Laws Relating to Postsecondary Education

Providence College follows the mandates of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504, 1973) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA, 1990) in providing accommodations and services to students with disabilities.

A student with a disability should be familiar with the following laws that will affect them in the postsecondary setting.

I. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (PL 93-112)/1992 Reauthorization Subpart E of Section 504 specifically addresses the postsecondary setting. (Please click here for the full text of the law)

The statute states: “no otherwise qualified handicapped individual, shall solely by reason of his/her handicap, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.” This civil rights statute mandates that postsecondary institutions provide equal access and reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities.

II. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990/ADA (PL 101-336)

The ADA also prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities but expands the provisions of Section 504 to include the private sector. (Please see for full text of the law)

The ADA is divided into five areas or “titles” which are concerned with non-discrimination. Only two of these areas/titles impact postsecondary education. These two titles are:

Subchapter II: Public Services

Section 12132 requires that any of these entities that receive federal funding be accessible to individuals with disabilities.

Subchapter III: Public Accommodations and Services Operated by Private Entities

Section 12182 ensures that goods, services, privileges, or facilities of any public place are offered, “in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of the individual.”  Entities owned and operated by a religious organization (like Providence College), are exempt.