Robert Hammel


The article provides a broad overview of general disability law, and the distinctive features of New York City's disability law. The author introduces American human rights law as distinct in that it does not purport to advance the needs of the disabled, but merely penalizes individuals found to discriminate against them. After providing a definition of disability discrimination by drawing parallels to race, the article outlines the impacts of New York City's uniquely broad definition of disability and concludes that the disabled are inevitably given less relief than a model which understands their needs, while at the same time the uniqueness of disability law from other forms of discrimination often leads to a protection of substantive rights for the disabled that are unavailable to other victims of discrimination. Finally, the author draws on case studies to illustrate the problems in fashioning remedies for discrimination violations.