ADA: Americans with Disabilities Act

Americans with Disabilities Act

Introduction to the ADA > Employment > Government / Public Transportation > Public Accommodation

Employment > Take the Test > What is Considered an Impairment > Qualified Individual with a Disability: > Reasonable Accommodations

Summary of Title I: Employment

Title I covers the obligations of employers and prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in public and private sector employment. Title 1 includes a requirement that those employers covered under the ADA make reasonable accommodations to the known physical or mental limitations of qualified applicants and employees, unless providing such accommodations would impose an undue hardship on the employer.

Title I became effective July 26, 1992 for employees of 25 or more workers and July 26, 1994 for employees with 15 or more workers. Title I is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).



The ADA has a three part definition of disability. Under the ADA an individual with a disability is a person who:

The three part definition found in the ADA is based on the definition found in the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and reflects the types of discrimination that people with disabilities face. It is therefore not the same definition that you may find in other laws such as state workers' compensation laws or other federal or state laws that provided services and benefits to people with disabilities and disabled veterans.

Physical Impairments

A physical impairment is defined by the ADA as:

any physical disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory (including speech organs), cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genitourinary, hemic and lymphatic, skin, and endocrine.

The ADA and its regulations do not list all diseases or conditions that would make up physical or mental impairments because it would be impossible to provided a comprehensive list.

Mental Impairments

A mental impairments is defined by the ADA as:

(a)any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities.

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