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T. 5-3-94

DJ 202-PL-596

MAY 4 1994

Ms. Linda A. Bowlby President The World Sidesaddle Federation, Inc. P.O. Box 1104 Bucyrus, Ohio 44820

Dear Ms. Bowlby:

Your letter, on behalf of the World Sidesaddle Federation, Inc., regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was referred to me by the United States Commission on Civil Rights. I apologize for the delay in responding.

The ADA authorizes the Department of Justice to provide

technical assistance to individuals and entities that have rights

or responsibilities under the Act

this letter provides informal guidance to assist you in understanding the ADA. However, this technical assistance does not constitute a legal interpretation of the statute, and it is not binding on the Department.

Pursuant to that authority,

Your letter asks about the application of the ADA to events sponsored by horse show and horse breed associations. Title III of the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by private entities that own, operate, lease, or lease to places of public accommodation. Horse showing events, if they are open to public participation, may be considered to be places of exercise or recreation covered by the Act.

To the extent that participation in horse showing events is covered by title III, the operator of the event is required to ensure that individuals with disabilities have an opportunity to participate in, and benefit from, the event that is equal to the opportunity afforded to people without disabilities. In order to fulfill this obligation, the operator may be required to make reasonable modifications in its policies if such modifications are necessary to afford an individual with a disability the opportunity to participate in the event, unless such

modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of the event.

cc: Records, Chrono, Wodatch, Blizard, Hill, FOIA, Friedlander n:\udd\hille\policylt\bowlby.ltr

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For your further information, I am sending under separate cover, a copy of the ADA Handbook, which contains a copy of the ADA and the regulations implementing title III of the ADA, and the Department of Justice Title III Technical Assistance Manual. I hope this information is helpful to you and that this letter fully responds to your inquiry.

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Sincerely,

John L. Wodatch Chief Public Access Section