Defining a Disability | John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Defining a Disability

Defining a Disability

Do I Qualify?

A person with a disability is anyone with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, such as walking, seeing, learning, hearing, speaking, or breathing. A person is also protected under the ADA if he or she has a record of a disability or is regarded as having a disability and is thus discriminated against. It is important to know that disabilities can be both visible and hidden. That is, many disabilities may not be obvious to an observer. These can include epilepsy, diabetes, and certain vision-based disabilities. People can also have multiple disabilities, such as an individual who is both legally blind and hard-of-hearing.

A person with a disability may have:

  • a physical or psychological condition which substantially limits one of his/her major life activities(including walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working)
  • a record of such impairment

Disabilities include but may not be limited to:

  • Learning Disorders
  • Medical Disabilities
  • Psychological Disorders
  • Hearing Impairments
  • Visual Impairments
  • Mobility Impairments
  • Temporary Disability Conditions