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Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted, which prohibits discrimination against persons because of their disabilities. The ADA serves as a "comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities." (42 U.S.C. 12101(b)(1)) The ADA targets three major areas:

  • Title I addresses discrimination by employers
  • Title II addresses discrimination by governmental entities
  • Title III addresses discrimination in public accommodations operated by private entities

ADA Amendments Act of 2008

The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 was signed into law on September 25, 2008 and went into effect January 1, 2009. The ADA Amendments Act specifically overturns Supreme Court decisions that have caused many people with disabilities to lose important civil rights protections. The Act makes it clear that Congress intended the ADA's coverage to be broad, to cover anyone who faces discrimination because of a disability. The legislation also clarifies the current requirement that an impairment must substantially limit a major life activity in order to be considered a disability. The Act prohibits consideration of mitigating measures in the determination of whether an individual has a disability, with the exception of ordinary eyeglasses and contact lenses. Finally, the bill affords broad coverage for individuals regarded as having a disability under the ADA, but includes a provision to make it clear that accommodations need not be made to someone who is disabled solely because he or she is regarded as having a disability.

Links to resources about the ADA:

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Links updated May 2013