vet tech with dog, man working with wiring, a firefighter, and massage therapist giving massage

Civil Rights and the Student

Access to Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College is a civil right.  Programs at the College must be readily accessible to and usable by people with disabilities.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 states that "no otherwise qualified handicapped individual in the United States, as defined in section 706(6) of this title, shall, solely by reason of his handicap, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance." The definition of "handicapped individual" is anyone with a physical or mental impairment that substantially impairs or restricts one or more major life activities, such as caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.

The Office of Civil Rights cites the following as requirements under Section 504:

  • Quotas for admission of handicapped persons are prohibited.
  • Admissions tests for persons with impaired sensory, manual or speaking skills must be offered as often as other admissions tests.
  • Pre-admission inquiries as to whether a person is handicapped are prohibited.
  • Handicapped students must have the opportunity to participate in any part of the programs  or activities offered by the recipient.
  • All programs and activities must be offered in the most integrated setting possible.
  • A recipient may not impose rules on handicapped students that have the effect of limiting participation.
  • All programs and activities must be offered in the most integrated setting possible.
  • Requirements must be modified, on a case-by-case basis, to provide an equal educational opportunity.
  • Students with impaired sensory, manual or speaking skills must be provided with auxiliary aids.
  • Handicapped students must have an equal opportunity to benefit from financial assistance.
  • Handicapped students must have equal opportunity to benefit from programs that make outside employment available.
  • Handicapped students must be provided an equal opportunity to participate in intercollegiate, club, and intramural athletics.
  • Placement and counseling services must be available to handicapped students in a nondiscriminatory manner.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), in 1990, expanded the civil rights protections in Section 504 to a wide range of entities, both public and private. It has provisions prohibiting discrimination in the following areas: (1) Title I - Employment; (2) Title II - Public Services; (3) Title III - Public Accommodations and Services Operated by Private Entities; and (4) Title IV -Telecommunications. Further information regarding Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College and the ADA is available through the College ADA Coordinator located in the K. Ray Bailey Student Services Center.