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June 9, 2015

Innovations of the Americans With Disabilities Act: Confronting Disability Discrimination in Employment

Author Affiliations
  • 1Institute for Bioethics, Health Policy, and Law, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, Kentucky
JAMA. 2015;313(22):2221-2222. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.3417

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)1 is the nation's first comprehensive and broadly applicable law prohibiting discrimination in employment on the basis of disability. Adopting key language from the Rehabilitation Act of 1973,2 an earlier federal law with more limited coverage, as well as other federal and state employment discrimination laws, the ADA introduced a series of statutory innovations to advance the goal of ensuring greater employment opportunities for the millions of Americans with disabilities. This Viewpoint explores 3 notable innovations in the ADA relating to coverage, medical examinations and inquiries, and reasonable accommodation.

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