The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has issued a final rule to amend its Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations in order to incorporate the statutory changes to the ADA federal disability law, which were set forth in the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 and took effect on January 1, 2009.
The DOJ has made several major revisions to the meaning and interpretation of the term disability in the ADA Amendments Act. The revised language clarifies that the term disability shall be interpreted “broadly” and “applied without extensive analysis”. Minimizing the need for extensive evaluations that often cost thousands of dollars! This is intended to make it easier for an individual to establish that he or she has a disability. The rule took effect on October 11, 2016.
In addition to requiring the definition of disability to be broadly interpreted, the final regulations expand the definition of “major life activities” by providing a non-exhaustive list of major life activities that specifically includes the operation of major bodily functions. The activity of “writing” was added as an example of a major life activity. Reading, concentrating, thinking, and communicating were also included among others.
This is a great step in the right direction to make identification and accommodations for the disabled more accessible. The Lexercise evaluation follows ADA regulations. If your child needs a school accommodations plan (aka, a 504 Plan) for a reading or writing disability our evaluation should provide the school’s assessment team with what they need to write an effective, individualized plan that complies with the ADA.
For more information on the final rule see the Federal Register [PDF], Vol. 81, No. 155, August 11, 2016.