DHS is committed to strengthening and supporting full inclusion and equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in its programs and activities, through enforcement and compliance with requirements of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, including Section 504 of the Act which states:
"No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States...shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, 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 or under any program or activity conducted by any Executive agency..." 29 U.S.C. § 794
DHS Regulation, Policy, and Guidance
Consistent with the principles of Section 504, the Department has issued the following policy and guidance to strengthen access and nondiscrimination for individuals with disabilities in programs and activities conducted by DHS:
- Enforcement of Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Programs or Activities Conducted by the Department of Homeland Security
- DHS Management Directive on Nondiscrimination for Individuals with Disabilities in DHS-Conducted Programs and Activities
- DHS Instruction on Nondiscrimination for Individuals with Disabilities in DHS-Conducted Programs and Activities
- DHS Component Self-Evaluation and Planning Reference Guide
- DHS Commemorates the 40th Anniversary of the Rehabilitation Act, Blog by Acting Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Officer Tamara Kessler
- Guide to Interacting with People Who Have Disabilities
Component Disability Access Plans
Under DHS Directive 065-01 and in coordination with the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, each DHS Component and office that interacts with the public developed its own individual Disability Access Plan for strengthening compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Components developed these plans to address potential barriers and gaps in disability access identified in their self-evaluations. Additional Component Plans will be posted here once they have been prepared in an accessible PDF format.
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
- Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman (CISOMB)
- Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL)
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
- Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
DHS Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
- CRCL's Antidiscrimination Group engages in policy work to ensure fair and equitable treatment of individuals and guard against discrimination based on race, color, national origin (including limited English proficiency), disability, sex, and age in DHS programs and activities in accordance with federal civil rights laws and regulations. The Antidiscrimination Group provides technical assistance to DHS Components, coordinates with federal partners on implementing laws, and engages with community stakeholders.
- The DHS Disability Access Working Group was established to further the Department's commitment to the principles of the Rehabilitation Act and full inclusion and equal access for individuals with disabilities in DHS programs and activities. Through this Working Group, Components work together to share strategies for effective communication, program accessibility, physical accessibility, and reasonable accommodations and modifications for individuals with disabilities; and then coordinate the use of these approaches across the Department.