According to The New York Times, the House has given final approval to Senate legislation (S 3406) to expand the definition of disability for individuals claiming discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The bill, approved by voice vote, states that the Supreme Court erred by "eliminating protection for many individuals whom Congress intended to protect" under the original ADA, passed in 1990. The legislation was introduced in response to Supreme Court decisions in 1999 and 2002 that ruled that individuals who could compensate for their disabilities with medications, medical devices, or prosthetics did not qualify for protection under ADA.
The bill stated, "The definition of disability in this act shall be construed in favor of broad coverage." According to the bill, courts should not consider the effects of "mitigating measures" such as hearing aids, prescription drugs, and artificial limbs. It states, "An impairment that is episodic or in remission is a disability if it would substantially limit a major life activity when active."
The House, which first passed the bill in June, has agreed by unanimous consent to send the Senate version of the bill to President Bush. White House Press Secretary Dana Perino says the President will sign the bill.