Nutshell’s Primer on the ADA Restoration Act

Posted on 5 September 2007. Filed under: ADA Restoration Act of 2007, Advocacy, Guest Bloggers |

Last night, I made a post that responded to someone who was still confused about how the courts have damaged the ADA and how the ADA Restoration Act is meant to fix it.  I responded as a post because I figure there are probably other people out there who are just as confused as this person was, but who were too shy or embarrassed to say so.

Some of you may still find it worth exploring those other links to help you understand the point of the ADA Restoration Act.  But one of the authors of a basic “primer” on the ADA Restoration Act posted a comment that I thought was worth posting here.  You can think of it as a primer shrunk down to nutshell size — in other words, a  primer in a nutshell:

 Day Says:
September 5th, 2007 at 1:11 am e

Actually, I wrote the primer. Hopefully it explains things in a manner that makes sense.

But perhaps I can offer an answer in a short and simple way. The original ADA said that if you are someone with a disability and a person discriminates against you, then they are breaking the law. Sounds pretty simple, yes?

But you’ll notice it is actually TWO things you have to do: 1. Be a person with a disability and
2. Be discriminated against

The problem arises with Step 1. What is a person with a disability? That sounds obvious, but when it comes to details in a courtroom, the law can seem pretty complicated.

Over the last few years, when people with certain disabilities have sued, the courts have disqualified them under Step 1. Why?

Because if you have a disability that you can effectively compensate for, then you aren’t disabled. That includes medication, prosthetics, hearing aids etc. So according to the law, since you have mitigated (or compensated) for your disability you are no longer disabled and therefore CANNOT sue under the ADA.

Basically being punished for taking care of oneself. The funny/sad thing is that the original sponsor of the bill was a legislator with epilepsy, so OF COURSE he wanted it covered under the ADA but because of the court system’s narrowing of the definition of who a person with a disability is (Step 1), people with epilepsy are no longer protected under the law.

THANK YOU, Day, for helping us out.

Want more background?  See the post I wrote last night for more links you can follow to things other people have written on the ADA Restoration Act.  And if that still isn’t enough, then also see my more comprehensive list of all the blog posts I’ve found since July 26 on the ADA Restoration Act.

When you’re done: please, please, please, please, please, PLEASE come back here and let me know exactly WHICH posts you felt were the most helpful to you in understanding how the courts have hurt the ADA, and how the ADA Restoration Act is meant to fix it.  And tell me if any of the posts just left you more confused than before.  If you do that, then I’ll know which posts I should recommend the most (or not recommend at all) to other people who are confused on these issues.  And that, in turn, will help other people understand them better too.

Have YOU written a blog post on the ADA Restoration Act that’s missing from my list?  Please let me know so I can link to you.  Or, if you haven’t written about the ADA Restoration Act–then please go and blog!

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One Response to “Nutshell’s Primer on the ADA Restoration Act”

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[…] is one of the most important bills for the Deaf and disability communities this year, see the  nutshell primer I posted here the other day with the generous assistance of one of the people who read this blog.  […]


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