Program Access Under Disability Discrimination Law

26 Pages Posted: 4 Feb 2021

See all articles by Mark C. Weber

Mark C. Weber

DePaul University College of Law

Date Written: December 10, 2020


State and local governments and all federal grantees must operate their programs. services. and activities are readily accessible to persons with disabilities when the program, service, or activity is viewed in its entirety. This Article submits that courts should adopt an expansive reading of this program access requirement, imposing an obligation on governments and grantees to offer something of benefit to everyone, no matter the nature of that someone’s disability. The text of the federal regulations, relevant caselaw, and persuasive analogies require this reading. Moreover, this energetic interpretation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 regulations resolves some of the thornier problems of current disability discrimination law: limits on reasonable accommodation and the distinction between access and content for legally required accommodations. Applied to the recent case of A.H. ex rel. Holzmueller v. Illinois High School Association, the proper reading of the program access regulations requires the creation of a para-ambulatory long distance road race in the state high school competition.

Keywords: Disability, Disability Discrimination, Section 504, Americans with Disabilities Act, Program Access, Civil Rights

JEL Classification: H11, H41, H70, I00, I18

Suggested Citation

Weber, Mark C., Program Access Under Disability Discrimination Law (December 10, 2020). Syracuse Law Review, Vol. 71 (Forthcoming), Available at SSRN: or

Mark C. Weber (Contact Author)

DePaul University College of Law ( email )

25 E. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL Cook County 60604-2287
United States
312-362-8808 (Phone)
312-362-5448 (Fax)

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