The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
and People with Physical Disabilities
How Does ADA Define Disability?
The Americans with Disabilities Act ( ADA) has a three-part definition of disability. Under
ADA, an individual with a disability is a person who: (1) has a physical or
mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities;
OR (2) has a record of such an impairment; OR (3) is regarded as having such an
A physical impairment is defined by ADA as "any
physiological 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."
Neither ADA nor the regulations that implement it list all the
diseases or conditions that are covered, because it would be impossible to
provide a comprehensive list, given the variety of possible impairments.
April 18, 2013