What is a substantial limitation?
A substantial limitation is a condition that causes a severe enough impairment or handicap to limit a “major living activity” or “main physiological function,” such as:
- Walking, kneeling, bending, carrying, and other exercises
- Communication and reading
- Learning, thinking, focusing, and so on.
- carrying out manual labor
- Normal cell growth, as well as the immunological, circulatory, and neurological systems
- Functions of the digestive, colon, and bladder
What Does the ADA Consider a “Substantial Limitation”?
In 2009, changes to the Americans with Impairments Act went into effect to protect people with disabilities from discrimination in areas like employment. The “limitations” that qualify as a disability are listed in a three-part definition.
- The first pillar deals with current limitations.
- Cancer is one example of a physical limitation.
- Multiple sclerosis is a disease that affects people.
Alternatively, a current mental illness such as:
- PTSD stands for post-traumatic stress disorder.
- A deformity of the face, such as those resulting from severe burns.
- Anatomical loss, such as the amputation of an arm.
The second prong addresses a disability that isn’t actively impacting a person, including when cancer is already in remission or a person has healed from PTSD.