Preventing Employment Discrimination FAQ
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Which disabilities are covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act?
5. Which disabilities are covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a disability as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity, including a major bodily function (such as the proper functioning of the reproductive or nervous systems). In 2008, Congress amended the ADA to make clear that this definition is intended to be interpreted broadly, to offer coverage to a wide range of people. The ADA also protects those who have a history of disability and those who are perceived by their employer, even incorrectly, to have a disability. For more information on the 2008 amendments to the ADA, see Nolo's article ADA Amendments: More Protections Against Disability Discrimination. For information on the ADA generally, including an employer's legal obligation to reasonably accommodate an employee's disability, see Nolo's article Reasons Accommodations for People With Disabilities: The ADA.