Legal protection applies to “an individual who has a mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities” (these include but are not limited to: seeing, hearing, speaking, walking, learning, working, and caring for oneself) “has a record of having such an impairment; or is regarded as having such an impairment.”
SECTION 504 OF THE REHABILITATION ACT OF 1973:
“No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States…shall, solely on the basis of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity which receives federal financial assistance…”
THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT OF 1990 (ADA):
This legislation expands protection to include public entities, regardless of whether federal funding is received (such as health care, transportation, recreation, employment, as well as educational institutions). It also addresses the accessibility of buildings and communication requirements on behalf of persons having visual, hearing, or speech disabilities.