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Rehabilitation Act of 1973

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a federal law that serves to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities. Here are the key points about this important legislation:

Purpose and Scope:

  • The Rehabilitation Act was enacted to replace the Vocational Rehabilitation Act.
  • It extends and revises the authorization of grants to states for vocational rehabilitation services.
  • The law emphasizes services for individuals with the most severe disabilities.
  • It also expands special federal responsibilities, research, and training.

Sections of the Rehabilitation Act:

  • Section 501: Prohibits employment discrimination against individuals with disabilities in the federal sector.
  • Section 505: Contains provisions governing remedies and attorney’s fees under Section 501.
  • Section 705: Defines terms used in the Act, including “individual with a disability” and “illegal use of drugs.”

Definition of “Individual with a Disability”:

  • The term “individual with a disability” means, for purposes of various sections of the Act:
    • Any person who has a disability as defined in Section 12102 of Title 42.
  • The Act covers various subchapters, including vocational rehabilitation services and other related areas.

Drug Use and Disability:

  • The Act defines “drug” as a controlled substance according to the Controlled Substances Act.
  • “Illegal use of drugs” refers to drug use that is unlawful under the Controlled Substances Act.
  • However, it does not include drug use under supervision by a licensed health care professional or other authorized uses.



For further information visit Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Site