# 41 III-7.5125 October 26, 1992 DJ 202-PL-78.

A

Lee E. Sapira, Esquire Kozloff, Diener, Payne & Fegley Post Office Box 6286 Wyomissing, Pennsylvania 19610 Dear Mr. Sapira: This responds to your second letter requesting information about the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. 12101-12213 (ADA). The ADA authorizes the Department of Justice to provide technical assistance to individuals and entities having rights or obligations under to 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 ask for clarification of the term "architectural barrier" as it is used in the ADA and you inquire whether a particular entrance at a credit union facility is such a barrier and whether it would be readily achievable to replace it with an automatic door. The ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) set forth the ADA standards for new construction and alterations of places of public accommodations. ADAAG was appended to the title III regulations which were enclosed with my previous letter. To determine whether a particular element of an existing facility is an "architectural barrier," you may wish to compare it to the ADAAG standards for such an element. Section 4.13 of ADAAG sets for the requirements for doors. The ADAAG does not require that automatic doors be provided although other requirements for doors are addressed including maneuvering clearances, hardware, and

pull force (on interior doors). Automatic doors may be used where inadequate maneuvering space prevents a person with mobility impairments from approaching and opening the door without standing in the door swing (see section 4.13.6 and figure 25 for maneuvering space requirements). If automatic doors are provided they must comply with the requirements of ADAAG 4.13.12. As I stated in my previous letter, automatic doors are not required and there may be other less costly measures to make an entrance accessible. If, as your second letter seems to suggest, the credit union doorway is presently fully accessible, there would be no further requirement with respect to that element. However, this Department will not make formal determination to that effect or make a determination whether barrier removal is readily achievable. Outside of complaint investigations, compliance reviews and litigation, we will not make determinations of that sort about any specific facilities. The purpose of this kind of letter is to provide informal guidance to assist covered entities understand their obligations under the ADA. I hope that this information will be useful to you in advising your client. Sincerely,

Joan A. Magagna Deputy Chief Public Access Section