142 Determining Who Is a Person With a Disability

142.1 Overview

To determine whether an individual is a person with a disability, two questions must be answered:

142.2 Defining Physical and Mental Impairments

A physical impairment can include:

Mental impairments include the following:

Physical and mental impairments do not include the following:

142.3 Defining Major Life Activities

Major life activities include, but are not limited to, functions such as hearing, seeing, walking, speaking, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, breathing, eating, sleeping, standing, reading, working, lifting and communicating. Also included is the operation of a major bodily function such as:

There are often times when it is easily determined that an impairment substantially limits a major life activity and is a disability. Examples of these “predictable assessments”, identified in 29 CFR 1630.2(j)(3)(iii), include, but are not limited to, the following:

Where individuals claim that they are limited in the major life activity of working, they must show that their impairment substantially limits their ability to perform either a class of jobs, or a broad range of jobs in various classes, as compared to most people with comparable training, skills, and abilities. Generally, an individual does not meet this requirement by demonstrating a substantial limitation in performing the unique aspects of a specific job for a particular employer.

142.4 Defining “Substantially Limits” Criteria

The “substantially limits” criteria is not a demanding standard. An impairment need not prevent, or significantly or severely restrict, an individual from performing a major life activity. Determining whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity requires an individualized assessment; in most cases, this does not demand extensive analysis. Other factors to consider in evaluating “substantially limits” include the following:

In considering condition, manner, or duration, you must consider the following factors: