Four important federal laws protect students with disabilities:

  1. IDEA (special education);
  2. No Child Left Behind
  3. Sec. 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973;
  4. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).


Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA)




No Child Left Behind



Section 504 and IDEA: Basic Similarities and Differences

by S. James Rosenfeld, Esq. President EDLAW, Inc.

This article will familiarize parents with why and how Section 504 impacts the education of children with disabilities; illustrate some of the differences between Section 504 and IDEA; and provide a basic explanation of "how Section 504 works." It is vital to remember, however, that literally volumes have been written on these topics and, therefore, no one should rely solely on this article to undertake legal action.


The Americans with Disabilities Act ( ADA ):


ADA gives civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities that are like those provided to individuals on the basis of race, sex, national origin, and religion. It guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in employment, public accommodations (including most private schools, child care centers, etc), transportation, State and local government services (including public schools), and telecommunications.