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Military programs are governed by federal law, Department of Defense policy and additional policies specific to the branches of service. The below are the excerpts from federal law that govern the civil rights and education of exceptional family members in the military.

Title 10, United States Code (USC) §1781c, "Office of Community Support for Military Families With Special Needs," Jan. 7, 2011 This legislation established the Office of Community Support for Military Families With Special Needs.  The purpose of the office is to enhance and improve DoD support for military families with special medical or educational needs through the development of appropriate policies, dissemination of appropriate information, support for families in obtaining referrals for services and oversight of the activities of the military departments in support of families with special needs. View the Standardizing the Exceptional Family Member Program Fact Sheet (PDF) to learn more.

Title 29, USC, Chapter 16, "Vocational Rehabilitation and Other Rehabilitation," Jan. 7, 2011 This legislation ensures that the federal government plays a leadership role in promoting the employment of individuals with disabilities, especially individuals with significant disabilities, and in assisting states and providers of services in fulfilling the aspirations of such individuals with disabilities for meaningful and gainful employment and independent living. View the Vocational Rehabilitation and Other Rehabilitation Fact Sheet (PDF) to learn more.

Title 42, USC, Chapter 126, "Equal Opportunity for Individuals with Disabilities," Feb. 1, 2010  This legislation provides a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities. View the Equal Opportunity for Individuals with Disabilites Fact Sheet (PDF) to learn more.

Public Law 93-112, "Rehabilitation Act of 1973," §504, April 20, 1973  This act protects qualified individuals from discrimination based on their disability.  The non-discrimination requirements of the law apply to employers, organizations (including public and private schools) and facilities that receive federal funding.  It is important to note that for military special needs families living outside the United States and its territories, Section 504 does not apply. DoD facilities and programs overseas are subject to the laws of the host nation. View the Section 504: Eligibility and Employment Provisions Fact Sheet (PDF) to learn more.

Public Law 101-336, "Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990," July 26, 1990  This act provided wide- ranging legislation intended to make American society more accessible to people with disabilities. The act addresses five areas of discrimination: employment, public services, public accommodations, telecommunications and miscellaneous items including the prohibition of coercing, threatening or retaliating against the disabled or those attempting to aid people with disabilities in asserting their rights afforded by the Americans with Disabilities Act. View the Americans with Disabilities Act Fact Sheet (PDF) to learn more.

Public Law 108-364, The Improving Access to Assistive Technology for Individuals with Disabilities Act, December 2004 The Tech Act promotes awareness of, and access to, assistive technology (AT) devices and services, and provides AT to people with disabilities so they can more fully participate in education, employment and daily activities on a level playing field with others. The act incorporates all ages and disabilities in all environments, such as early intervention, K-12, post-secondary, vocational rehabilitation, community living and aging services. View the Public Law 108-364, Assistive Technology Act of 2004 Fact Sheet (PDF) to learn more.

Public Law (PL) 108-446, "The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act," December 2004 This act is the federal legislation that guides the provision of early intervention, special education and related services to eligible children with disabilities ages birth through 21. You can learn more by viewing the following fact sheets: Early Intervention Services Fact Sheet (PDF), Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Fact Sheet (PDF), and Special Education Fact Sheet (PDF).

The Uniform Federal Accessibility StandardsThese standards are design requirements developed under the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968. The act requires that buildings and facilities designed, constructed or altered with federal funds be accessible and provides a definition of "accessible."


National Park Week National Park Week begins April 18 and brings family fun to the forefront. Every member of the family can enjoy what our national parks have to offer, with free entrance days and plenty of active and accessible activities. Take a look at The Exceptional Advocate before your trip to discover military discounts and more.

Flower on lilypads This two-hour webinar will explore current research findings linked to wellness and mindfulness, as well as how mental health clinicians and others in helping professional roles can use this information to implement preventative and restorative practices in their work and personal lives. The presentation will also include practical examples that individuals can provide to families dealing with stress, anxiety and other difficulties that can provide barriers to wellness. Continuing education units may be available.

Father with son Families who have children with special needs have long-term financial needs. Find out why it’s critical to set up a special-needs trust before your child reaches the age of majority — usually 18 — and how to get started.




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