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  What is a Disability?

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, a person with a disability is one who:

  1. Has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits a major life activity;
  2. Has a record or history of such an impairment; or
  3. Is regarded as having such impairment.

Major life activities include, but are not limited to, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, caring for oneself, and performing manual tasks.

These impairments may be present among people with learning disabilities, emotional disturbances, chronic health impairments, attention deficit disorder, diabetes, asthma, physical disabilities, vision, speech, or hearing impairments, or other conditions.

When does an illness or temporary physical problem become a disability?

Each case is considered individually, but generally, a chronic health condition that fits the above definition would be considered for disability status. Physical problems expected to last more than five weeks may be considered disabilities. Regardless, it must create a substantial limitation in ability to function as a student to qualify as a disability.