The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA), which went into effect January 1, 2009, significantly expanded the protections of the original Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to include more individuals with less severe impairments.
Congress had expected that the definition of a disability under the ADA would be interpreted consistently with how courts had applied the definition of a "handicapped individual" under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; however, that was not the case. A series of U.S. Supreme Court cases — most notably Sutton v. United Air Lines (527 U.S. 471, 1999) and Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc. v. Williams (534 U.S. 184, 2002) — significantly narrowed the scope of the ADA's reach, thus eliminating protection for many persons whom Congress had intended to protect.
The ADAAA directed the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to amend its existing ADA regulations to conform with th...(register to read more)
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