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Mental Impairments and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

34 Pages Posted: 17 Feb 2012  

David Allen Larson

Mitchell | Hamline School of Law

Date Written: October 1, 2011


This article examines the question of whether an asserted mental disorder should be regarded as a statutory impairment. The article begins by outlining the Rehabilitation Act and by discussing the diagnostic difficulties that exist in the mental health field. It then surveys specific cases arising under the Rehabilitation Act. Selected cases reviewing state statutory language are also examined. The article provides a broad discussion of the questions and concerns that must be considered when formulating a nondiscrimination policy protecting mentally impaired persons. It concludes by suggesting an approach for handling cases alleging discrimination due to a mental impairment.

Keywords: Rehabilitation Act of 1973, handicap, disability, mental impairments, physical impairments, employment discrimination

Suggested Citation

Larson, David Allen, Mental Impairments and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (October 1, 2011). Louisiana Law Review, Vol. 48, 1988. Available at SSRN:

David Allen Larson (Contact Author)

Mitchell | Hamline School of Law ( email )

875 Summit Avenue
Saint Paul, MN 55105
United States
651-290-6388 (Phone)


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