DJ 202-PL-340 Mr. George A.

Zitnay President and Chief Executive Officer National Head Injury Foundation 1776 Massachusetts Ave., Suite 100 Washington D.C. 20036 Dear Mr. Zitnay: This letter is in response to your inquiry regarding whether individuals who have experienced traumatic brain injury are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA authorizes the Department of Justice to provide technical assistance to individuals and entities having rights or obligations under the Act. This letter provides informal guidance to assist you in understanding the ADA's requirements. However, it does not constitute a legal interpretation or legal advice, and it is not binding on the Department of Justice. The ADA defines the word "disability" as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of an individual's major life activities; a record of such an impairment; or being regarded as having such an impairment. 42 U.S.C. S12102(2). Section 36.104 of the Department's ADA title III regulation (enclosed), at page 35,593, provides that: (1) The phrase physical or mental impairment means -(i) Any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological; musculoskeletal; special sense organs; respiratory, including speech organs; cardiovascular; reproductive; digestive; genitourinary; hemic and lymphatic; skin; and endocrine; ... (iii) The phrase physical or mental impairment includes, but is not limited to, such contagious and noncontagious diseases and conditions such as orthopedic, visual, speech, and hearing impairments, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple cc: Records, Chrono, Wodatch, Breen, Perley, Friedlander, FOIA


-2sclerosis, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, mental retardation, emotional illness, specific learning disabilities, HIV disease ..., tuberculosis, drug addiction, and alcoholism ... (emphasis added). In your letter you state that "because disability from traumatic brain injury is not specifically identified in the ADA statute or regulations, there is concern that persons with TBI are not protected by the ADA." Please be assured that traumatic brain injury is an impairment covered by the statute. As explained in the section-by-section analysis of the regulation at page 35,548, "traumatic brain injury is a physiological condition affecting one of the listed body systems [in paragraph (1)(i)], i.e., 'neurological'." Indeed, the absence of traumatic brain injury in paragraph (1) (iii) does not mean that it is not a physical or mental impairment as defined by the Act. The list of diseases and conditions in this paragraph is not an exhaustive one; it merely provides examples of the broad range of impairments included under the ADA. I hope this information is helpful and dispels any concerns that you may have. Sincerely,

John L. Wodatch Chief

Public Acess Section

Enclosure Title III Regulation