Disability Definitions

Review this section to familiarize yourself with your obligations under federal and state disability law.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

  • Types of Covered Disabilities

    Types of Covered DisabilitiesIn California, a person is considered disabled if he/she exhibits one or more of the following characteristics:   More »

  • "Limits" and "Substantially Limits" Defined

    "Limits" and "Substantially Limits" DefinedPrior to the ADAAA, the U.S. Supreme Court held that an employee who was unable to perform certain specific manual tasks at work because of carpal tunnel syndrome did not qualify as a disabled person under the ADA.  More »

  • "Major Life Activities" Defined

    "Major Life Activities" DefinedImpairments that limit "major life activities" and meet the legal definition of "disability" include impairments that cause inability or difficulty in the following areas.   More »

  • Examples of Disabilities

    Examples of DisabilitiesExamples of physical or mental impairments include, but are not limited to the following:  More »

  • Exclusions From Disability

    Exclusions From DisabilityThe following conditions are specifically excluded from the ADA definition of "disability":  More »

  • "Record Of," "Regarded As" and "Perceived As" Defined

    "Record Of," "Regarded As" and "Perceived As" DefinedIn addition to protecting individuals who have disabilities, disability discrimination laws also prohibit discrimination against individuals with a “record of” a disability or who are “regarded as” disabled.​​   More »

  • Correctable Impairments May Be Disabilities

    Correctable Impairments May Be DisabilitiesThe ADAAA mandates that the positive effects of mitigating measures (except for ordinary eyeglasses and contact lenses) should not be taken into consideration when determining whether an impairment is substantially limiting.   More »

  • "Qualified Individual With a Disability" Defined

    "Qualified Individual With a Disability" DefinedDisability discrimination laws do not protect an individual unless he/she is a qualified individual with a disability.   More »

  • "Essential Job Functions" Defined

    "Essential Job Functions" DefinedTo determine if you must consider qualified disabled people for job openings and promotions, you must determine if the disabled person can perform the essential job functions.  More »