Rehabilitation Act/ADA Terminology


Person with a Disability - someone with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. A person is considered to be a person with a disability if he/she has the disability, has a record of the disability, or is regarded as having the disability.

Qualified Individual with a Disability - an individual with a disability, who can perform the "essential functions" of the student with or without reasonable accommodation. In the case of program accessibility, a qualified individual with a disability is one who can meet the essential eligibility requirements of the program or service. with our without reasonable modifications to the entity's rules, policies or practices, or with or without provision of auxiliary aids and services.

Covered Disability - a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

Reasonable Accommodations - the modification of or adjustment to a job, work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables a qualified individual with a disability to enjoy the opportunity to attain the same level of performance, or to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of a student, as the average student without disability.

Reasonable Alteration - the alteration of an entity's policies, practices, or procedures that enables a qualified individual with a disability to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of the program, service, or activity, as the average similarly-situated individual without a disability and that does not result in a fundamental alteration of the program, service, or activity.

Exclusions from the Definition of "Qualified Individual with a Disability"

Temporary Impairments - physical or mental impairments that substantially limit one or more major life activities may not be covered disabilities depending upon the duration of the impairment and the extent to which they actually limit a major life activity of the affected individuals. An individual with a minor temporary impairment of short duration is generally not a qualified individual with a disability. Each individual situation will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Substance Abuse - while drug addiction is an impairment, a person engaging in the current and illegal use of controlled substances is not a qualified person with a disability.

Excluded Conditions - homosexuality, bisexuality, transvestism, transsexualism, pedophilia, exhibitionism, voyeurism, gender identity disorders, compulsive gambling, kleptomania, pyromania, and psychoactive substance abuse disorders are specifically excluded from the definition of disability. An individual with any of the above conditions is not a qualified individual with a disability.

Direct Threat - a significant threat to the health or safety of the individual or others cannot be eliminated or reduced to an acceptable level by modification of policies, practices or procedures; through the provision of auxiliary aids or services; or by reasonable accommodation. An individual who poses a direct threat to the health or safety of the individual or others is not a qualified individual with a disability.

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