to which a student is transferring; Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes; Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student; Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school; Accrediting organizations; To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena; Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.Schools may disclose, without consent, "directory" information such as a students name, address, telephonenumber, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. However, schools must tellparents and eligible students about directory information and allow parents and eligible students a reasonableamount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them. Schools must notifyparents and eligible students annually of their rights under FERPA. The actual means of notification (specialletter, inclusion in a PTA bulletin, student handbook, or newspaper article) is left to the discretion of eachschool.10. Adult status at age 18Turning 18: When a child reaches the age of 18, they become a full legal adult in most US localities. Thatmay not be the case in overseas environments where the age for acquiring adult status under anothercountry’s jurisdiction may differ significantly.In any event, those turning 18: Need to be encouraged to register to vote in U.S. local, state and federal elections. Can join the military, receive medical care, get married, and receive a number of other adult privilegesand responsibilities without parental consent.
Need to be reminded, if they are male, to register for the Selective Service.Some "dependent" status remains, at least in the context of the Federal Government. Children retain thestatus of eligible family member (EMF) until they turn 21. They would still be eligible to work in a jobdesignated for EMFs at an overseas mission. They will still be on parents travel orders, covered by theirhealth insurance, and the medical services of the embassy or consulate health unit, and be eligible forevacuation for either medical or security reasons.11. OSHAOccupational Safety and Health Administration, a federal agency of the United States that regulatesworkplace safety and health