4 Yale J. Health Pol'y L. & Ethics 85 (2004)
New Diagnoses and the ADA: A Case Study of Fibromyalgia and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

handle is hein.journals/yjhple4 and id is 89 raw text is: NOTE

New Diagnoses and the ADA: A Case Study of
Fibromyalgia and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
Ruby Afram*
INTRODUCTION
From its inception in 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
has been a groundbreaking piece of civil rights legislation: a highly
flexible, individually responsive law  that intended    to  bring  some
43,000,000 disabled Americans into society's mainstream.' To ensure the
envisioned access and opportunity, the ADA sought to replicate for people
with disabilities the type of protections that the Civil Rights Act of 1964
provided to women and minorities.2 It barred discrimination on the basis
of disability in employment3 and required that all public entities4 and
public accommodations provided by private entities5 be accessible to the
disabled population. The law was controversial, however, because it
differed in an important way from traditional civil rights legislation.6 The
civil rights  movement had      articulated  a  fundamental imperative:
[D]iscrimination   according   to   characteristics  irrelevant  to  job
* J.D. candidate, Yale Law School.
1. Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Pub. L. No. 101-336, 104 Stat. 327 (1990)
(codified at 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101-12213 (2000)). For the reference to some 43,000,000, see
id. § 12101.
2. JOSEPH P. SHAPIRO, No PITY: PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES FORGING A NEW CIVIL RIGHTS
MOVEMENT 105 (1993).
3. 42 U.S.C. § 12112 (2000).
4. Id. § 12132.
5. Id. § 12182. For definitions of covered entities, see id. § 12181 (2000).
6. SHAPIRO, supra note 2, at 115.

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