VI. The Independent Living Movement 1970 to Present C. Moving Toward Independence
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1973

Rehabilitation Act: The 1973 Act was completely rewritten to place stronger emphasis on providing rehabilitation services to people with severe disabilities.

Title I authorizes formula grants to state vocational rehabilitation agencies to provide the following services: diagnosis and evaluation; counseling, guidance, referral and placement; vocational and other training; physical and mental restoration services; income maintenance; interpreter and reader services; orientation and mobility services; transportation; technological aids and devices; and rehabilitation engineering services. Vocational rehabilitation agencies were required to develop an "individualized written rehabilitation program" (IWRP) jointly with each individual receiving services.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 was one of the most important pieces of legislation passed by Congress during the 1970s. However, Section 504 was not supported by three Administrations, regulations were not promulgated for several years, and the law was not enforced. Section 504 states:

"No otherwise qualified handicapped individual in the United States... shall, solely by reason of his handicap, 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 any program or activity conducted by any Executive agency or by the United States Postal Service."