ADA Amendments Act becomes law

It was President George H. W. Bush who signed the Americans with Disabilities Act into law in 1990. Yesterday, he watched his son, President George W. Bush, expand that law’s coverage by signing the ADA Amendments Act.

The new law will broaden the number of people who are considered disabled under the ADA. 

The Act overturns the 1999 “Sutton Trilogy” of Supreme Court cases, which said that the determination of whether an individual has a “substantial impairment” must be made while taking into account the use of any medications, corrective lenses, hearing aids or other corrective measures.

The new law also overturns the 2002 case of Toyota v. Williams, 534 U.S. 184, in which the Court construed the term “substantially limits” to mean “considerable” or “to a large degree,” thereby precluding impairments that interfere in only a minor way with performing tasks from being covered by the ADA.

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