The Presumption Against Extraterritoriality as Applied to Disability Discrimination Laws: Where Does It Leave Students with Disabilities Studying Abroad?
35 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2012
Date Written: 2003
In 1990 the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted to ensure equal opportunities to people with disabilities in such areas as employment, education, health care, public services, and transportation. The ADA extends the prohibition on discrimination against people with disabilities to private and public entities, specifically those that had not been covered by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. But the extent to which the ADA, or its predecessor statute, the Rehabilitation Act, applies extraterritorially to conduct and Americans overseas remains unresolved. This Article presents an argument in favor of the extraterritorial application of the ADA as well as section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. In order to illustrate the consequences of not applying these laws to conduct that occurs overseas, this Article reviews recent decisions involving requests for accommodations by students with disabilities participating in study abroad programs.
Keywords: disability law, extraterritoriality, Americans with Disabilities Act
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