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4 Seventh Circuit Review 253 (2009)


In EEOC v. Lee's Log Cabin, the Seventh Circuit followed the Supreme Court precedent of the last decade that has increasingly narrowed the determination of what constitutes a disabled individual under the Americans with Disabilities Act. In 2008, Congress passed the ADA Amendments Act in an attempt to restore the ADA to its original purpose and the original vision of the ADA's drafters and supporters. Whether these amendments will produce dramatic changes in the way the administrative agencies and courts apply the ADA remains to be seen. Nonetheless, the only way the ADA or its amendments will successfully protect against disability discrimination is if the concept of disability in America changes along with the laws. To help break down the myths, stereotypes, and fears surrounding the concept of disability that continues today, this article suggests that instead of the dichotomous nature of determining disability, we instead consider everyone to be on a continuum of disability. By locating every individual on the disability spectrum, not only do we change the concept of disability, but we also make it easier for people to fall under the protections of the ADA so that a determination of discrimination claims can be based on the merits of the case, not merely on a narrow rendering of the definition of disability.