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Chapter I: An Overview Of Legal Requirements

This chapter of the manual provides a brief overview of the basic requirements of Title I of the ADA. Following chapters look at these and other requirements in more detail and illustrate how they apply to specific employment practices.

1.2 Who Is Protected by Title I?

The ADA prohibits employment discrimination against "qualified individuals with disabilities." A qualified individual with a disability is:

an individual with a disability who meets the skill, experience, education, and other job-related requirements of a position held or desired, and who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of a job.

To understand who is and who is not protected by the ADA, it is first necessary to understand the Act's definition of an "individual with a disability" and then determine if the individual meets the Act's definition of a "qualified individual with a disability."

The ADA definition of individual with a disability is very specific. A person with a "disability" is an individual who: has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of his/her major life activities has a record of such an impairment is regarded as having such an impairment

(See Chapter II.)