Section 902 Definition of the Term Disability

Notice Concerning The Americans With Disabilities Act Amendments Act Of 2008

This document was adopted by the Commission in 1995 to explain its interpretation of the term “disability as used in the ADA. In 1999, the Commission published an Addendum to this document explaining that the discussion of mitigating measures in Section 902.5 was no longer correct due to the Supreme Court’s decision in Sutton v. United Airlines, Inc. The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) was signed into law on September 25, 2008 and became effective January 1, 2009. Because this law makes several significant changes to the definition of the term “disability,” the EEOC will eventually make extensive changes to this document, but not before publication of a final regulation implementing the ADAAA.

Since the ADAAA applies only to acts of alleged discrimination that occur on or after January 1, 2009, the guidance offered on the meaning of “disability” in this document (with the exception of Section 902.5) will still apply to alleged discrimination that occurred prior to January 1, 2009.

The EEOC published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on September 23, 2009. For information on the proposed ADAAA regulation and to learn about the major changes made to the definition of “disability”, see

via Section 902 Definition of the Term Disability.

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