DOJ Releases Proposed Rules on Rehab Act Section 504

February 12, 2017

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to revise its regulation implementing Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973—Nondiscrimination Based on Disability in Federally Assisted Programs or Activities. Comments are due to the DOJ by March 20, 2017. ASHA is reviewing the proposed regulation to determine its potential impact on audiologists and speech-language pathologists— and those they serve—and will submit comments by the deadline.

The NPRM, among other things,

  • incorporates amendments to the statute, including the changes in the meaning and interpretation of the applicable definition of disability as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) Amendments Act of 2008;
  • incorporates requirements stemming from judicial decisions;
  • updates accessibility standards applicable to new construction and alteration of buildings and facilities;
  • updates certain provisions to promote consistency with comparable provisions implementing Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act; and
  • makes other nonsubstantive clarifying edits.


Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (commonly referred to as “Section 504”) prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in federally conducted and assisted programs or activities. The DOJ is responsible for implementation and enforcement of Section 504 for federally assisted programs through its regulations.


For more information, please see the January 19, 2017, Federal Register notice [PDF], or contact Catherine D. Clarke, ASHA's director of education and regulatory advocacy, at or by phone at 800-498-2071, ext. 5611.

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