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Legal Compliance

The requirement of Bentley University to provide reasonable accommodations, modifications, and/or auxiliary aids for students with disabilities and/or impairments is in compliance with two federal civil rights regulations, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Public Law 93-112) and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-336), as well as one state regulation, the Massachusetts Constitutional Amendment 114.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (PL 93-112) prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance:

"No otherwise qualified handicapped individual in the United States shall, solely by reason of his or her handicap, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance." (29 U.S.C. 794)

In order to be granted protections afforded to a person with a disability under Section 504, individuals must meet the following eligibility criteria: (a) have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life functions; (b) have a history of such impairment; or (c) be regarded as having such impairment.

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (PL 101-336), signed into law on July 26, 1990, was established to further prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability. It provides equal opportunity for qualified individuals with disabilities in employment, public accommodations (including public and private colleges and universities), and public transportation.

Finally, the Massachusetts Constitution Amendment 114 adopted in 1980 provides an important tool for achieving accessibility and prohibiting discrimination against people with disabilities by government as well as private organizations in the state. In 1990, the Massachusetts Equal Rights Act was passed, providing an additional law under which Amendment 114 can be enforced. This act provides, in part, that:

"Any person within the commonwealth, regardless of handicap, shall with reasonable accommodations, have the same rights as other persons to ... give evidence and to the full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of persons and property, including, but not limited to, the rights secured under Article [114] of the Amendments to the Constitution."