Dermatology and the Americans with disabilities act: A review of the case law

Mary L. Curry, James A. Curry, Clay J. Cockerell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) defines disability as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Although dermatology has received relatively little attention in the context of disability law, dermatologic diseases are properly covered by the ADA and are subject to the same criteria as other medical conditions. A Lexis-Nexis search of federal court decisions covering the ADA produced 23 cases dealing with dermatologic impairments as disabilities. In Cehrs v Northeast Ohio Alzheimer Research Center, a federal appeals court held that psoriasis constituted a disability under the Act. Skin diseases not only cause physical and mental impairments, but they are also visible to others. Persons with skin diseases may be "regarded as" disabled, and this can constitute discrimination under the law.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)926-929
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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