Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Postsecondary Education, Disability, Law, ADAAA

Major Advisor

Joseph W. Madaus

Associate Advisor

Stan F. Shaw

Associate Advisor

Casey D. Cobb

Associate Advisor

Allison R. Lombardi

Associate Advisor

Preston C. Green

Field of Study

Special Education


Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


This dissertation consists of three manuscripts pertaining to the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) as it affects the legal definition of disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), and eligibility for coverage for postsecondary education. The first manuscript is a review of the literature discussing the changes in the legal standards under the ADA following the enactment of the ADAAA. The literature review presents the interpretation of experts in the field and implications for coverage of students in postsecondary education, including the affect upon documentation needed to meet the legal coverage standard. The second manuscript is a research study addressing the new definition of disability set forth in the ADAAA utilizing legal research methodology. This study provides a comprehensive analysis of the changes in the legal definition of disability through assessment of legislative history, statutory language, regulatory language and case law. The third manuscript provides practical guidance to secondary education professionals that assist students with disabilities in transition from high school to college. This manuscript addresses how documentation of functional limitation has become more relevant to postsecondary education and how appropriate documentation can be developed for transition from high school to college.