Major Life Activities
Major life activities, as defined in Section 504 regulations at 34 CFR 104.3(j)(2)(ii) include caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning and working. This list is not exhaustive. Other functions can be major life activities for purposes of Section 504. In the Amendments Act, Congress provided additional examples of general activities that are major life activities, including eating, sleeping, standing, lifting, bending, reading, concentrating, thinking, and communicating. Congress also provided a non-exhaustive list of examples of “major bodily functions” that are major life activities, such as the functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions. The Section 504 regulatory provision, though not as comprehensive as the Amendments Act, is still valid – the Section 504 regulatory provision’s list of examples of major life activities is not exclusive, and an activity or function not specifically listed in the Section 504 regulatory provision can nonetheless be a major life activity. The Amendments Act lists new categories of activities that Congress has deemed to be major life activities. Even though the previous list was non-exhaustive, now the list is just more expansive, giving more specific examples of what is covered. It now lists just about everything and still continues to be non-exhaustive.