The Post's interpretation of the Americans with Disabilities Act is as misguided as the Supreme Court's [editorial, June 24].

The ADA is a civil rights law. In the same vein a the 1964 Civil Rights Act barring race-based discrimination, the 1990 ADA was meant to bar disability-based discrimination. An individual should not have to "qualify" for protection; the ADA is not a benefits law.

According to a Senate report, Congress wanted to "ensure that persons with medical conditions that are under control . . . are not discriminated against on the basis of their medical conditions."

The Post and the Supreme Court appear to be falling victim to the propaganda of employers who warn about overburdening the court system if everyone is allowed to bring ADA suits.

In his dissent, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote of this pressure, "The Court has been cowed" by the "persistent argument" that if the ADA applies to people with disabilities such as correctable vision or high blood pressure, then disabilities "will lead to a tidal wave of lawsuits."

The court's decision to defy the intent of Congress and succumb to the pressure by employers took away a valuable civil right of every American.



The writer is editor of Ragged Edge magazine, which reports on disability issues.