An Americans with Disabilities Act for Everyone, and for the Ages As Well

30 Pages Posted: 14 May 2019

See all articles by Anita Silvers

Anita Silvers

San Francisco State University - Department of Philosophy

Leslie P. Francis

University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law

Date Written: 2017

Abstract

A perennial problem in understanding and implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is whether it is aimed at protecting only people with disabilities. Interpreting the statute in this way focuses attention on the problem of determining who is disabled. It also invites thinking that the statute conveys special benefits for disabled people, thereby suggesting that its effect is to privilege them-even if the privilege might stem from their disadvantage or need. Thus, this familiar but mistaken understanding of the ADA as conferring a right on one type of person can only be cast in a way that incites resentment.

In this Article, we take on this categorical view of the ADA. We argue that the statute from the beginning was meant to protect against an identified form of discrimination rather than to protect an identified group of people and, moreover, that in any case the concept of "disability" will not bear the weight the categorical view would ascribe to it. We contend as well that the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAA or Amendments Act) reaffirms this universal interpretation of the statute.

Keywords: ADA, Disability Law, Disability-Based Discrimination

Suggested Citation

Silvers, Anita and Francis, Leslie P., An Americans with Disabilities Act for Everyone, and for the Ages As Well (2017). Cardozo Law Review, Vol. 39, 2017; University of Utah College of Law Research Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3372620 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3372620

Anita Silvers

San Francisco State University - Department of Philosophy ( email )

1600 Holloway Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94132
United States

Leslie P. Francis (Contact Author)

University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law ( email )

383 S. University Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0730
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
4
Abstract Views
61
PlumX Metrics
!

Under construction: SSRN citations will be offline until July when we will launch a brand new and improved citations service, check here for more details.

For more information