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ADA Policy Brief Series #3: Significance of the ADA

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November 15, 2002


The Supreme Court of the United States has indicated that a primary factor leading it to conclude that Congress wanted to take a narrow view of who is protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is the finding in the statute that “some 43,000,000 Americans have one or more physical or mental disabilities.” This paper examines the sources of the 43 million figure, the congressional understanding behind its inclusion in the ADA, the conclusions the Supreme Court has based on it, and problems with the Court’s interpretation of the figure.

An official website of the National Council on Disability