US Department of Education NIDRR Technical Assistance Program

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Chapter II: Who Is Protected By The ADA?

2.1 Introduction

The ADA protects qualified individuals with disabilities from employment discrimination. Under other laws that prohibit employment discrimination, it usually is a simple matter to know whether an individual is covered because of his or her race, color, sex, national origin or age. But to know whether a person is covered by the employment provisions of the ADA can be more complicated. It is first necessary to understand the Act's very specific definitions of "disability" and "qualified individual with a disability." Like other determinations under the ADA, deciding who is a "qualified" individual is a case-by case process, depending on the circumstances of the particular employent situation.