Laws can be difficult to understand, so we’ve simplified them for you.

On this page, you will learn what support you or the person you’re helping is entitled to in plain, accessible language.


Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act

This law protects a disabled person’s rights to equal access to work, school, and accessibility. It is important, especially in the context of public schools, and outlines what accommodations a child is entitled to. It does not secure parent rights, which are outlined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

This law outlines how parents can protect their children’s rights within the educational system.  

Under this law parents have the right to: 

  1. Receive a complete explanation of all the procedural safeguards available. 
  2. Review the educational records of their child.
  3. Participate in meetings related to the evaluation and placement of their child, and the provision of FAPE (a free appropriate public education).
  4. Obtain an independent educational evaluation (IEE) of their child.
  5. Receive “prior written notice” on matters relating to the identification, evaluation, or placement of their child, and the provision of FAPE.
  6. Give or deny their consent before the school takes certain actions affecting the child.
  7. Disagree with decisions made by the school system on those issues.
  8. Use IDEA’s mechanisms for resolving disputes, including the right to appeal.

American for Disabilities Act

This anti-discrimination law applies to people with ADHD and Dyslexia. It is important, especially in the workplace or an academic environment.

The main takeaway for workers is:

  1. You cannot be discriminated against during an interview as long as you are competent at the core skill advertised.
  2. All companies with more than 15 employees have to reasonably accommodate limitations associated with the learning differences. 

This could mean extra time on a test or screen reading software for a dyslexic or noise-canceling headphones and allotted breaks for people with ADHD, for example.

Some practical advice:

Right to receive a complete explanation of IDEA’s procedural safeguards

By The Center for Parent Information and Resources

By The Dyslexia Initiative

Accommodations: the everyday basics

By The Dyslexia Initiative

Dyslexia Coffee Talk with a special education attorney

By The Dyslexia Initiative

By The Dyslexia Initiative

Dyslexia Coffee Talk season 1: advocating for your child

By The Dyslexia Initiative

Please note: the laws on this page have been summarized to the best of our ability, using content from third parties. Please use the information provided here as a starting point and consult the full text of the relevant laws if taking any legal action.