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Legal References

There is much legislation with regard to the operations of the district in servicing individuals with disabilities; it is heavily regulated, protected by confidentiality, governed by and in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990), Title 5 of the Education Code, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (1973), the Lanterman Act (1977), and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (as amended in 1998).


Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law by President George Bush on July 26, 1990. This act guarantees people with disabilities access to employment, public accommodations, transportation, public services and telecommunications. The prototype for the ADA is the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion or national origin.  You can visit the ADA website by clicking this link


Title 5 of the Education Code

The President may prescribe rules which shall prohibit, as nearly as conditions of good administration warrant, discrimination because of handicapping condition in an Executive agency or in the competitive service with respect to a position the duties of which, in the opinion of the Office of Personnel Management, can be performed efficiently by an individual with a handicapping condition, except that the employment may not endanger the health or safety of the individual or others.


Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (PL93-112)

Section 504 is civil rights statute that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. It obligates colleges and universities to make certain adjustments and accommodations, and offers to students with disabilities the opportunity to participate fully in the educational process.


Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (PL 935-161)

States that "no qualified handicapped person shall, on the basis of handicap, be excluded from participating in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity which receives or benefits from Federal financial assistance."

Victor Valley College strives to create a positive atmosphere for unencumbered learning. Physical accessibility to all areas on campus and specialized accommodation in instructional and activity classes continues to be a fundamental goal of ACCESS. The ADA Compliance Officer will work with and for the college community to help eliminate discrimination and provide physical and program access.


Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act

The Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act was enacted in 1977. It states that "persons with developmental disabilities have the same legal rights and responsibilities guaranteed all other individuals by the Federal Constitution and laws and the constitution and laws of the State of California. No otherwise qualified person by reason of having a developmental disability shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity which receives public funds" (Section 4502 of the Welfare and Institutions Code). Since these rights are frequently denied and there is no effective method of implementation, a State Council on Developmental Disabilities was created (Welfare and Institutions Code 4520).


Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (as amended in 1998)

508 creates, binding, enforceable standards for electronic and technology accessibility that are to be incorporated into the Federal procurement regulations.

Each Federal department/agency is required to revise their procurement policies and regulations to incorporate the 508 standards.

That Act defines "information technology" to include "any equipment or interconnected system or subsystem of equipment, that is used in the automatic acquisition, storage, manipulation, management, movement, control, display, switching, interchange, transmission, or reception of data or information." It includes computer hardware, software, networks, and peripherals as well as many electronic and communications devices commonly used in offices.

Section 508 requires that when Federal agencies develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology, they must ensure that it is accessible to people with disabilities, unless it would pose an “undue burden”* to do so. Federal employees and members of the public who have disabilities must have access to and use of information and services that is comparable to the access and use available to non-disabled Federal employees and members of the public.

Federal agencies, which provide information to the public or to their employees through Web sites, must ensure that such sites are available to all persons with internet or intranet access, including persons with disabilities.


Differences between IDEA IEP’s, 504 Plans, and College Accommodations


The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is a federal law that governs any special education service or policy for children ages 3 to graduation (or until age 21 if student remains in high school until then). Each IEP (Individualized Education Plan) is developed by an “educational team” for that specific child and stipulates how that child’s education will be individualized in order for the child to learn. The IDEA is stylized so the child has the best opportunity to succeed. The child may be allowed “modifications” in the curriculum, the delivery, testing, and in the grading process in order to achieve some success in school. Therefore, a child with an IEP may make an A in a course if he/she completes 70% of coursework, rather than 100%, or the child may be allowed the modification of having one correct answer and one incorrect answer to choose from on a test rather than one correct answer and 3 incorrect answers that the rest of the class has.


Section 504

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 protects individuals from discrimination based on their disabilities. This Act governs any public school or college that accepts any type of federal financial assistance; however, the Act itself provides no funding for the schools or colleges affected by its mandates. The seven-part Act is divided into Sections A-G. Subpart D applies to K-12 schools and Subpart E applies to postsecondary institutions. Subpart E mandates that qualified postsecondary students with disabilities be offered the opportunity to complete a degree with all other non-disabled students.



The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 is a federal civil rights law structured to provide equal opportunities for all people with disabilities. The ADA requires equal access and protects individuals from discrimination based on their disabilities. The ADA trumps all other acts regarding students in the postsecondary world.  You can visit the ADA website by clicking this link


Differences Explained

In High School, a student often has a “504 plan” that suffices for services. Most of the time, the high school does NOT test the student who falls under 504, but offers “modifications” to help the student succeed. The special education student, in contrast, MUST be regularly tested and/or reevaluated in order to remain in the special education program. The problem of adequate and comprehensive documentation comes into play when the “504” student goes to college. In most cases, the screening instruments often used for developing a “504” plan are insufficient as documentation for college accommodations. The student goes from an environment that is structured to “ensure student success” to one that is designed to “allow equal access.” The success of the student is up to the student in the college setting. The college must ensure access, NOT success



Processes Based Upon Grade Level
PROCESS Kindergarten through High School >College


Schools responsible for identifying students

Students must self-identify





Schools responsible for testing students

Students must pay for their testing, if needed




Schools responsible for any needed services School must provide whatever services will help student succeed in class, testing, and any school-sponsored activity

School must provide individualized tutoring

Students must seek out services

Student allowed only certain accommodations in college classroom and testing

Students must seek out tutoring, if needed, and must pay for it if college does not provide tutoring for non-disabled students. Individualized instruction is not guaranteed




Schools must communicate with parents at regular intervals re: student’s progress

College not allowed to contact parents without student’s permission



Accommodation arrangements

School must develop formal plan and it is school’s responsibility to track student

Student must ask for and “qualify” for services, and the student is responsible for much of the accommodation process (i.e., providing Accommodation Plan to professors and notifying office of test dates, etc.)



Accommodation Differences

Reduced assignments, (requiring student to submit less work than others))extended time on assignments, grading changes (counting daily work equal with semester tests) test format changes(take away 2 wrong answers and leave one right and one wrong answer) repeated chances to make a passing grade

No reduced assignments; extended time on assignments is very rare; no grading changes, no test format changes other than providing equal access (such as providing extended time or providing a test in large print,  Braille, etc ); no extra attempts at tests unless promised accommodations were not provided during the first attempt