© Copyright 2014, SVM Universal Design Consortium LLC. All rights reserved. Disclaimer

ADA Amendments act of 2008

The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA), signed into law on September 25, 2008:

· verturns the erroneous Supreme Court decisions that have eroded the protections for people with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), restoring original Congressional intent.

· Rejects strict interpretation of the definition of disability, and makes it absolutely clear that the ADA is intended to provide broad coverage to protect anyone who faces discrimination on the basis of disability.

· Strikes a balance between employer and employee interests.

· Prohibits the consideration of mitigating measures such as medication, prosthetics, and assistive technology, in determining whether an individual has a disability.

· Covers people who experience discrimination based on a perception of impairment regardless of whether the individual experiences disability.

· Provides that reasonable accommodations are only required for individuals who can demonstrate they have an impairment that substantially limits a major life activity, or a record of such impairment. Accommodations need not be provided to an individual who is only “regarded as” having an impairment.

· Is supported by a broad coalition of civil rights groups, disability advocates, and employer trade organizations.

The law, to take effect 01 January 2009, now specifies a list of major life activities, rather than leaving that phrase open to interpretation as the ADA of 1990 did.The non-exhaustive list of major life activities in § 4(4)(a) includes caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating and working. In addition, a list of major bodily functions is included. The list of major bodily functions includes but is not limited to functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine and reproductive functions.

Return to Top