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Johns Hopkins University
Student Disability Services
3400 N. Charles St.
385 Garland Hall
Baltimore, MD 21218
Phone: (410) 516-4720

Fax: (443) 529-1543
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Office of Student Disability Services > About Our Services > Who is Disabled?

Who is disabled?

Definition of Disability  With respect to an individual, the term "disability" means  (A)  A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual;  (B)  A record of such an impairment; or  (C)  Being regarded as having such an impairment.  Source: EEOC website at

Federal law and the university define a “disability” as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits or restricts the condition, manner, or duration under which an average person in the population can perform a major life activity, such as walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, or taking care of oneself. 

The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 adds major bodily functions to the list of major life activities.  These include functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, disgestive, bowel, bladder, repiratory, neurological, brain, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions. 

The university is required by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and The Americans with Disabilities Act to provide effective auxiliary aids and services for qualified students with documented disabilities if such aids are needed to provide equitable access to the university’s programs and services.

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