The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Tennessee County Municipal Advisory Service

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Major Life Activities

Reference Number: MTAS-1053
Tennessee Code Annotated
Reviewed Date: February 21, 2017
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Major life activities include walking, seeing, hearing, caring for oneself, breathing, performing manual tasks, eating, speaking, standing, lifting, sitting, learning and thinking, reading, concentrating, communicating, interacting, and working. Major life activities also include the operation of major bodily functions, functions of the immune system, special sense organs and skin, normal cell growth, genitourinary, digestive, bladder, bowel, respiratory, neurological, brain, circulatory, cardiovascular, endocrine, lymphatic, hemic, musculoskeletal, and reproductive functions. The operation of a major bodily function includes the operation of an individual organ with a body system.

Prior to ADAAA certain conditions such as gastrointestinal (GI) disorders and cancer may not have been consistently covered under ADA because it was not clear that bodily functions alone were classified as major life activities. These types of conditions mainly only affected bodily conditions as opposed to limiting primary activities such as walking, talking etc. Since the passage of ADAAA this confusion has been cleared up and bodily functions are now classified as major life activities.

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