Americans with Disabilities Act
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, individuals with disabilities are guaranteed certain protections and rights to accommodations based upon documentation. The documentation must indicate that the disability substantially limits some major life activity.
The following guidelines are provided in the interest of assuring that documentation is appropriate to verify eligibility and to support requests for accommodations, academic adjustments and/or auxiliary aids:
- Documentation must be comprehensive and current
- The report must include a specific diagnosis
- Tests used to document eligibility must be technically sound
- Actual test scores must be provided
- A description of requested accommodations, including the rationale, must be provided
Definition of Disability
The term “disability” means, with respect to an individual:
- (A) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual (as described in paragraph (2))
- (B) a record of such an impairment or
- (C) being regarded as having such an impairment (as described in paragraph (3))
(2) Major life activities
- (A) In general
For purposes of paragraph (1), major life activities include, but are not limited to, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working.
- (B) Major bodily functions
For purposes of paragraph (1), a major life activity also includes the operation of a major bodily function, including but not limited to, functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions.
(3) Regarded as having such an impairment
For purposes of paragraph (1)(C):
- (A) An individual meets the requirement of “being regarded as having such an impairment” if the individual establishes that he or she has been subjected to an action prohibited under this chapter because of an actual or perceived physical or mental impairment whether or not the impairment limits or is perceived to limit a major life activity.
- (B) Paragraph (1)(C) shall not apply to impairments that are transitory and minor. A transitory impairment is an impairment with an actual or expected duration of 6 months or less.