Military programs are governed by federal law, Department of Defense policy and additional policies specific to the branches of service. Below are excerpts from federal law that govern the civil rights and education of military family members with special needs.
Title 10, United States Code (USC) §1781c, “Office of Special Needs,” Jan. 7, 2011 This legislation established the Office of Special Needs to enhance and improve DOD support for military families with special medical or educational needs through the development of appropriate policies, dissemination of appropriate information and more.
Title 29, USC, Chapter 16, “Vocational Rehabilitation and Other Rehabilitation,” Jan. 3, 2012 This legislation ensures that the federal government plays a leadership role in promoting the employment of individuals with disabilities, especially individuals with significant disabilities, and in assisting states and providers of services in fulfilling the aspirations of such individuals with disabilities for meaningful and gainful employment and independent living. See the Vocational Rehabilitation and Other Rehabilitation Fact Sheet to learn more.
Title 42, USC, Chapter 126, “Equal Opportunity for Individuals with Disabilities,” Feb. 1, 2010 This legislation provides a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities. See the Equal Opportunity for Individuals with Disabilities Fact Sheet to learn more.
Public Law 93-112, “Rehabilitation Act of 1973,” §504, April 20, 1973 This act protects qualified individuals from discrimination based on their disability, and applies to employers, organizations including public and private schools, and facilities that receive federal funding. Section 504 does not apply to military families with special needs living outside the United States and its territories, where Department of Defense facilities and programs overseas are subject to the laws of the host nation.
Public Law 101-336, “Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990,” July 26, 1990 This act provides for making American society more accessible to people with disabilities by addressing five areas of discrimination: employment, public services, public accommodations, telecommunications and miscellaneous items including the prohibition of coercing. See the Americans with Disabilities Act Fact Sheet to learn more.
Public Law 108-364, The Improving Access to Assistive Technology for Individuals with Disabilities Act, March 2021 This act promotes awareness of, and access to, assistive technology devices and services, and provides AT to people with disabilities so they can more fully participate in education, employment and other daily activities. The act incorporates all ages and disabilities in all environments, such as early intervention, K-12, post-secondary, vocational rehabilitation, community living and aging services.
Public Law (PL) 108-446, “The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act,” December 2004 This act guides the provision of early intervention, special education and related services to eligible children with disabilities ages birth through 21. See the following to learn more: Early Intervention Services Fact Sheet, Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Fact Sheet and Special Education Fact Sheet.
The Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards These standards are design requirements developed under the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968. The act defines “accessible” and requires that buildings and facilities designed, constructed or altered with federal funds be accessible.