Mental Illness, Intellectual Disabilities, and the ADA: A Lorman Education Services Webinar


Frank C. Morris, Jr., Member of the Firm in the Labor and Employment and Litigation practices, will present "Mental Illness, Intellectual Disabilities, and the ADA," a Lorman Education Services webinar.

With the dramatic expansion of the American With Disabilities Act (ADA) by the ADA Amendment Act of 2008 (ADAAA) and the EEOC's ADAAA final regulations, ADA claims have skyrocketed. A great many of the burgeoning claims concern matters formerly called mental disabilities and which are now called intellectual disabilities. Intellectual disabilities, which may include the ability to think, concentrate, communicate, interact with others and disorders including e.g., major depressive, post-traumatic stress, anxiety, obsessive compulsion, bipolar and schizophrenia, are among the most challenging disabilities facing employers. The ADAAA means most ADA issues will now turn on whether an individual is qualified, whether a reasonable accommodation exists or whether there is a direct threat, rather than on whether an individual is disabled. As almost every job requires the ability to think, concentrate, communicate and interact with others to one degree or another, the intellectual disability accommodation issues facing employers are both extremely complex and challenging.

This live webinar will give the tools to assess if an individual has a covered intellectual disability, and if so, how the employer should determine if the individual is qualified. Finally, it will provide the tools for employers to successfully navigate the maze posed by the interactive process and determine if a reasonable accommodation exists or whether the employer is confronted by an undue hardship or direct threat.

Attendees will learn how to:

  • Discuss the ADA and intellectual (mental) disabilities.
  • Define intellectual disabilities under the ADA.
  • Review the interactive process.
  • Identify the direct threat defense and safety concerns.

Topics include:

The ADA and Intellectual (Mental) Disabilities

  • The Expanded Coverage of the ADA Amendments Act and EEOC Regulations
  • The Explosion in Charges Under the ADAAA and the New EEOC Regulations
  • The EEOC's Rules of Construction for Intellectual Disabilities

The EEOC's 2013 Revised Questions and Answers Regarding Intellectual Disabilities

Defining Intellectual Disabilities Under the ADA

  • What Intellectual Disabilities Are Substantially Limiting?
    • Is Medical Evidence Required?
  • Determining Whether an Applicant or Employee With an Intellectual Disability Is Qualified
    • ADA Determinations and Mitigating Measures
    • Creating ADA Compliant Job Descriptions

Consideration of Particular Intellectual Impairments

  • Key Issues Concerning Bipolar, Major Depressive, Post-Traumatic Stress, and Autism Disorders
  • The Key Importance of Job Descriptions on Intellectual Disability Issues

The Interactive Process

  • Must a Person With an Intellectual Disability Request a Reasonable Accommodation?
  • Properly Managing the Interactive Process
  • Addressing Proposed Accommodations by an Applicant or Employee
  • Presenting Proposed Reasonable Accommodations

The Direct Threat Defense and Safety Concerns

  • Establishing the Direct Threat Defense
  • Determining If a Direct Threat Can Be Remediated by Any Reasonable Accommodation

For more information, please visit or contact Mr. Morris.