As required by law, UT Austin complies with the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and its Amendments (2008), as well as, Section 504 and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and its Amendments (2008)
The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, state and local government, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation, and telecommunications. To be protected by the ADA, one must have a disability or have a relationship or association with an individual with a disability. 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. The ADA does not specifically name all of the impairments that are covered.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, prohibits disability discrimination in programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance. This includes discrimination against qualified applicants and employees with disabilities, as well as discrimination in the services and activities provided by federal agencies to the public. The nondiscrimination provisions of Section 504 are similar to those found in Title I of the ADA, covering employment discrimination, and Title II of the ADA, covering the programs, activities, and services offered by state and local governments.
Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended in 1998 (29 U.S.C. § 794 (d)), establishes requirements for electronic and information technology developed, maintained, procured, or used by the federal government. Section 508 requires federal electronic and information technology to be accessible to people with disabilities, including employees and members of the public.
An accessible information technology system is one that can be operated in a variety of ways and does not rely on a single sense or ability of the user. For example, a system that provides output only in visual format may not be accessible to people with visual impairments and a system that provides output only in audio format may not be accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Some individuals with disabilities may need accessibility-related software or peripheral devices in order to use systems that comply with Section 508.