Definition of Disability Under the ADA
“Disability” is defined in the ADA broadly to include any physical or mental disorder or impairment which substantially impairs an individual from performing a “major life activity,” including the ability to work.
In order to be covered by the ADA, an individual with a disability also must be “qualified.” That is, the individual must satisfy the prerequisites of the job (skills, education and other job-related experience), and must be able to perform, with or without reasonable accommodations, the job’s essential functions. The ADA identifies and prohibits discrimination against three categories of qualified individuals with disabilities:
(a) individuals with a disability
(b) individual with a record of disability, protecting individuals who have history of, or have been misdiagnosed as having, a disability; and
(c) individuals who may not actually have a mental or physical disorder but who, based on fear, myth, or stereotype, are regarded as disabled.