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Preface to symposium: Recent legislative recognition of the problems encountered by handicapped people has prompted a public awakening to the needs and desires of all people to live in an integrated society with an opportunity to participate and contribute to the full extent of their potential. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and regulations promulgated thereunder, have been touted as being to handicapped persons what the Civil Rights Acts were to racial and minority groups, although this analogy is questionable. Section 504 requires that any program or activity which receives federal funds may not exclude any handicapped person if he is otherwise qualified to participate. When one realizes the many barriers, both physical and attitudinal, which our society has imposed in the past, the far-reaching impact of this broad mandate becomes evident. As a result, compliance with the federal requirements may become a formidable task. The following comments address three important aspects of section 504 and related federal legislation concerning the handicapped.

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