A Promising Start: Preliminary Analysis of Court Decisions Under the ADA Amendments Act

Blue infographic box with a maroon gavel in the bottom left corner. Text reads: 
Court Interpretation of the ADAAA’s provisions
Courts have generally had little trouble reincorporating the pre-Sutton principle that mitigating measures shall not be considered in determining disability. 
The ADAAA provision decreeing that an impairment that is episodic or in remission constitutes a disability if it would substantially limit a major life activity when active has generally had its desired effect in emerging case law.
Courts have generally embraced the EEOC regulation containing a non-exhaustive list of conditions that are virtually always disabilities, for which individualized assessment should be particularly simple.

July 23, 2013

FULL REPORT: A Promising Start: Preliminary Analysis of Court Decisions Under the ADA Amendments Act (PDF)

Findings and Recommendations (DOC)

SCOPE AND PURPOSE:  This report grew out of NCD’s recognition of the emerging need for review and analysis of the court decisions that have developed under the ADAAA to ascertain whether the Amendments Act has thus far achieved its intended goals. Accordingly, NCD undertook: “to review and analyze case law that has developed under the ADAAA and produce a paper that will report findings, determine whether the ADAAA has achieved its intended goals, and provide recommendations for improvements or corrective action, as necessary.”  In light of the particular problems that had developed in job discrimination cases prior to the ADAAA that the Act sought to address, NCD identified employment discrimination rulings as a predominant focus of the study. From the project’s inception, NCD recognized that not enough time has elapsed since the ADAAA took effect to draw firm and definitive conclusions, but was convinced that an examination of court decisions rendered to date would produce a sense of the current situation and provide a preliminary indication of trends and directions in which the law is heading. The Council’s current study represents an informed legal analysis of a substantial and representative portion of federal court decisions to date. 

National Council on Disability • 1331 F Street, NW, Suite 850 • Washington, DC 20004