State Affairs and Government

Civil Rights of People With Disabilities

SECTION 42-87-1

§ 42-87-1. Definitions of disability.

As used in this chapter:

(1) "Disability" means, with respect to an individual:

(i) A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual;

(ii) A record of such impairment; or

(iii) Being regarded as having such an impairment (as described in paragraph (4));

(iv) Includes any disability which is provided protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq. and federal regulations pertaining to the act 28 C.F.R. 35 and 29 C.F.R. 1630; and

(v) Nothing in this chapter alters the standards for determining eligibility for benefits under workers' compensation laws or under state disability benefit programs.

(2) [Deleted by P.L. 2009, ch. 96, § 7 and P.L. 2009, ch. 97, § 7].

(3) [Deleted by P.L. 2009, ch. 96, § 7 and P.L. 2009, ch. 97, § 7].

(4) "Regarded as having such an impairment" for purposes of paragraph (1)(iii) means:

(i) An individual meets the requirement of "being regarded as having such an impairment" if the individual establishes that he or she has been subjected to an action prohibited under this chapter because of an actual or perceived physical or mental impairment, whether or not the impairment limits or is perceived to limit a major life activity.

(ii) Paragraph (1)(iii) shall not apply to impairments that are transitory and minor. A transitory impairment is an impairment with an actual or expected duration of six (6) months or less.

(iii) [Deleted by P.L. 2009, ch. 96, § 7 and P.L. 2009, ch. 97, § 7].

(5) "Major life activities" include, but are not limited to, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating and working. A major life activity also includes the operation of a major bodily function, including, but not limited to, functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions.

(6) "Qualified individual" means:

(i) With respect to employment, a person who, with or without reasonable accommodations, can perform the essential functions of the employment position that such individual holds or desires. For the purposes of this chapter, due consideration shall be given to the employer's judgment as to what functions of a job are essential, and if an employer has prepared a written description before advertising or interviewing applicants for the job, this description shall be considered evidence of the essential functions of the job;

(ii) With respect to the rental of property, a person with a disability who, personally or with assistance arranged by the person with a disability, is capable of performing all of the responsibilities of a tenant as contained in § 34-18-24;

(iii) With respect to any other program or activity, a person with a disability who, with or without reasonable modifications to rules, policies, or practices, the removal of architectural, communication, or transportation barriers, or the provision of auxiliary aids and services, meets the essential eligibility requirements for the receipt of services or benefits, or the participation in the program or activity;

(iv) The fact that an individual has applied for, received or continues to receive private insurance or government assistance based upon his or her disability shall not be determinative as to whether the individual is qualified as defined herein, nor shall it constitute an estoppel or otherwise serve as a basis to deny the individual the protections of this chapter; and

(v) A qualified individual with a disability shall not include any employee or applicant who is currently engaging in the illegal use of drugs, when the covered entity acts on the basis of such use.

(A) In general. The term "illegal use of drugs" means the use of drugs, the possession or distribution of which is unlawful under the controlled substances act (21 U.S.C. § 812). Such term does not include the use of a drug taken under supervision by a licensed healthcare professional, or other uses authorized by the controlled substances act or other provisions of federal law.

(B) Drugs. The term "drug" means a controlled substance, as defined in schedules I through V of § 202 of the controlled substances act.

(7) "Substantially limits" includes:

(i) An impairment that substantially limits one major life activity but need not limit other major life activities in order to be considered a disability.

(ii) An impairment that is episodic or in remission is a disability if it would substantially limit a major life activity when active.

(iii)(A) The determination of whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity shall be made without regard to the ameliorative effects of mitigating measures such as:

(I) Medication, medical supplies, equipment, or appliance, low-vision devices (which do not include ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses), prosthetics including limbs and devices, hearing aids and cochlear implants or other implantable hearing devices, mobility devices, or oxygen therapy equipment and supplies;

(II) Use of assistive technology;

(III) Reasonable accommodations or auxiliary aids or services; or

(IV) Learned behavioral or adaptive neurological modifications.

(B) The ameliorative effects of the mitigating measures of ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses shall be considered in determining whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity.

(8) As used in subparagraph (7)(iii)(A)(I):

(i) The term "ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses" means lenses that are intended to fully correct visual acuity or eliminate refractive error; and

(ii) The term "low-vision devices" means devices that magnify, enhance, or otherwise augment a visual image.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1983, ch. 271, § 1; P.L. 1988, ch. 144, § 1; P.L. 1992, ch. 124, § 1; P.L. 1996, ch. 280, § 1; P.L. 1997, ch. 150, § 18; P.L. 2000, ch. 499, § 4; P.L. 2000, ch. 507, § 4; P.L. 2009, ch. 96, § 7; P.L. 2009, ch. 97, § 7.)