95 Iowa L. Rev. 1315 (2009-2010)
Cybernetic-Enhancement Technology and the Future of Disability Law

handle is hein.journals/ilr95 and id is 1323 raw text is: Cybernetic-Enhancement Technology and
the Future of Disability Law
Collin 1. Bockman*
ABSTRACT: Cybernetic devices-extensions, replacements, and upgrades
that interface directly with the human nervous system-are becoming
increasingly advanced and commonplace. Impending developments in
neuroscience technology, including brain-computer interfaces and robotic
prosthetics that surpass levels of ordinary human functionality, will raise
novel legal and ethical questions. This Note argues that these enhancement
technologies will create problems for people covered under the Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA ). Congress recently amended the ADA to bar courts
from taking mitigating factors into account when determining whether a
claimant is ADA-protected. The ADA and its amendments embody disability
by legislating the existence of disability as within the body of the disabled,
rather than as a social construct determined by societal norms. This Note
suggests changes to the ADA that would help prepare the ADA for the
increasingly broad spectrum of ability that will accompany humanity
through the twenty-first century.
I.  INTRO DUCTIO  N  ..................................................................................... 1317
II. RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN AMERICAN DISABILITY LAW AND
CYBERNETIC-ENHANCEMENT TECHNOLOGIES ...................................... 1320
A.   HISTORY OFDISABILITY LEGiSLATION .............................................. 1320
1. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ....................... 1320
2. The 2008 Amendments to the ADA ..................................... 1322
B.   WE CAN REBUILD HIM, WE HA VE THE TECHNOLOGY: CURRENT
REPLACEMENTS AND UPGRADES FOR HUMANBODYPARTS ................ 1323
1.  Joints and  Internal O rgans ................................................... 1323
2. Brain Implants and Brain-Computer Interfaces ................ 1324
3.  Advanced   Prosthetic Lim bs .................................................. 1327
* J.D. Candidate, The University of Iowa College of Law, 2010; Singularity University
Graduate Studies Program, 2009. The author would like to thank the editorial boards of
Volumes 94 and 95 for their cooperation and assistance, Dr. Ray Kurzweil for a great deal of
inspiration, and technology pioneers everywhere for creating such an interesting and vibrant
world to live in.

1315

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