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June 28, 2024Uncategorized

HHS (Health & Human Services) Final Regulations Implementing Section 504

HHS (Health & Human Services) Final Regulations Implementing Section 504

Disability Matters with Joyce Bender

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

 #AdvocacyMatters Segment

HHS (Health & Human Services) Final Regulations Implementing Section 504

Last November, we reported on Disability Matters with Joyce Bender that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a proposed rule that would update and strengthen prohibitions against discrimination based on disability from those programs or activities receiving federal funds.  We know this rule as Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504).  Section 504 applies to any recipient of federal funds.

Here we are in June and are happy to report that HHS released their final Section 504 regulations.  HHS released the new rule after reviewing over 5,200 public comments. This is the first significant update of this important regulation in 50 years.

Section 504 creates a powerful tool to combat disability discrimination in health care and human services. The rule’s title is Discrimination on the Basis of Disability in Health and Human Service Programs or Activities.

What does the new regulation accomplish?

First the new regulation works to ensure health care is not based on negative biases or stereotypes about people with disabilities.

Second, the new regulation establishes rules for accessible medical equipment by adopting the U.S. Access Board’s standards for medical diagnostic equipment like exam tables and mammography machines.

The new regulation defines what accessibility means for websites and mobile applications to ensure that health care and human services programs are readily accessible to and usable by people with disabilities.

It also prohibits the use of any measure, assessment, or tool that discounts the value of a life extension based on disability to deny, limit, or condition access to any service.

The new rule also updates requirements to be consistent with changes in the Americans with Disabilities and subsequent court cases.

ACL and HHS will be working to ensure people know the rule over the next few months.

#AdvocacyMatters

Updating this rule has been a top advocacy priority of the disability community for many years.  This is another example of how advocacy matters.

If you go to www.disabilityrightspa.org and click on today’s #AdvocacyMatters segment, you will find a link to the Administration for Community Living which has everything you need to know about the new Section 504 regulation.  The link will lead you to blog posts, fact sheets, videos of a press conference, the federal register notices, and more.

If you believe you or someone you know has been discriminated against, go to HHS.gov/OCR to file a complaint. https://www.hhs.gov/ocr/complaints/index.html

Links

US Health and Human Services Administration for Community Living Section 504 Page

https://acl.gov/504rule