# 70

DJ 202-PL-288 III-5.4200 May 20, 1993

Timothy L. Kauffman, M.S., P.T. 719 North Duke Street Lancaster, Pennsylvania 17602 Dear Mr. Kauffman: I am writing in response to your August 10, 1992, letter concerning the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). I regret the delays in responding to your inquiries. 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 and it is not binding on the Department. Your letter requests guidance concerning the need for an elevator in an office building that you intend to build to house your physical therapy offices. According to your letter, your building will have two floors; the first floor will include patient treatment areas and the second floor will be reserved exclusively for your private office and storage space. Each floor will occupy approximately 3,000 square feet. Your letter requests guidance over whether the ADA requires the installation of an elevator between the two floors. The ADA does not "require the installation of an elevator for facilities that are less than three stories or have less than 3,000 square feet per story unless the building is a shopping center, a shopping mall, or the professional office of a health care provider...." ADA 303(b). The Department's implementing regulation, 28 C.F.R. pt. 36, defines a "professional office of a health care provider" as, "a location where a person or entity

regulated by a State to provide professional services related to the physical or mental health of an individual makes such services available to the public." 28 C.F.R. 36.401(d)(i). The regulation also makes clear that, "[t]he facility housing the 'professional office of a health care provider' only includes floor levels housing at least one health care provider, or any floor level designed or intended for use by at least one health care provider." Id. Regardless of whether patients will receive treatment on each floor of the professional office of a health care provider, each such floor must be readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. Therefore, an elevator must be installed if necessary to ensure that the second floor is usable to and accessible by persons with disabilities. This requirement is explained on page 2 of the enclosed January 1993 supplement to the Department's title III Technical Assistance Manual. I have enclosed a copy of the Department's regulation implementing title III and the Department's title III Technical Assistance Manual. I hope this information is useful to you. Sincerely,

John L. Wodatch Chief Public Access Section Enclosures (2) Title III regulation Title III Technical Assistance Manual