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Disability Laws

ADA, IDEA, Lanterman?  You might have heard these laws referenced, but what exactly do they do?

ADA: Americans with Disabilities Act (Federal)

Agencies Involved

Brief Summary

Eligiblity

No single agency oversees implementation of ADA. Complaints about violations can be filed with:

  • US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (for employment discrimination)
  • Department of Justice (for activities of state and local government and for complaints about accommodations);
  • Federal Transit Administration (for public transportation);
  • Federal Communications Commission (for telecommunications access)

Prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, state and local government, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation and telecommunications. It also applies to the US Congress

An individual with a disability is defined by the ADA as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment.

ALL AGES

Section 504: Rehabilitation Act of 1973-Public Law 930-112(Federal)

Agencies Involved

Brief Summary

Eligibility

Each agency has its own set of Section 504 regulations that applies to its own programs.The Department of Justice can provide information on how to file 504 complaints.

Prohibits discrimination in:

  • Education of handicapped children and young people;
  • Vocational education programs;
  • College programs and other post-secondary education programs;
  • Employment;
  • Health, welfare and other social service programs;
  • Other programs and activities that receive federal funds.

School-aged children who have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity, have a record of such an impairment or are regarded as having such an impairment. Major life activities include walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, caring for oneself, and performing manual tasks.

AGES 0-21

IDEA: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (reauthorized as IDEA 2004 (Federal))

Agencies Involved

Brief Summary

Eligibility

California Department of Education (CDE)

San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD)

Guarantees these six important rights :

  1. A free and appropriate education for all children with handicaps;
  2. To be educated in the least restrictive environment;
  3. An individualized education program (IEP) prepared by a team which includes the parents;
  4. To be provided necessary related services to benefit from an education;
  5. Assessment procedures to be used to determine student’s abilities and educational requirements;
  6. Due process and complaint procedures to ensure student’s rights are met.

Eligible disabilities include but are not limited to:

  • Mentally retarded;
  • Hard of hearing;
  • Speech or language impaired;
  • Visually impaired;
  • Seriously emotionally disturbed;
  • Orthopedically impaired;
  • Other health impaired;
  • Deaf;
  • Deaf-blind;
  • Multiple disabled;
  • Specific learning disability;
  • Autistic;
  • Traumatic brain injury

AGES 3-18 INCLUSIVE. Individuals between 19-21 inclusive who are not enrolled in or are eligible for special education prior to their 19th birthday, and who have not completed their prescribed course of study (or who have not met prescribed proficiency standards).

IDEA – Part C:
(recently reauthorized as IDEA 2004)(Federal)

Agencies Involved

Brief Summary

Eligibility

California Department of Education (CDE)

San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD)

California Department of Developmental Services (DDS)

Golden Gate Regional Center (GGRC)

All rights and protections afforded children under IDEA. Part C governs early intervention program for infants and toddlers, ages birth through two years.

Children with disabilities ages birth through 36 months who need early intervention services because they are experiencing developmental delays in the areas of cognitive development, physical development, language and speech development, social or emotional development or self-help skills. In addition, children who have a diagnosed mental or physical condition that typically results in a delay or who are at risk of substantial delay.

Ages 0-36 months

Early Start: California Early Intervention Services Act
Senate Bill 1085(CA State)

Agencies Involved

Brief Summary

Eligibility

California Department of Education (CDE)

San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD)

California Department of Developmental Services (DDS)

Golden Gate Regional Center (GGRC)

Established by state law in compliance with Part C of IDEA

Infants and toddlers ages birth through 3 who:

  • Have a significant delay in at least one area of development;
  • Have a condition with a known probability of causing a disability or delay;

Are at high risk of having a developmental disability.

AGES 0-36 months

Lanterman Act:
Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act (CA State)

Agencies Involved

Brief Summary

Eligibility

California Department of Developmental Services (DDS)

Golden Gate Regional Center (GGRC)

Establishes the rights of persons with developmental disabilities to services and supports they need and choose. The intent of this Act is to provide services and supports to help persons with developmental disabilities lead independent, productive and normal lives in the community.

Individuals with:

  • Developmental disabilities;
  • Who are at high risk of giving birth to a child with a developmental disability;
  • Infants who have a high risk of becoming developmentally disabled.
  • Developmental disabilities include:
  • Mental retardation;
  • Cerebral palsy;
  • Epilepsy;
  • Autism; and
  • Other disabling conditions which either are related to mental retardation or that require treatment similar to that required for mentally retarded individuals.

Conditions must also

  • begin before the person is 18 years old;
  • continue or be likely to continue indefinitely; and
  • constitute a substantial disability for the individual.

ALL AGES

AB 114: Transition of Special Education and Related Services Formerly Provided by County Mental Health Agencies (CA State)

Agencies Involved

Brief Summary

Eligibility

California Department of Education (CDE)

San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD)

Assembly Bill (AB) 114 changed the process by which students in Special Education receive mental health services.

Previously, under AB 3632, county mental health departments provided services.

However, realignment under AB 114 requires all California school districts to be solely responsible for ensuring that students with disabilities, as designated by their Individualized Educational Plan (IEP), receive the mental health services necessary to benefit from a special education program.

Children eligible for special education services.

AGES 3-21