St. Thomas Law Review


Amanda Valero

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This Article will first discuss the purpose of the ADA, the importance of the 2008 ADA Amendments, and how recent decisions will once again deny protections to individuals who are “regarded as” disabled. Part II describes the evolution of disability law in the form of the Rehabilitation Act, the ADA (Title I – Employment), and its amendments. Part III analyzes the “regarded as” prong of the ADA, the Sutton case which narrowly construed the protections afforded by the ADA, how the Sutton decision negatively impacted individuals discriminated against on the basis of a “disability,” and how the 2008 ADA amendments reversed these decisions to broaden the scope of the ADA and reinstate its purpose. This section also discusses the impacts Shell and STME will have on individuals seeking protection under the “regarded as” prong. Part IV proposes amending the ADA to reaffirm the broad scope of the ADA by including protection of future disabilities and creating an affirmative action program to increase the employment rates for Americans living with disabilities. Part V concludes by demonstrating how this solution is consistent with the ADA’s purpose.