Who is protected by the ADA?

The ADA covers people with both physical and mental disabilities. One must meet the ADA requirement of a “qualified individual with a disability” who can perform the essential functions of a job without a “reasonable accommodation.”

There are three different groups of individuals who are protected under the Act.

  1. A “qualified individual” with a physical or mental impairment that “substantially limits” a “major life activity.”
  2. A person who has a record of a disability
  3. A person who is regarded as having a disability.

Persons with HIV, diabetes, heart disease or certain emotional illnesses are covered by the ADA. Some conditions, such as illnesses resulting from current illegal drug use, are specifically excluded under the ADA.