Rights Resurgence: The Impact of the ADA Amendments Act on Schools and Universities

59 Pages Posted: 24 Apr 2009 Last revised: 29 Apr 2009

See all articles by Wendy Fritzen Hensel

Wendy Fritzen Hensel

Georgia State University College of Law

Date Written: 2009


On September 25, 2008, President George W. Bush signed the unanimously enacted Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act (ADAAA) into law, “reinstating a broad scope of protection” to people with disabilities. The Amendments, which became effective on January 1, 2009, unquestionably will impact schools and universities with respect to both employment and the eligibility and accommodation of K-12 and university students with disabilities. This Article provides an early look at the emerging legal issues occasioned by the revised law. Part I provides a brief general overview of administrative and judicial interpretations of the disability definition prior to the enactment of the Amendments. Part II evaluates the revised law, exploring the specific provisions of the statute that have changed and the public impetus behind these changes. Finally, Part III explores the Amendments’ likely impact on schools and universities, highlighting issues that will require further discussion in the future.

Keywords: Americans with Disabilities Act, Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act, ADA, ADAAA, disability, education, schools, universities, K-12 education, higher education

JEL Classification: I12, I28, K30, K39

Suggested Citation

Hensel, Wendy Fritzen, Rights Resurgence: The Impact of the ADA Amendments Act on Schools and Universities (2009). Georgia State University Law Review, Forthcoming, Georgia State University College of Law, Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2009-12, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1393776

Wendy Fritzen Hensel (Contact Author)

Georgia State University College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 4037
Atlanta, GA 30302-4037
United States
404-982-6803 (Phone)

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