# 61 III-1.1000 III-4.

6000 DJ 202-PL-81

March 30, 1993

Mr. Lawrence P. Postol, Esq. Seyfarth, Shaw, Fairweather & Geraldson 815 Connecticut Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20006-4004 Dear Mr. Postol: This letter is in response to your inquiry of February 3, 1992, regarding section 309 of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), and its application to continuing legal education courses. 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's requirements. However, it does not constitute a legal interpretation or legal advice, and it is not binding on the Department of Justice. Among other things, section 309 of the ADA applies broadly to all examinations or courses related to applications, licensing, certification, or credentialing for professional or trade purposes. Because continuing legal education courses are courses related to licensing, certification, and credentialing of attorneys, they fall within the ambit of section 309 whether or not they are required by a State bar. In addition, and independently of the requirements of section 309, if a continuing legal education course is offered by a private entity that owns, operates, leases, or leases to a place of public accommodation, the entity offering that course would have to meet all of the requirements generally applicable to public accommodations.

The basic requirement of section 309 is that examinations and courses be offered in a place and manner that is accessible to persons with disabilities. The specific requirements that a course covered by section 309 may have to meet are set out in section 36.309(c) of the Department of Justice's regulation implementing title III. Any private entity that offers a course covered by section 309 must 1) provide the course in a facility that is accessible to individuals with disabilities or make alternative accessible arrangements, 2) make such modifications as may be needed to ensure that the place and manner in which the course is given are accessible to persons with disabilities, and 3) provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services for persons with impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills. I have enclosed copies of the Department of Justice's regulation implementing title III and its Technical Assistance Manual for title III. Section 36.309 of the regulation is set out at pages 35598-35599, and the requirements applicable to private entities offering examinations and courses are discussed in the Technical Assistance Manual at pages 39-41. I hope this information is useful to you in understanding the requirements of the ADA.


John L. Wodatch Chief Public Access Section

Enclosure Title III regulation Title III Technical Assistance Manual