With the augmentation of the Americans With Disabilities Amendments Act (ADAAA), the original ADA was used 21,500 times in 2009 to file disability discrimination claims against employers, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) statistics show.

The ADAAA was instrumental in restoring the original intent of Congress behind the 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act, whose 20th anniversary came just this past July 26, by resurrecting the robustness of the definition of "disability" that had been whittled down by court decisions. 

The ADAAA, which took effect in 2009, undid limitations on the ADA by the Supreme Court in a series of rulings beginning in 1999, says Andrew Imparato, president of the American Association of People with Disabilities.

The Supreme Court had restricted the reach of the ADA by excluding people whose disabilities were not visible or were controlled by medication, such as epilepsy or diabetes.

EEOC Commissioner Chai Feldblum, who as an attorney helped draft the ADA and the amendments, says the change in the law helps everyone.

"You might not think you have a disability, but if you have a medical condition and you feel you are discriminated against based on that condition, then you are covered," she says.

Employers, stay in compliance and prevent legal action by obtaining and following the instructions in Personnel Concepts’ ADA Amendments Act Compliance Kit.