Under recent decisions of the United States Supreme Court, people with disabilities alleging employment discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are caught in a vicious triangle. One vertex of the triangle is self-accommodation. Correcting for their impairments through effort, prosthetic devices such as eyeglasses, hearing aids, or medications, they are evaluated in their ameliorated state and do not qualify as disabled at all.1 At this self-accommodation vertex, they are not entitled to the protection of the ADA because they are not disabled under current interpretations of the ADA.2 A second vertex is the ability to succeed in some jobs, despite impairments. At this vertex, people with impairments may be unable to claim the protection of the ADA because of their success in working. Their difficulty lies in identifying a major life activity substantially limited by their impairment.
University of Iowa College of Law
Americans with Disabilities Act; ADA; Intellectual disability;
Mental retardation; People with mental disabilities -- Employment;
Francis, L. (2004). Employment and intellectual disability. Journal of Gender, Race & Justice, 8(2), 299-325.