ADA Change Bill Sails Through U.S. Senate

September 11, 2008 ( - The U.S. Senate unanimously approved the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 during a Thursday session.

A news release from U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, (R-Wyoming), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, said more than 70 Senators co-sponsored the legislation (See U.S. Lawmakers Call for Restoration of the ADA ), which Enzi said also has the support of a broad coalition in the business community and disability advocates. 

“Passing this ADA bill is critical to restore the intent of the original Americans with Disabilities Act.  Recent court decisions have denied protections to some individuals that Congress intended to cover when it first passed ADA,” Enzi said in the statement. “This bill will ensure that individuals with disabilities are protected from discrimination as Congress originally intended. We must make sure these changes protect individuals who may be left behind now without creating unreasonable new burdens for small businesses struggling to compete.”

The U.S. House is considering its own version of ADA amendments, the ADA Restoration Act of 2007, which would redefine “disability” as a physical or mental impairment, a record of such an impairment, or being regarded as having such an impairment – in effect, eliminating the current requirement for the physical or mental impairment to substantially limit one or more of the individual’s major life activities to be covered by the ADA (See ADA Expansion Would Change Definition of Disability ).