What Does "Substantially Limits" Mean?

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Section 504 regulations do not define “substantially limits,” but has stated that the determination must be made on an individual basis.


Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act provides three factors to characterize the term “substantially limits:”


• Nature and severity of the impairment

• Duration or expected duration of the impairment

• Permanent, long-term impact or expected impact of the impairment


The determination of whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity shall be made without regard to the ameliorative effects of mitigating measures. These include medication, medical supplies, equipment or appliances, low-vision devices, prosthetics including limbs and devices, hearing aids and cochlear implants or other implantable hearing devices, mobility devices, or oxygen therapy equipment and supplies. Further you cannot consider the use of assistive technology, reasonable accommodations, auxiliary aids or services, or learned behavioral or adaptive neurological modifications. Ordinary eyeglasses and contact lenses are not included in this provision.