Advocacy Alert: USDE Seeks Public Input on Amending Regulations Implementing Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to Strengthen and Protect the Rights of Students with Disabilities

As part of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education’s strategic priority to promote advocacy initiatives for its members and others, we would like to draw your attention to the following announcement.

The United States Department of Education announced its plans to gather public input on possible amendments to the regulations implementing Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 in order to strengthen and protect the rights of students with disabilities. Section 504 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in public and private programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance, including schools and postsecondary institutions.

As stated in the notice U.S. Department of Education Announces Intent to Strengthen and Protect Rights for Students with Disabilities by Amending Regulations Implementing Section 504:

The Department’s Office for Civil Rights will solicit public comments to help decide how best to improve current regulations to assist America’s students with disabilities. May is Mental Health Awareness Month and, as part of the President’s Unity Agenda, President Biden announced a strategy to address our nation’s mental health crisis. The work that OCR will do this month to listen to and solicit public input regarding improvements to the Department’s disability rights regulations will include input from those people with disabilities who also have mental health needs and their advocates.

As part of the development of the proposed amendments to the Section 504 regulations, the Department is soliciting public input. Interested parties may to submit comments. The Department will also hold listening sessions in the coming months.

MSCHE encourages feedback on the regulations, and written comments can be submitted by email or mail. Visit for detailed information on the submission process.