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NCD applauds HHS final rule updating Section 504

Wednesday, May 1, 2024


May 1, 2024

WASHINGTON–The National Council on Disability applauds an update to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, having now impacted the disability community over five decades since it became law.

Today, leaders from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through its Office for Civil Rights (OCR), announced a final rule that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability under Section 504.

The rule, titled Discrimination on the Basis of Disability in Health and Human Service Programs or Activities, advances equity and bolsters protections for people with disabilities. It clarifies and strengthens civil rights protections for people with disabilities, addresses discrimination in medical treatment, adds enforceable standards for accessible medical diagnostic equipment, and ensures accessible web content and mobile apps.

“We’re thrilled to see decades of NCD’s research, from Rehabilitating Section 504 to Rocking the Cradle to our more recent bioethics series, reflected in this groundbreaking rule,” said NCD Chair Claudia Gordon. “We are very pleased to have helped shape this final, historic regulation.”

NCD as an independent federal agency makes recommendations to the President, Congress and federal agencies on disability policy. The agency has a long history of recommendations on Section 504.

“The pandemic exposed the devastating consequences of unequal access for people with disabilities,” said Chair Gordon. “Today’s rule from HHS OCR marks a significant step towards greater inclusion, and we commend their tireless efforts in bringing it to fruition.”

The rule advances the promise of the Rehabilitation Act and helps protect people with disabilities from experiencing discrimination in any program or activity receiving funding from HHS because of their disability.

The final rule can be viewed or downloaded at:

An HHS Fact Sheet on the final rule is available at:


An official website of the National Council on Disability