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Publications - Title VI
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Publications - Title IX
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Documents posted in this reading room were published in the Federal Register or were otherwise made available to the public. Policy and legal interpretations announced in these materials may have been superseded or modified by federal court decisions or by later interpretations of the legal requirements involved. Placement of the document in the reading room does not reflect its importance relative to other OCR documents or to court decisions. The list of OCR documents currently available is not all-inclusive.

Pencil and Paper icon link to send email request for document EDPubs Logo, used to signify a direct link to an EDPubs order page Some documents are not currently available from this web page but may be requested where either of these icons appears. There is no charge for single copies. Please include your mail address in the request. Other OCR documents that are not currently posted on our web page may be requested using Department of Education Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) request procedures.

General

Publications - General

  • Office for Civil Rights: Ensuring Equal Access To High-Quality Education. (Rev. September 2004). This pamphlet provides an overview of the legal responsibilities of the Office for Civil Rights and how they are carried out by resolving discrimination complaints, conducting compliance reviews, and providing technical assistance. There is also information on the impact of the civil rights laws in improving educational opportunities for students.
  • Impact of the Civil Rights Laws. (1999). This pamphlet describes the impact of the civil rights laws, and other efforts at the national, state, and local level, in bringing about improved educational opportunities for millions of students attending our elementary and secondary schools and colleges and universities.
  • Notice of Non-Discrimination. (2010). This pamphlet describes the requirements for education agencies to issue notice of their commitment to operate programs in a manner free from discrimination, clarifies the information that recipients should include in non-discrimination notices, and provides a sample notice statement.
  • Report of Activities. This serial report is issued to comply with the statutory requirement that OCR regularly provide a report to the Secretary and the President of OCR's policy and enforcement activities.

Documents - General

  • OCR Fact Sheet download files PDF (158K) (December 16, 2014) entitled “Implementing CDC’s Ebola Guidance for Schools while Protecting the Civil Rights of Students and Others”.  The Fact Sheet addresses how school officials can implement Ebola guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  without discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, or disability; explains what school officials must do to ensure a continuity of learning if a student is legitimately excluded from school; and reminds school officials of their responsibility to respond to bullying and harassment.  Other resources on Ebola can be found at www.ed.gov/ebola-response.

  • Dear Colleague Letter download files PDF (158K) (December 8, 2014) from Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon and Acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, Vanita Gupta, U.S. Department of Justice, concerning the applicability of Federal civil rights laws to juvenile justice residential facilities. The letter provides a reminder that juvenile justice residential facilities receiving Federal funds are subject to the same Federal civil rights obligations as all other public schools, and highlights some of the legal requirements related to access to academic coursework and career and vocational training, students with disabilities, English language learners, and the administration of discipline.

  • Dear Colleague Letter download files PDF (179K) (May 14, 2014) from Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon, concerning the applicability of Federal civil rights laws to charter schools. The letter provides a reminder that charter schools are subject to the same Federal civil rights obligations as all other public schools, and highlights some of the legal requirements related to admissions, student discipline, students with disabilities, and English language learners.

    "Dear Colleague" letter download files PDF (179K) | En español download files PDF (186K)
  • “Dear Colleague” letter (April 24, 2013) from Acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Seth Galanter, concerning the prohibition against retaliation under Federal civil rights laws. The letter clarifies the basic principles of retaliation law and describes OCR’s methods of enforcement.

    download files PDF (64K) "Dear Colleague" letter | En español download files PDF (128K)
  • “Dear Colleague” letter (October 26, 2010) from Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Russlynn Ali, concerning recipients' obligations to protect students from student-on-student harassment on the basis of sex; race, color and national origin; and disability. The letter clarifies the relationship between bullying and discriminatory harassment, provides examples of harassment, and illustrates how a school should respond in each case.

    download files PDF (166K) "Dear Colleague" letter
  • “Dear Colleague” letter (January 13, 2009) from Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Stephanie Monroe, concerning the obligation of recipients of federal financial assistance from, or funds made available through, the Department to submit a signed assurance of compliance with the Boy Scouts of America Equal Access Act and the other laws OCR enforces. This letter is a subsequent request to recipients for whom OCR has no record of receiving a signed assurance.  The letter contains instructions for completion, and encloses a blank copy of the Assurance of Compliance – Civil Rights Certificate for submission to OCR.

    download files PDF (1.7M) "Dear Colleague" letter

    download files PDF (106K) Revised Assurance of Compliance -- Civil Rights Certificate
  • “Dear Colleague” letter (July 21, 2006) from Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Stephanie Monroe providing information about the Boy Scouts of America Equal Access Act of 2001, part of No Child Left Behind, and the requirement to provide assurances of compliance with this law. The letter encloses a blank copy of OCR's revised Assurance of Compliance -- Civil Rights Certificate.

    download files PDF (1.18M) "Dear Colleague" letter

    download files PDF (106K) Revised Assurance of Compliance -- Civil Rights Certificate
  • Joint DOJ/OCR Letter on Segregated Proms: " Dear Colleague" letter (September 20, 2004) addressing the issue of civil rights violations inherent in allocation of extracurricular awards or honors on the basis of race, or violations inherent in racially separate proms or dances.

  • Title VI and Title IX Discrimination: "Dear Colleague" letter (September 13, 2004) addressing the right of all students, including students of faith, to be free from discrimination in our schools and colleges under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, in cases where such discrimination may be commingled with religious discrimination.
  • Title IX Responsibilities: "Dear Colleague" letter (August 4, 2004) reminding postsecondary institutions of Title IX responsibilities.

  • Title IX Responsibilities: "Dear Colleague" letter (April 26, 2004) reminding chief state school officers and state and local education agencies that the Title IX regulations require recipients to designate a Title IX coordinator, adopt and disseminate a nondiscrimination policy, and put grievance procedures in place to address complaints of discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs and activities.

  • First Amendment: "Dear Colleague" letter (July 28, 2003) reaffirming that OCR's regulations and policies do not require or prescribe speech, conduct or harassment codes that impair the exercise of rights protected under the First Amendment.

Federal Register Notices and Regulations - General

  • Guidelines for Vocational Education Programs. These guidelines explain the civil rights responsibilities of recipients of Federal funds offering or administering vocational education programs. These Guidelines were published by the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Office for Civil Rights, at 44 Fed. Reg. 17162 (Mar. 21, 1979), and are codified at 34 CFR Part 100, Appendix B.

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Additional ED Resources

Discrimination Based on Race, Color or National Origin
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI)

Publications - Title VI

  • Education and Title VI. (1991). This pamphlet discusses Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which protects people from discrimination based on race, color, or national origin in programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Education.

Documents - Title VI

  • October 1, 2014: (Press Release) Dear Colleague letter download files PDF (469K) from Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon about ensuring students have equal access to educational resources without regard to race, color, or national origin. The guidance, fact sheet, and resources for technical assistance are also available on the Resource Comparability Materials homepage.

    Dear Colleague Letter download files PDF (469K) | En español download files PDF (308K)

    Fact Sheet download files PDF (179K) | En español PDF (510KB)

    Press Release | En español 

  • "Dear Colleague" letter download files PDF (172K) (May 8, 2014) from Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon, Deputy General Counsel Philip H. Rosenfelt, U.S. Department of Education, and Jocelyn Samuels, Acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Justice, regarding schools' enrollment procedures and the obligation to enroll all residents of school age regardless of their race, color, national origin, immigration, or citizenship status.

    "Dear Colleague" letter download files PDF (172K) | En español download files PDF (177K) | Arabic download files PDF (269K) | Chinese download files PDF (230K) | Korean download files PDF (244K) | Tagalog download files PDF (155K) | Vietnamese download files PDF (214K)

    Questions and Answers about Dear Colleague download files PDF (326K) | En español download files PDF (196K) | Arabic download files PDF (234K) | Chinese download files PDF (259K) | Korean download files PDF (386K) | Tagalog download files PDF (185K) | Vietnamese download files PDF (314K)

    Fact Sheet about Dear Colleague download files PDF (569K) | En español download files PDF (237K) | Arabic download files PDF (203K) | Chinese download files PDF (253K) | Korean download files PDF (289K) | Tagalog download files PDF (156K) | Vietnamese download files PDF (248K)

  • May 6, 2014:  Dear Colleague Letter download files PDF (99K) from Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon, Philip H. Rosenfelt, Deputy General Counsel, U.S. Department of Education, and Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels, U.S. Department of Justice, concerning the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action. The letter provides information about the Schuette decision and reiterates the Departments’ support for the voluntary use of race and ethnicity to achieve diversity in education.

  • January 8, 2014: (Press Release) “Dear Colleague” letter download files PDF (587K) from Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon, U.S. Department of Education, and Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels, U.S. Department of Justice, concerning the nondiscriminatory administration of school discipline.  The letter provides information describing how schools can meet their obligations under federal law to administer student discipline without discriminating on the basis of race, color, or national origin.  The letter is part of the Departments’ school discipline guidance package that will assist states, districts and schools in developing practices and strategies to enhance school climate, and ensure those policies and practices comply with federal law. For more information on the Departments’ school discipline guidance package please use link at http://www.ed.gov/school-discipline/.
  • "Dear Colleague" letter | En español download files PDF (644K)

  • September 27, 2013: (Press Release) “Dear Colleague” letter from Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon, U.S. Department of Education, and Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels, U.S. Department of Justice, concerning the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin. The letter and accompanying Questions and Answers provides information about the Fisher decision and reiterates the Departments’ support for the voluntary use of race and ethnicity to achieve diversity in education.

  • "Dear Colleague" letter  download files PDF (282K) | En español download files PDF (253K)

    Questions and Answers  download files PDF (305K) | En español download files PDF (334K)

  • June 12, 2013: (Press Release) Joint OCR/DOJ/HHS "Dear Colleague" Letter (June 12, 2013), addressing the rights of students with hepatitis B in postsecondary medical, dental, nursing, and other health-related programs. The letter discusses the latest recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding the participation of students with hepatitis B in health-related schools, and how the CDC recommendations relate to the federal laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability, race, color, and national origin.

  • "Dear Colleague" letter download files PDF (108K)
  • Title VI Enforcement Highlights Office for Civil Rights (July 2012)
    download files PDF (1.26M)

  • "Dear Colleague" letter (May 6, 2011) (Archived) from Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Russlynn Ali, General Counsel Charles P. Rose, U.S. Department of Education, and Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Justice, regarding schools' enrollment procedures.

    "Dear Colleague" letter download files PDF (130K) | En español download files PDF (131K)
  • “Dear Colleague” letter (October 26, 2010) from Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Russlynn Ali, concerning recipients' obligations to protect students from student-on-student harassment on the basis of sex; race, color and national origin; and disability. The letter clarifies the relationship between bullying and discriminatory harassment, provides examples of harassment, and illustrates how a school should respond in each case.

    download files PDF (166K) "Dear Colleague" letter
  • "Dear Colleague" letter (January 8, 2009) from Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Stephanie Monroe providing Chief State School Officers, State educational agencies, and local educational agencies with information to ensure the provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, regarding access to, participation in, and administration of, public school choice, are implemented in a nondiscriminatory manner that is consistent with the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and its implementing regulations.  download files PDF (4.8M)
  • Use of Race In Student Assignment
    December 2, 2011: (Press Release, En español download files PDF (83K),
    Chinese download files PDF (178K), Korean download files PDF (149K), Tagalog download files PDF (26K), Vietnamese download files PDF (153K))
    Joint OCR/DOJ "Dear Colleague" Letter and Guidance Documents on the Voluntary Use of Race (December 2, 2011), addressing the voluntary use of race to achieve diversity or avoid racial isolation in elementary and secondary schools, and the voluntary use of race to achieve diversity in postsecondary institutions.

    "Dear Colleague" letter (August 28, 2008) (Withdrawn) from Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Stephanie Monroe addressing Title VI and how OCR assesses the use of race in assigning students to elementary and secondary schools.  download files PDF (124K)
  • Use of Race In Student Admissions
    December 2, 2011: (Press Release, En español download files PDF (83K),
    Chinese download files PDF (178K), Korean download files PDF (149K), Tagalog download files PDF (26K), Vietnamese download files PDF (153K))
    Joint OCR/DOJ "Dear Colleague" Letter and Guidance Documents on the Voluntary Use of Race (December 2, 2011), addressing the voluntary use of race to achieve diversity or avoid racial isolation in elementary and secondary schools, and the voluntary use of race to achieve diversity in postsecondary institutions.

    "Dear Colleague" letter (August 28, 2008) (Withdrawn) from Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Stephanie Monroe addressing Title VI and how OCR assesses the use of race in the context of postsecondary student admissions.  download files PDF (124K)
  • January 19, 2001:  Dear Colleague Letter download files PDF (852K) from U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley, concerning racial and ethnic disparities in access to educational resources, including teachers, facilities, instructional programs and support, technology, and school funding.
  • Race, Admissions and Financial Aid: U.S. Department of Education, Office of the General Counsel: Letter to College and University Counsels (7/30/1996). Subject: Consideration of race in making college and university admissions decisions and awarding financial aid, in light of the Hopwood v. Texas decision.
  • California Civil Rights Initiative, Proposition 209: U.S. Department of Education, Office of the Secretary: Dear Colleague Letter (03/19/1997). Subject: Effect of Proposition 209, California's ban on affirmative action, on the responsibilities of California's school districts and colleges under educational programs and civil rights laws administered by the Department of Education.

Federal Register Notices and Regulations - Title VI

  • Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Lead Agency Status for Elementary and Secondary Schools and Institutions. Announcement that pursuant to the Department of Education Organization Act, the Department of Education would now have lead agency status with regard to certain Title VI compliance responsibilities towards secondary schools and institutions of higher education that had been performed by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. This announcement was published by the Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights at 45 Fed. Reg. 54793 (Aug. 18, 1980)
  • Notice of final policy guidance. Nondiscrimination in Federally assisted programs; Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The final policy guidance discusses the applicability of the statutes' and regulations' nondiscrimination requirement to student financial aid that is awarded, at least in part, on the basis of race or national origin. This guidance was originally published in the Federal Register, Vol. 59, No. 36 (Feb. 23, 1994).
  • Racial Harassment / OCR Investigative Guidance: Racial Incidents and Harassment Against Students at Educational Institutions; Investigative Guidance. Investigative guidance on the procedures and analysis that OCR staff will follow when investigating issues of racial incidents and harassment against student at educational institutions. This guidance was published in the Federal Register, Vol. 59, No. 47 (Mar. 10, 1994).
  • Regulations for Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Non-discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in education programs and activities receiving or benefiting from Federal financial assistance. These regulations were published by the Department of Education and codified at codified at 34 CFR Part 100, as amended, 65 Fed. Reg. 68050 (November 13, 2000).

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Additional ED Resources

Discrimination Based on Sex
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX)

Publications - Title IX

  • “Dear Colleague” letter and Pamphlet: Supporting the Academic Success of Pregnant and Parenting Students Under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (June 25, 2013) from Acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Seth Galanter. This pamphlet clarifies the specific requirements of Title IX applicable to pregnant and parenting students. The pamphlet contains a FAQ section that explains the Title IX requirements and provides examples to ensure that schools understand their obligations and pregnant and parenting students understand their rights under Title IX. The pamphlet also provides information on strategies that educators may use and programs schools can develop to address the educational needs of students who become pregnant or have children. It also provides examples of promising practices designed to support pregnant and parenting students that schools may choose to implement.
  • “Dear Colleague” letter download files PDF (297K)

    Supporting the Academic Success of Pregnant and Parenting Students Under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 download files PDF (251K)

    Know Your Rights download files PDF (412K) | En español download files PDF (410K)

  • Sexual Harassment: It's Not Academic. (Code No. 16). (Revised 2008). This pamphlet addresses issues of sexual harassment of students by school employees, other students, and non-employee third parties. It is intended for use by school administrators and other employees in understanding a school's obligations under Title IX, and by students and their parents in understanding student rights in this area. The pamphlet answers questions about sexual harassment, including how to recognize, respond to, and prevent sexual harassment. It also provides information about how to file a complaint with OCR.

    download files PDF (10M) Sexual Harassment: It's Not Academic Pamphlet
  • Title IX and Sex Discrimination (Code No. 6). (Revised 1998). This pamphlet summarizes the requirements pertaining to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities which receive Federal financial assistance from the Department of Education.

    download files PDF (2M) Title IX and Sex Discrimination Pamphlet (Spanish version)
  • Title IX: 25 Years Of Progress. (1997). An overview of the impact of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs receiving Federal financial assistance. The brochure describes the impact of Title IX in improving educational opportunities for students during its 25 years in existence.
  • Equal Opportunity in Intercollegiate Athletics. (1991). This pamphlet summarizes Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department. Athletics is considered an integral part of an institution's education program and is therefore covered by this law.

Documents - Title IX

  • Questions and Answers about Title IX and Sexual Violence download files PDF (867K) (April 29, 2014). These questions and answers further clarify the legal requirements under Title IX articulated in the April 4, 2011 Dear Colleague letter on Sexual Violence and the January 19, 2001 Revised Sexual Harassment Guidance and provide recommendations for addressing allegations of sexual violence.
  • Know Your Rights about Title IX and Sexual Violence download files PDF (551K) | En español download files PDF (551K) | Chinese download files PDF (338K) | Korean download files PDF (272K) | Vietnamese download files PDF (236K)

  • Title IX Enforcement Highlights Office for Civil Rights (June 2012)
    download files PDF (948K)

  • "Dear colleague" letter (April 4, 2011) from Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Russlynn Ali. The letter provides guidance and examples about Title IX requirements and how they relate to sexual harassment and sexual violence, discusses proactive efforts schools can take to prevent sexual violence and educate employees and students, and provides examples of the types of remedies schools and OCR may use to respond to sexual violence.

    "Dear Colleague" letter download files PDF (245K)

    Fact Sheet about Dear Colleague download files PDF (121K)

    Know Your Rights download files PDF (138K)

  • “Dear Colleague” letter (October 26, 2010) from Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Russlynn Ali, concerning recipients' obligations to protect students from student-on-student harassment on the basis of sex; race, color and national origin; and disability. The letter clarifies the relationship between bullying and discriminatory harassment, provides examples of harassment, and illustrates how a school should respond in each case.

    download files PDF (166K) "Dear Colleague" letter
  • "Dear Colleague" letter (April 20, 2010) from Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Russlynn Ali providing recipients with information about the standards OCR uses to assess compliance with Part Three of the "three-part test." The test is used to determine whether institutions are meeting the Title IX regulatory requirement to accommodate students' athletic interests and abilities.

    download files PDF (4.2 MB) "Dear Colleague" letter

    Questions and Answers about Dear Colleague
  • "Dear Colleague" letter (September 17, 2008) from Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Stephanie Monroe providing recipients with information about how OCR determines which athletic activities can be counted under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), 20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.

    download files PDF (2.4M) "Dear Colleague" letter
  • Title IX Athletics Three-Part Test (March 27, 2008). Letter re-affirming the Department of Education's policy on the application of the Three-Part Test to high school athletics, which measures the accommodation of student athletic interests and abilities. download files PDF (1.73M)
  • "Dear Colleague" letter (June 25, 2007) from Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Stephanie Monroe addressing the Title IX regulatory requirements related to nondiscriminatory treatment of pregnant students in the context of athletic scholarships.

    download files PDF (191K) "Dear Colleague" letter
  • 35th Anniversary of Title IX (June 23, 2007).
    "Dear Colleague" letter (June 22, 2007) from Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Stephanie Monroe commemorating the 35th anniversary of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. This letter discusses the broad impact that Title IX has had on aspects of education.

    download files PDF (2.4M) "Dear Colleague" letter
  • Notification of New Single-Sex Regulations (January 31, 2007). "Dear Colleague" letter from Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Stephanie Monroe, notifying recipients of the new single-sex regulations, published in the Federal Register on October 25, 2006, that provides additional flexibility to recipients to offer non-vocational elementary and secondary education on a single-sex basis while ensuring that non-vocational single-sex education is provided consistent with the nondiscrimination requirements of Title IX.  It also informs recipients of a dedicated email address established by OCR to receive questions and requests for technical assistance in connection with these new requirements.

    download files PDF (3.8M) "Dear Colleague" letter and new regulatory provisions
  • Funding of Athletic Scholarships: U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR): Dear Colleague Letter (July 23, 1998) from Norma Cantú, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights. Subject: Investigation of complaints which allege discrimination in the awarding of athletic scholarships in intercollegiate athletics programs. Bowling Green State University Letter (July 23, 1998) from Dr. Mary Frances O'Shea, National Coordinator for Title IX Athletics to Bowling Green State University General Counsel. Subject: Clarification of the coverage of Title IX and its regulations as they apply to both academic and athletic programs; and the funding of athletic scholarships budgets for men's and women's intercollegiate athletics programs.
  • 1975 Memorandum to Chief State School Officers, LEA Superintendents, and PSE Presidents on Title IX obligations in athletics, including athletic scholarships; intercollegiate, club, and intramural programs. This memorandum provides guidance with respect to the major first year responsibilities of an educational institution to ensure equal opportunity in the operation of both its athletic activities and its athletic scholarship programs.

Federal Register Notices and Regulations - Title IX

  • Policy Interpretation - Title IX and Intercollegiate Athletics. Clarifies the obligations of recipients to provide equal opportunity in athletic programs, especially with respect to athletic financial assistance, equivalence in other athletic benefits and opportunities, and effective accommodation of students' interests and abilities. This policy interpretation was published by the Department of Health, Education and Welfare at 44 Fed. Reg. 71413 (Dec. 11, 1979).
  • Regulations for Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. These regulations concern non-discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs and activities receiving or benefiting from Federal financial assistance. These regulations were published by the Department of Education and codified at 34 CFR Part 106, as amended, 65 Fed. Reg. 68050 (Nov. 13, 2000).

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Additional ED Resources

Discrimination Based On Disability
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) and
Title II of The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Title II)

Publications - Section 504 and ADA/Title II

  • The Americans with Disabilities Act. (1991). This pamphlet, published by the Department of Justice (DOJ), contains a brief overview of the Americans with Disabilities Act and lists contact information.

Documents - Section 504 and ADA/Title II

  • November 12, 2014: Dear Colleague letter download files PDF (159K) and accompanying Frequently Asked Questions document (FAQ) download files PDF (418K) from Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon, Acting Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services Michael K. Yudin, and Vanita Gupta, Acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Justice, concerning effective communication for students with hearing, vision, or speech disabilities in public elementary and secondary schools.

    Dear Colleague Letter download files PDF (159K) | En español download files PDF (159K)

    FAQ download files PDF (418K)

    Parent Fact Sheet download files PDF (103K) | En español download files PDF (103K)

  • October 21, 2014: (Press Release) Dear Colleague letter download files PDF (363K) from Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon, concerning the obligation of elementary and secondary schools to respond to the bullying of students with disabilities, including those students who are not eligible for services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act but are entitled to services under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The guidance discusses the actions schools must take when bullying interferes with the education of a student with a disability who is bullied on any basis, and provides insight into how OCR analyzes complaints involving bullying of students with disabilities.  

    Dear Colleague Letter download files PDF (363K) | En español download files PDF (388K)

    Fact Sheet download files PDF (88K) | En español download files PDF (40K)

  • June 12, 2013: (Press Release) Joint OCR/DOJ/HHS "Dear Colleague" Letter (June 12, 2013), addressing the rights of students with hepatitis B in postsecondary medical, dental, nursing, and other health-related programs. The letter discusses the latest recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding the participation of students with hepatitis B in health-related schools, and how the CDC recommendations relate to the federal laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability, race, color, and national origin.

  • "Dear Colleague" letter download files PDF (108K)
  • January 25, 2013: (Press Release) ("Dear Colleague" letter) (January 25, 2013) from Acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Seth Galanter, addressing equal access to extracurricular athletics for students with disabilities.  The Dear Colleague letter provides an overview of the obligations of public elementary and secondary schools under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504), and the Department’s Section 504 regulations; cautions against making decisions based on presumptions and stereotypes; details the specific Section 504 regulations that require students with disabilities to have an equal opportunity for participation in nonacademic and extracurricular services and activities; and discusses the provision of separate or different athletic opportunities.

  • "Dear Colleague" letter download files PDF (546K)

    'Fast Facts' about Dear Colleague Letter Fact Sheet download files PDF (245K) | En español download files PDF (241K)
  • 504 Disability Rights Enforcement Highlights (October 2012)
    download files PDF (1M)

  • January 19, 2012 (Press Release) ("Dear Colleague" Letter) (January 19, 2012) to elementary and secondary education officials with attached Frequently Asked Questions document (FAQ), from Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Russlynn Ali.  The Dear Colleague letter and FAQ discuss the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (Amendments Act), Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504) in the context of students with disabilities attending public elementary and secondary schools.  The FAQ addresses the broadened definition of disability and the changes made by the Amendments Act; explores how the Amendments Act affects Section 504; discusses various obligations of school districts, including the requirement to evaluate students to determine eligibility for regular or special education and related aids and services; and addresses how OCR evaluates compliance with Title II of the ADA and Section 504 in light of the Amendments Act.

    "Dear Colleague" letter download files PDF (247K)

    FAQ download files PDF (396K)
  • "Dear Colleague" letters (May 26, 2011) to elementary and secondary education officials and postsecondary education officials, with attached Frequently Asked Questions document (FAQ), from Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Russlynn Ali. The Dear Colleague letters and FAQ follow-up on a June 29, 2010 letter, sent by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice to college and university presidents, regarding the use of electronic book readers and other emerging technologies in compliance with civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability. The May 26, 2011 Dear Colleague letters and FAQ answer questions about the obligations of educational institutions that provide benefits to students by means of these technologies.
  • “Dear Colleague” letter (October 26, 2010) from Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Russlynn Ali, concerning recipients' obligations to protect students from student-on-student harassment on the basis of sex; race, color and national origin; and disability. The letter clarifies the relationship between bullying and discriminatory harassment, provides examples of harassment, and illustrates how a school should respond in each case.

    download files PDF (166K) "Dear Colleague" letter
  • "Dear Colleague" letter (June 29, 2010) from Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Russlynn Ali and Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Thomas E. Perez, U.S. Department of Justice, concerning the obligation of colleges and universities to ensure that students with disabilities have equal access to emerging technologies in education. The letter, a joint guidance from the Departments of Justice and Education, reminds colleges and universities of the legal standards in regard to accessibility, and applies those standards to electronic book readers. The letter states that it is impermissible under federal law for colleges and universities to use electronic book readers or similar technology in a teaching or classroom environment as long as the device remains inaccessible to individuals who are blind or have low vision and reasonable accommodation or modification for this type of technology do not exist or are not available.

    download files PDF (150K) "Dear Colleague" letter

    Questions and Answers about Dear Colleague download files PDF (300K)
  • "Dear Colleague" letter (October 17, 2008) from Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Stephanie Monroe providing recipients with information regarding disclosure of disability on report cards and transcripts for students with disabilities attending public elementary and secondary schools.  The purpose of this guidance is to clarify how federal laws apply to statements on report cards and transcripts when these statements identify students as students with disabilities.  download files PDF (7M)

  • "Dear Colleague" letter (July 25, 2008) from Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Stephanie Monroe commemorating the 18th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  This letter discusses the broad impact that Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504) and the ADA have had on aspects of education.  The linked pamphlet “So You Want to Go Back to School” (July 2008) provides information for wounded veterans who are qualified individuals with disabilities under Section 504 and ADA with an overview of their rights and responsibilities regarding academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, and reasonable modifications to school policies and practices at postsecondary institutions.  download files PDF (1.61M)

  • "Dear Colleague" letter (December 26, 2007) from Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Stephanie Monroe addressing the rights of students with disabilities to participate in schools’ and school districts’ accelerated programs, such as Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate classes or programs. [downloadable files] PDF (2.8M)

  • “Dear Colleague” letter and “Dear Parent” letter (March 16, 2007) from Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Stephanie Monroe, providing information about the legal rights and responsibilities of students with disabilities as they transition from high school to institutions of postsecondary education.

    download files PDF (568K) "Dear Colleague" letter

    download files PDF (306K) "Dear Parent " letter

  • Joint "Dear Colleague" Letter (April 14, 2005) to Chief State School Officers concerning the document "Helping the Student with Diabetes Succeed: A Guide for School Personnel," co-authored by the Office for Civil Rights and published in 2003 under the auspices of the National Institutes for Health and the Centers for Disease Control. [downloadable files] PDF (165KB)

  • Statewide Assessments and Students with Disabilities: Dear Colleague Letter (September 29, 1997) signed by the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights and the Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. Subject: Obligation to include elementary and secondary students with disabilities in statewide assessment systems.

Federal Register Notices and Regulations - Section 504 and ADA/Title II

Federal Register Notices and OCR Policy - Section 504/ADA

  • Deaf Students Education Services; Notice of Policy Guidance. Provides additional guidance about part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) as they relate to the provision of appropriate education services to students who are deaf. This notiice was published by the Department of Education at 57 Fed. Reg. 49274 (Oct. 30, 1992).
  • Guidelines for Vocational Education Programs. These guidelines explain the civil rights responsibilities of recipients of Federal funds offering or administering vocational education programs. These Guidelines were published by the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Office for Civil Rights, at 44 Fed. Reg. 17162 (Mar. 21, 1979), and are codified at 34 CFR Part 100, Appendix B.
  • Nondiscrimination in Federally Assisted Programs – Policy Interpretations. These four policy interpretations provide guidance concerning certain requirements set forth in the Department of Education's regulation issued under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.  The policy interpretations are in the following subjects: 1) program accessibility requirements; 2) carrying persons with disabilities to achieve program accessibility; 3) participation of persons with disabilities in contact sports; and 4) school board members as hearing officers.  These policy interpretations were published by the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Office for Civil Rights, at 43 Fed. Reg. 36034 (Aug. 14, 1978). download files PDF (1.5M)

Regulations - Section 504/ADA

  • Regulations for Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. These regulations concern non-discrimination on the basis of disability in education programs and activities receiving or benefiting from Federal financial assistance. Published by the Department of Education and codified as 34 CFR Part 104, as amended, 65 Fed. Reg. 68050 (Nov. 13, 2000).

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Additional ED Resources

OCR Policy Statements Printed In The Federal Register

  • Deaf Students Education Services; Notice of Policy Guidance. Provides additional guidance about part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) as they relate o the provision of appropriate education services to students who are deaf. This notiice was published by the Department of Education at 57 Fed. Reg. 49274 (Oct. 30, 1992).
  • Privacy Act Regulations. These final regulations under the Privacy Act permit the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) to exempt the "Complaint Files and Log" system of records from certain provisions under the Act. These regulations were published at 48 Fed. Reg. 38817 (Aug. 26, 1983).
  • Policy Interpretation - Title IX and Intercollegiate Athletics. Clarifies the obligations of recipients to provide equal opportunity in athletic programs, especially with respect to athletic financial assistance, equivalence in other athletic benefits and opportunities, and effective accommodation of students' interests and abilities. The policy interpretation wa published by the Department of Health, Education and Welfare at 44 Fed. Reg. 71413 (Dec. 11, 1979).
  • Nondiscrimination in Federally Assisted Programs – Policy Interpretations. These four policy interpretations provide guidance concerning certain requirements set forth in the Department of Education's regulation issued under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.  The policy interpretations are in the following subjects: 1) program accessibility requirements; 2) carrying persons with disabilities to achieve program accessibility; 3) participation of persons with disabilities in contact sports; and 4) school board members as hearing officers.  These policy interpretations were published by the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Office for Civil Rights, at 43 Fed. Reg. 36034 (Aug. 14, 1978).  download files PDF (1.5M)

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Additional ED Resources

Public Statements and Testimony

Norma V. Cantú, Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights.Testimony before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the House Education and the Workforce Committee. (June 22, 1999)

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Additional ED Resources

Educational Research

See OCR's Civil Rights Data pages

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Archived Documents

See Archives

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Additional U.S. Department of Education Resources

ED Pubs On-Line Ordering System
Database of ED Publications in ERIC
ED Legislation, Regulations, and Policy Guidance
National Center for Education Statistics Electronic Catalog
More information about ED Publications and Products


 
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Last Modified: 12/16/2014