# 29 III-1.

2000 August 28, 1992 DJ 202-PL-216

Mr. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Gulf Shores, Alabama 36542-XXXX Dear Mr. XXXXXX: This letter is in response to your request for information about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA authorizes the Department of Justice to provide technical assistance to individuals and entities having rights or obligations under the Act. This letter provides informal guidance to assist you in understanding the ADA accessibility standards. However, it does not constitute a legal interpretation and it is not binding on the Department. You asked about the applicability of title III to an architect's office, an engineer's office, a consulting engineer's office that deals only with professionals, and the offices of all other professionals (except accountants, lawyers, insurance providers, and health care providers). Under title III, the ADA covers a private entity if the entity's operations affect commerce and it falls within one of twelve categories. One of these categories, "service establishments," specifically includes the office of an accountant or lawyer, an insurance office, and the professional office of a health care provider. Similarly, architect's

offices, engineer's offices, and other professional offices would be covered by the ADA as service establishments if they provide their services to the public. A consulting engineer's office would not be considered a public accommodation to the extent that it offers its services exclusively to other business entities in the construction or building trade and does not deal directly with the clients of these other businesses. Of course, the facility housing any professional office would be considered a commercial facility within the meaning of title III. For a fuller discussion of these issues, please consult the Department's title III regulation at pages 35547, 35551, and 35593-4 and the Department's Title III Technical Assistance Manual at pp. 1-4. A copy of each of these documents is enclosed. You have also inquired about the application of title III to condominiums in which individuals owners do not reside for most of the year and which are rented on a nightly, weekly or monthly basis. Condominium buildings may be covered as places of public accommodation if they operate as places of lodging. Determining whether a particular condominium facility is a place of public accommodation would depend on the extent to which it shares characteristics normally associated with a hotel, motel or inn. You ask for clarification of the terms "readily achievable" and "structural impracticability." These terms are discussed at pages 35568-35570, 35577-35578, 35597-35598, and 35599-35600 of the enclosed Federal Register publication and at pages 28-35 and 43-44 of the enclosed Title III Technical Assistance Manual. I have enclosed copies of the materials you requested. We have forwarded your request for obtaining copies of the Department's interpretations of the ADA to our Freedom of Information Office. You should make further inquiry in that regard to: Nelson Hermilla, FOIA Office, Civil Rights Division, Room 7337, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. 20530. I hope this information is helpful to you. Sincerely,

John L. Wodatch Director Office on the Americans with Disabilities Act Enclosures (2)