Who is considered a "qualified individual with a disability." under the ADA?


How is qualified defined? How is a person qualified? Is this just anyone who has proven they are disabled? Is this anyone with an obvious disability? Please explain.

2 Answers

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    this is a temporary screen name since yahoo won't let me edit

    as i stated in the beginning, i believe QUALIFIED REFERS to having the credentials (training, education, experience, etc) doesn't refer to the validity of the disability.

    just as a non disabled person must be 'qualified for the job'

    or meets the academic requirements for a college


  • Different answers.....and they are not all compatible with each other...and they are interpreted slightly differently for an endless variety of reasons.

    In the preamble of Title 1 disability is defined. A disability can be a person with a limitation on their ability to do one or more things - such as ability to hear sound, ability to see, ability to make sense of what is real and not real, ability to walk unaided, ability to be in an environment with certain smells; it is also a person who once had a disability, but no longer has it, such as cancer - they still cannot get people to see them as a person without a disability as it stands on their record; and it can also be people who do not have any disability at all, but people think they do. This is the one that most people are unaware of. If you are a parent of a child with a disability and you cannot be hired because of your child - you become under the ADA a person with a disability. If you are severely burned on your face, and you have lost absolutely no abilities you had before you were burned, but now get treated as if you had you are a person with a disability under the ADA.

    Ironically a person is not a person with a disability under ADA if they are regarded as a person with a disability, but they use some method to essential eliminate their disability...examples include a person who has perfect eyesight with glasses, who can walk perfectly with with a prosthetic leg, who can hear perfectly well with hearing aids. SO the very thing that a person uses to accommodate their disability in their life becomes the very reason they do not qualify as a person with a disability - even though they may still be regarded by other as a person with a disability.

    Title I - DEFINITIONS SEC. 12102. [Section 3]

    (2) Disability. - The term ``disability'' means, with respect to an individual-

    (A) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual;

    (B) a record of such an impairment; or

    (C) being regarded as having such an impairment.

    In most situations the ADA does not require you to ever prove you have a disability and to define it. What it can require is a doctor, rehab professional, psychiatrist, teacher - someone with pertinent qualifications to define specifically what it is you can not do or what you can only do with specific accommodations. This changes if it should go to trial, or to receive SSDI benefits, etc.

    Qualified individual with a disability is a Title 1 term and refers to employment and disability. A person is a qualified it they can do the job - and it is no matter if they need an accommodation on account of disability or not:


    (8) Qualified individual with a disability. - The term ``qualified individual with a disability'' means an individual with a disability who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the employment position that such individual holds or desires. For the purposes of this subchapter, consideration shall be given to the employer's judgment as to what functions of a job are essential, and if an employer has prepared a written description before advertising or interviewing applicants for the job, this description shall be considered evidence of the essential functions of the job.

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