The University of Texas at Austin acts in accordance with two relevant laws: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
"No otherwise qualified person with a [disability] in the United States shall, solely by reason of a [disability], be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance."
A person with a disability is an individual with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. An individual is considered to be a person with a disability if he/she (1) has a disability, (2) has a history of a disability or (3) is perceived by others as having a disability.
A qualified person with a disability is defined as a person who meets the requisite academic and technical standards required for admission or participation in the post-secondary institution's programs and activities.
Under the provisions of Section 504, The University of Texas at Austin may not:
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 is civil rights legislation that extends the anti-discrimination legislation of Section 504 to all institutions of higher education whether or not they receive federal financial assistance. The purpose of this act is to provide a clear and comprehensive mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities. This statute became effective for public entities on January 26, 1992. It provides comprehensive civil rights protection to individuals with disabilities in the areas of employment, state and local governments, public accommodations and telecommunications.
Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act
ADA Amendments Act of 2008
The ADA requires existing facilities of some agencies to be accessible. The University of Texas at Austin has a compliance plan to make all existing facilities accessible to people with disabilities where access is readily achievable and not an undue burden. For new construction or renovations, The University must be in compliance with the Texas Accessibility Standards (TAS), which are administered and monitored by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR). The TAS guidelines have been certified by the United States Department of Justice as conforming to the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG).