Bush Pens ADA Change Bill into Law

September 25, 2008 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - President Bush on Thursday signed into law the ADA Amendments Act that includes a number of changes to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

A Thompson.com news report said the law is effective January 1, 2009.

The latest bill, approved unanimously by both the Senate and the House, adds definitions of “substantially limits” and “major life activity,” according to Thompson

In addition, the bill (S.3406)   instructs courts that the “question of whether an individual’s impairment is a disability under the ADA should not demand extensive analysis.” The new law provides a list of activities that constitute major life activities.

Individuals cannot show they were regarded as having a disability for impairments that are transitory and minor, the news report said. Further, individuals regarded as having a disability but who do not actually have one are now explicitly not entitled to reasonable accommodations.

“The ADA Amendments Act signed today by the President brings millions of our fellow citizens back where they belong: under the protection of the ADA,” U.S. House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Maryland) said about the bill. “Today we make clear that discrimination against people with disabilities, including people who are able to mitigate them, is entitled to redress. And we recognize that those ‘regarded as’ having a disability are equally at risk—and deserve to be equally protected.”