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Medical News & Perspectives
August 27, 2008

Federal Government Seeks to Clarify the Americans with Disabilities Act

JAMA. 2008;300(8):889. doi:10.1001/jama.300.8.889

Eighteen years after its passage, the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is being updated by actions in Washington, DC, intended to restore the legislation's original intent and to give businesses a clearer understanding of what they need to do to comply with the law.

Legislation is working its way through Congress that would give ADA protection in the workplace for persons with such chronic conditions as diabetes, epilepsy, cardiovascular disease, and mental disabilities, even if controlled by therapy. The ADA Amendments Act, passed in the House of Representatives by a 402 to 17 vote on June 25 (HR 3195 [http://thomas.loc.gov]), is intended to correct narrow court interpretations that have excluded these populations from ADA protection. A similar bill introduced in the Senate is expected to be acted on soon, and the White House, with minor reservations, has endorsed the legislation.

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