First major legislative effort to create a "level playing field" for individuals with disabilities.
No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States, as defined in section 705 (20) of this title, shall, solely by reason of his or her 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 or under any program or activity conducted by any Executive agency or by the United States Postal Service. The head of each such agency shall promulgate such regulations as may be necessary to carry out the amendments to this section made by the Rehabilitation, Comprehensive Services, and Development Disabilities Act of 1978. (United States Department of Labor)
Section 504 prohibits recipients of federal financial assistance from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in employment and in their programs and activities. Each federal agency has its own set of Section 504 regulations that apply to its particular programs.
Section 508 applies to Federal Government agencies and the technology providers that sell to them. This section of the Rehabilitation Act requires that all information and communications technology (ICT) the Federal Government develops, procures, maintains and uses be accessible to people with disabilities. This ensures that federal employees with disabilities have comparable access to, and use of, information and data just like federal workers without disabilities. The law also ensures that members of the public with disabilities receive comparable access to publicly available information and services. Section 508 applies to a wide range of technology products, including computer hardware and software, websites, video/multimedia products, phone systems and copiers.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in several areas, including employment, transportation, public accommodations, communications and access to state and local government programs and services.
Title II applies to State and local government entities, and, in subtitle A, protects qualified individuals with disabilities from discrimination on the basis of disability in services, programs, and activities provided by State and local government entities.