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Is there a list of disabilities that are covered under the ADA?

It is important to remember that in the context of the ADA, “disability” is a legal term rather than a medical one. Because it has a legal definition, the ADA’s definition of disability is different from how disability is defined under some other laws, such as for Social Security Disability related benefits.

The ADA defines a person with a disability as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity. This includes people who have a record of such an impairment, even if they do not currently have a disability. It also includes individuals who do not have a disability but are regarded as having a disability. The ADA also makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person based on that person’s association with a person with a disability.

If you have more questions about this or if you need to know more about something else under the ADA, please contact the Northeast ADA Center at 1.800.949.4232, by email at northeastada@cornell.edu or by submitting a question through our website.

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