There are some laws that are particularly important to student with
disabilities. For further information or clarification of any of these laws,
please contact one of the resources listed on the Rhode Island Resources' or on the United
States Resources' pages.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Public Law 101-336
prohibits discrimination against a otherwise-qualified individual who has a physical or
mental impairment that substanically limits one or more of the person's major life
activities, has a record of such an impairment or is regarded as having such an impairment
from participating in or denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of
the public entity, or subjected to discrimination by such an entity. For further
information. contact the Rhode Island Governor's Commission on Disabilities.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
34 Code of Federal Regulations 34 C.F.R.Part 99 protects all individuals in the
public schools concerning the confidentiality of personal information. This has
particular impact on individuals with disabilities because of the potential release of
information about the individual's disability to inappropriate sources which could
result in discrimination and violations of privacy. For further information, contact the
Family Educational Rights and Policy Office, Washington, D.C. For a full copy of this law,
please see http://www.edlaw.net/public/ferpalaw.htm
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
(IDEA) is the law that governs the "free and appropriate public
education" (FAPE) of children in the elementary or secondary public schools. This law
was recently amended to the Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1997.
Rhode Island is currently working on revising the state regulations of
the IDEA. For further information contact the Rhode Island Department of Elementary and
Secondary Education at Tel. 401- 222-4600 ext. 3505. For full he full text of the
law see http://www.edlaw.net
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (504) is
the anti-discrimination act for public schools that protects otherwise qualified
individual with a disability in the United States from being excluded from
participation or denied benefits from any program or activity receiving
Federal financial assistance. This act was recently amended and is now known as
The Rehabilitation Act as Amended of 1998 Public Law 93-112. For futher
explanations of the Rehabilitation Act contact the United States Department of Education
Office of Civil Rights, Boston, MA Tel. 617-223-9692 For full text of this law see http://www.edlaw.net
the differences between the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act?
What Web site has more information about the laws
Where can I find out more
on line about special education law?
Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions page, the RI Resources and the US Resources
pages for more information about the laws.
Rhode Island State Laws, Rules and Regulations, and
Rhode Island State Laws passed by the Rhode Island Legislature include
laws that further protect the rights of individuals beyond what is noted in federal law.
They can be found in Rhode Island Law libraries, school administration
offices, and some college libraries.
Rhode Island Regulations for Special Education are regulations
that are promulgated by the Rhode Island Board of Regents, which is the school board of
the state of Rhode Island. The members of the Board of Regents are
appointed by the Governor of Rhode Island.
Policies and rules approved by the Rhode Island Board of
Governors, the governing body of the Rhode Island Public higher education
institutions. These policies are found in the student handbooks,
Additional college regulations are available in the college administration offices The
members of the Board of Governors are appointed by the Governor.