Congressman Cohen Drums Up Support for the Americans with Disabilities Act

October 31, 2007
Press Release

Congressman Cohen expressed his firm support for the new bill, which will correct narrow interpretations of the ADA in a series of decisions by conservative federal courts over the past few years. “These courts have held that things as basic as liver function, thinking and communication are not ‘major life activities,’ which excludes valid recipients from their rightful ADA benefits,” he explained.

The courts’ decisions have focused on two aspects of what constitutes a disability – the significance of “mitigating factors” and what qualifies as a “major life activity” – which have made it increasingly difficult for disabled individuals to receive protection from employment discrimination under the ADA. 

“Under the current interpretation of the law, if someone utilizes so-called ‘mitigating factors’ – like wearing glasses to help you see when you are legally blind – they may not qualify for disability,” said Congressman Cohen. “That’s not the way that Congress intended the law to work, and that’s not right.  We’re working hard in committee to make sure that this injustice is corrected.”

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Contact:

 

Marilyn Dillihay, Press Secretary, (202) 225-3265 / (202) 368-9275 (mobile)

Charlie Gerber, Communications Assistant, (202) 225-3265 / (202) 320-2817 (mobile)