What is a Disability?
The Americans with Disabilities Act provides comprehensive civil rights protections for “individuals with disabilities.” An individual with a disability is a person who:
- has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities
- or has a record of such impairment
- or is regarded as having such impairment
Examples of physical or mental impairments include, but are not limited to contagious and non-contagious diseases and conditions as:
- orthopedic, visual, speech, hearing impairments
- cerebral palsy, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis
- cancer, heart disease, diabetes
- mental retardation, emotional illness, specific learning disabilities
- tuberculosis, HIV disease (whether symptomatic or asymptomatic)
“Major life activities” include functions such as:
- caring for oneself
- performing manual tasks
- seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing
- learning, working.