Disabilities, Limitations, and Accommodations

PART 1 - Disabilities, Limitations, and Accommodations

Disability Defined


As defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (42 U.S. Code, Chapter 126, § 12102) - individuals are considered to be persons with a disability if they:

  • Have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities *, or
  • Have a history of such an impairment or disability, or
  • Are perceived by others as having such an impairment or disability.

* Major Life Activities include, but are not limited to

    • Moving
    • Walking
    • Performing Manual Tasks
    • Bending
    • Standing
    • Lifting
    • Breathing
    • Concentrating
    • Seeing
    • Reading
    • Hearing
    • Communicating
    • Sleeping
    • Speaking
    • Eating
    • Caring for self
    • Learning
    • Thinking
    • 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.


Disabilities can be classified as:


  • Visible disabilities—These are physical and sensory disabilities that are readily apparent such as visual, hearing, or mobility impairments.
  • Hidden disabilities— These are non-visible disabilities including chronic health impairments such as asthma, heart disease, and seizure disorders. They also include disabilities affecting cognition such as learning disabilities, acquired brain injuries, psychological disabilities, and attention deficit disorders.


Specific disabilities most commonly seen at De Anza College are discussed in Part 4 and Part 5 of this Guide.


NEXT>> Educational Limitations


Disabilities, Limitations, and Accommodations Building:

Last Updated: 6/14/17