Special Accommodations

Mental disability Examples

Mental Disabilities / December 4, 2017

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as amended by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA), prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in several critical areas. Those areas include state and local government services, places of public accommodation, employment, telecommunications, and transportation.

Under the ADA, you have a disability if you have at least one of the following:

  • A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities;
  • A record of such an impairment; or
  • You are regarded as having such an impairment.

The measurement for an impairment is when the condition is most severe. Therefore, if you have sporadic impairment, disability will be assessed at the time when the symptoms are most evident.

There are two basic parts to having a disability:

  • You must actually have what is considered to be a physical or mental impairment; and
  • The impairment must substantially limit one or more of your major life activities.

Physical or mental impairments

In order to have a disability under the ADA, you must have a physical or mental impairment. Not everything that restricts your activities qualifies as an impairment. However, under the ADAAA, the definition of disability now must be understood in favor of broad coverage to the maximum extent allowed.

A physical impairment is any medical disorder, condition, disfigurement or loss affecting one of the body systems, such as neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory (including speech organs), cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genitourinary, immune, circulatory, hemic, lymphatic, skin, and endocrine.

A mental impairment is any mental or psychological disorder, such as intellectual disability, formerly mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities.

It is not possible to include a list of all the specific conditions that would constitute physical or mental impairments, but some examples may be useful.

Examples of conditions that are impairments:

  • AIDS, and its symptoms
  • Alcoholism
  • Asthma
  • Blindness or other visual impairments
  • Cancer
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Heart Disease
  • Migraine Headaches
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Orthopedic impairments
  • Paralysis
  • Complications from Pregnancy
  • Thyroid gland disorders
  • Tuberculosis
  • Loss of body parts

Source: www.illinoislegalaid.org