The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), enacted by Congress seventeen years ago, offered disabled people a hope of equality and access that has not been fulfilled. 1 Court decisions halt an overwhelming majority of claims, particularly in the employment context, at the summary judgment stage. 2 A key mechanism for fencing out disabled people's claims is the pernicious requirement, based upon the very construction of disability that the ADA's proponents aimed to dispel, that medical evidence is required as a threshold matter to demonstrate that the plaintiff is entitled to seek protection under the statute. 3 The medical evidence requirement embodies and applies a model of disability that pathologizes disabled people and undermines the statute's effectiveness as a tool to advance civil rights.
Tulane Law Review
Suggested Bluebook Citation
Deirdre M. Smith,
Who Says You're Disabled? The Role of Medical Evidence in the ADA Definition of Disability,
Tul. L. REV.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.mainelaw.maine.edu/faculty-publications/22