Difference Between ADA and Section 504 (With Table)

The United States comes with an act and law to protect the people’s rights of people with some disabilities. The ADA represents the Americans with Disabilities Act as a big help for people who are suffering from some type of disability.

ADA ensures that disabled person is getting equal job opportunities and education that normal people get on a daily basis. The 504 is another law that makes sure that disabled people are not prevented from getting employment. Both of these laws are enacted for preventing prejudice or biased opinions of people on a disabled person.

ADA vs Section 504

The main difference between ADA and section 504 is that both of these statutes or laws are enacted in different years. The ADA was approved and sanctioned in 1992, and the United States Department of Justice was responsible for legalizing the validity of ADA. On the other hand, section 504 came into the role in 1973 and was approved by the United States Department of Education’s Office dealing with civil rights.

ADA vs Section 504

The ADA’s application happens on all the institutions or entities that accrue federal monetary help or support from the government. This statute doesn’t put any duty or obligation on the entities to confirm that every disabled person is getting access to education in schools and colleges without paying education fees.

Section 504 is known for giving privileges to disabled people to get employment and public education. The education should be provided without charging money as it has to be free. The organizations under section 504 are liable to confirm that everyone is given free access to education in schools.

Comparison Table Between ADA and Section 504

ParametersADA     Section 504
Introduction             The act is enacted for giving education and employment rights to disabled people. The law is all about preventing the inequality and discrimination happening to disabled people regarding education and employment.
Introduced on          The effects of ADA started in 1992. The benefits of section 504 were provided to people in 1973.
Evaluation Criteria                 For claiming the rights under ADA, there are no such eligibility criteria required by the disabled person.   To continue with the review process, the person has to submit a notice to the authority. Permission is also required for claiming the rights under section 504.
TypeADA is an act dealing with the rights of disabled people and providing equal opportunities to them.On the other hand, section 504 is a law that helps disabled people to run and exercise their rights for education and employment without any issues.
Duty and Obligation      ADA is free from putting any duty or special obligation.        The obligation or duty is mandatory under the rules and regulations of section 504.

What is ADA?

ADA focuses on preventing inequality, biased behaviors, and discrimination against people. ADA is all about maintaining equality and justice for all people with disability. The institutions would give all the necessary facilities that are required by the disabled or handicapped person. There are few rules and regulations set by the authority to qualify for claiming the rights under ADA.

The institutions must make sure that the services given to disabled people are free from discrimination or any biased actions. The main moto of the ADA is justice and equal treatment for all disabled people. Discrimination can be a very big problem in society that prevents people from getting the facilities such as government services and facilities.

To eradicate the unequal treatment and discrimination, the ADA came with several civil rights that are given to people with psychological and physical disabilities. People can also take the laws of ADA as a privilege for disabled people to make them get equal services as normal people.

What is Section 504?

Section 504 included in the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 come with many rights that disabled people can claim after satisfying certain criteria provided by the law. The sections in mainly introduced to encourage employment and education of the disabled people that don’t get equal service due to lack of facilities and privilege. Section 504 comes with a great motive to use the money of government in a manner to encourage justice and equality.

After the introduction of section 504, the physical capacity and ability of the person would not be a concern for getting employment and education. The disabled people would get the government services and facilities as a civil right and to stand in an equal position with others. To support educational and employment growth, the United States decided to bring the rights to disabled people under section 504.

Main Differences Between ADA and section 504

  1. The ADA civil rights were introduced to people in 1992, whereas the privilege and rights under section 504 were approved for disabled people in 1973.
  2. The ADA has no set of eligibility criteria or evaluation requirements for the disabled people to claim the rights, whereas section 504 has a set of criteria for the disabled people that are required to be satisfied for claiming the rights under section 504.
  3. In ADA, direct duty or obligation is not pivotal and mandatorily inflicted on the institutions or entities, whereas the obligation or duty is vital and mandatorily foisted on the organizations under section 504.
  4. The notice is a mandatory requirement for claiming the rights under section 504, whereas the notice is not at all included in the mandatory requirements under ADA for disabled persons.
  5. The ADA rights can be used or claimed by the disabled person without getting consent if the person comes under the guidelines of the action, whereas the rights under section 504 require mandatory consent for the disabled person to claim the benefits.


Discrimination is a big threat for people that can snatch their rights as citizens. The ADA and section 504 act came as a hope for disabled people that suffer on a daily basis to run their basic rights. The government money should be used in a valuable manner and should not go in the wrong place. Both of these acts focus on almost similar targets, but they have their own guidelines and rules for providing the services.

The ADA and section 504 are enacted and introduced by two different authorities of the United States that make their procedure vary. People should take the legal help to educate themselves more about the complete rules, regulations, and requirements for getting the rights under ADA and section 504. Everyone going through mental and physical disability can take the privilege under section 504 and ADA for their growth in the field of education and employment.