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ADA or ADAAA, You Say "Potato," I Say "Patato"

ENews: Volume 10, Issue 3, Third Quarter, 2012

From the desk of Linda Carter Batiste, J.D., Principal Consultant


Since the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) was passed in 2008, there has been confusion about whether it is still proper to refer to just the "ADA" or whether you must now use "ADAAA." The short answer is that both are correct, depending on what you are talking about.

The ADAAA only changed the definition of disability, so if you are discussing the current definition of disability, then it is appropriate to refer to the ADAAA. All the other parts of the ADA – e.g., reasonable accommodation and nondiscrimination – stayed the same, so if you are talking about those parts, it is appropriate to refer to just the ADA.

But what do you do when you are talking about all of it – the definition of disability, reasonable accommodation, and nondiscrimination? Some people simply continue to use "ADA" when talking about all the parts, but technically you should use "ADA as amended."

But even you do not get this right, the important thing is that you are talking about the ADA again!

ADAAA: Definition of Disability + ADA: Reasonable Accommodation and Nondiscrimination = ADA as Amended