The Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, refers to when disability is defined from a legal perspective rather than a medical one.
If you are unsure whether your disability falls under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), it’s important to know what’s considered a disability. ADA defines someone with a disability as a person who exhibits:
- Mental or physical impairment which significantly restricts bodily functions or significant life activities.
- No medical disorder but is deemed to be having one.
- A record of impairment, even if the person does not currently have any disability.
What is Considered a Disability under the ADA?
To be considered disabled under the ADA, you must have either a physical or mental impairment. However, not every condition that limits you from performing activities is viewed as an impairment. It’s worth noting that the ADA uses an expansive definition. The various types of impairments considered under the ADA are:
Physical impairments – Any medical condition or disorder that affects the body, which includes:
- Complications from Pregnancy
- Special sense organs
- HIV & AIDS and its symptoms
- Muscular dystrophy
- Thyroid gland disorders
- Loss of body parts
Mental impairments – Any cognitive disorder, such as:
- Mental illness
- Intellectual disability
- Certain learning disorders
- Organic brain syndrome
When establishing whether an impairment qualifies as an ADA disability, mitigation measures are not considered by law. Therefore, mitigating steps such as therapy or medication used to manage symptoms are not considered in the ADA disability qualification process.
What Is Not Covered under the ADA?
Impairments that are not covered under the ADA include:
- All types of cancer
- Compulsive gambling
- Sprained joints
- Old age
- Lack of education
- Common cold or the flu
- Broken bones, which can heal completely
In some cases, depression and stress are regarded as impairments if they are directly correlated with a mental or psychological disorder. But if you suffer from depression, stress, or anxiety due to everyday life pressures, you may not be protected by the ADA.
The same applies to drug abuse—if an individual has a history of illicit substance abuse that could have led to the current condition or use of drugs to contain a disability, they may not qualify as disabled under the ADA.
ADA Protection At Work
Generally, you don’t apply for ADA protection. Instead, know your rights as a person with a disability going into the workplace and what to do if your employer does not offer the following things to accommodate your disability:
- Modifying equipment or devices
- Provide readers and interpreters
- Provide an accessible and usable workspace for disabled individuals
- Offer job restructuring
- Offer part-time or modified work schedules
- Modify or adjust exams, policies, or training material.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) lists employers who are covered under the ADA:
- Private employers
- Labor organizations
- Employment agencies
- Local and state governments
Contact a New York ADA Attorney for Help
If your disability is eligible and your rights under the ADA have been infringed upon, you could have a credible claim. The New York ADA attorneys at Mizrahi Kroub LLP specialize in disability cases in New York and can help you navigate your legal recourse.
Contact us online or call us at (212) 595-6200 to discuss your case confidentially with our team of attorneys.
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