Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990/Definitions

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Perhaps the most important definition in this act is the definition of "Disability."

Definition: Disability.--The term "disability" means, with respect to an individual--

  • a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual;
  • a record of such an impairment; or
  • being regarded as having such an impairment.

This definition of disability left a great deal open to interpretation.

Two other definitions cover the entire act:

Definition: Auxiliary aids and services.--The term "auxiliary aids and services" includes--

  • qualified interpreters or other effective methods of making aurally delivered materials available to individuals with hearing impairments;
  • qualified readers, taped texts, or other effective methods of making visually delivered materials available to individuals with visual impairments;
  • acquisition or modification of equipment or devices; and
  • other similar services and actions.

Definition: State.--The term "State" means each of the several States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands, the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.