Rights & Regulations

Federal mandates and guidelines

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

ADA legislation was passed in 1990 to prohibit the discrimination of individuals with disabilities on the basis of disability in relation to employment, state and local government, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation, and telecommunications.

In order to be protected by the ADA, a person must have a disability or have an association with an individual with a disability. An individual with a disability is defined by the ADA as “a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment.” The ADA does not specifically name all of the impairments that are covered. ADA covers all individuals with disabilities, including students.

Read the full text of the law

Section 504

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a federal civil rights law, similar to the ADA, that prohibits discrimination against an individual with disabilities on the basis of disability. The legislation covers individuals who receive services from federally funded programs and institutions, such as schools and government agencies. All public schools, and private schools that receive federal funds, are required to comply with Section 504. Individuals who may not qualify for an IEP may qualify for rights and services under Section 504 and have a 504 Plan. Section 504 covers all students with disabilities, including autistic individuals.

Read the full text of the section

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) is a federal initiative by the United States Department of Labor designed to offer supports for youth and adults with significant barriers to employment, including disabilities, to access and gain high-quality employment.

Read more about WIOA

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA or IDEIA)

The IDEA or IDEIA is federal legislation overseeing special education for students with disabilities, which requires states to develop and offer multidisciplinary service to eligible children from birth to age 21. IDEIA guarantees free and appropriate public education (FAPE) that emphasizes special education and related services to all students with a disability, including autism.

Learn more about IDEA

Indiana State Mandates & Guidelines

Indiana Special Education Rules, Article 7

Section 11, Article 7 of the Indiana Administrative Code (which contains the State’s Special Education rules), commonly referred to simply as “Article 7,” is a state-level regulation protecting students in federally funded schools from discrimination on the basis of a disability. Article 7 outlines the implementation of federal IDEIA requirements at the state level and describes how special education and related services should be provided by Indiana’s local public educational agencies. Article 7 covers all Indiana students with disabilities. Read the most recent version, updated in 2019.

Indiana Health Insurance Mandate For Autism Spectrum Disorder

The Indiana Health Insurance Mandate for ASD (sometimes referred to as the “Autism Mandate”) is a state regulation passed in 2001 that requires insurance providers to provide coverage–or at least offer coverage as an option–for individuals with ASD. The law does not apply to self-insured companies, nor does it apply to companies headquartered in a state other than Indiana. Indiana was the first state to adopt such a mandate, and as of 2017, almost every state in the United States has enacted a similar mandate. For specific information on mandate coverage requirements, review the Indiana Resource Center for Autism’s (IRCA) mandate synopsis or contact the Arc of Indiana Insurance Advocacy Resource Center.