WHEREAS, individuals with disabilities continue to face barriers in areas including employment, access to public accommodations, and access to government services even after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA);

WHEREAS, the Philadelphia Bar Association recognizes the need for equal treatment under the law for all citizens of the Commonwealth; and, specifically, of support for individuals with disabilities;

WHEREAS, the United States Congress recognized that barriers for individuals with disabilities continue to exist and that recent Supreme Court precedent concerning the definition of “disability” was inconsistent with what Congress intended when the ADA was drafted;

WHEREAS, Congress responded to these Supreme Court cases by passing the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA);

WHEREAS, the ADAAA retains the ADA’s basic definition of “disability” as an impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a record of such an impairment, or being regarded as having such an impairment, but changes the way these statutory terms should be interpreted in several ways;

WHEREAS, the ADAAA expands the definition of “major life activities” through two non-exhaustive lists including a list of “major bodily functions” which were not part of the ADA;

WHEREAS, the ADAAA recognizes that “mitigating measures” such as use of medication or assistive devices should not be considered when determining if someone is “disabled”;

WHEREAS, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a Federal Agency charged with enforcing Title I of the ADAAA, and in that capacity, on September 23, 2009, released a “Notice of Proposed Rule Making for the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (NPRM);”

WHEREAS, the NPRM is published in the Federal Register for September 23, 2009 at 29 C.F.R. part 1630, and presents the EEOC’s proposed regulations which are, among other things, intended to clarify and provide guidance concerning the definition of “disability” under the ADAAA;

WHEREAS, the Legal Rights of Persons with Disabilities Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association has reviewed the NPRM, supports the NPRM, and would like to provide public comment in support of the same;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Philadelphia Bar Association supports the ADAAA and the EEOC NPRM published September 23, 2009;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Philadelphia Bar Association authorizes and directs the Legal Rights of Persons with Disabilities Committee of the Association to submit written comments to the EEOC in support of the NPRM and making suggestions for additional clarification in support of persons with disabilities subject to the Chancellor’s prior approval, and with the Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association, to take such steps as may be necessary or appropriate to effectuate this Resolution, including communication of its position to the EEOC and the general public.


ADOPTED: November 19, 2009