Publication Date

Winter 1999



Document Type



This Article critiques the idea that the ADA should exclude from its coverage people who use mitigating measures, such as medications and medical devices, to alleviate the effects of their mental and physical impairments. After describing the statute as an expansive but flawed tool for combating disability-based discrimination, the Article analyzes a 1999 trilogy of Supreme Court cases holding that in determining whether a person has a disability for purposes of ADA coverage, courts should take account of the ameliorative effects of so-called mitigating measures on the person’s impairments. Through this holding, the Court inappropriately constricted the scope of the term “disability” in the statute and thus narrowed the ADA’s coverage in a manner that undermines its legislative purpose. The Article concludes with a call for legislative action to re-establish the appropriately broad reach of the ADA.


First published by Arizona State Law Journal, Volume 31, Issue 4.