“A commitment to quality and success”


Americans with Disabilities Fact Sheet

Provided by Karen Waters, Disability Support Services Specialist

Sponsored by, the Student Development Center

March 2005


Question:  What is the definition of disability and how do mitigating measures affect a disability rating?   


Answer:   A disability substantially limits a life activity.  The landmark Supreme Court case Sutton v. United Airlines Inc., U.S. 471 (1999) settled years of debate.  Essentially, if a condition can be corrected, then a person may not be substantially limited in a life activity.  In the Sutton case, the use of eyeglasses gave them normal vision.  As a result, they were not disabled and not protected under the ADA.


What this case tells us is if a person can use some device (eyeglasses) and by utilizing a mitigating measure they restore their condition to a normal range, they are not deemed to be disabled.  Therefore, they are not protected under the ADA and are not eligible for accommodations.     


I hope you have enjoyed the ADA Fact Sheet.  If you have specific questions you would like answered or need more information on a disability, please let me know.  I would appreciate your input.  And, thanks for your help in the educational plan for our ADA students taking courses at Western Wyoming Community College.




Karen K. Waters, Disability Support Services Specialist – (307) 382-1806