# 81

III-1.2000 III-4.4700

June 10, 1993

Mr. Len Krick Lambert Land Company, Inc. 700 Felicity Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi 39520 Dear Mr. Krick: I am responding to your letter about the application of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq., to the alteration of existing ships. I apologize for the delay in our response. 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 and the Department's regulation. However, this technical assistance does not constitute a determination by the Department of Justice of your rights or responsibilities under the ADA, and it is not binding on the Department. Your letter did not specify the nature of the ship that is being altered. The requirements applicable to ships vary depending on whether they are owned by public or private entities, and whether they are used primarily to provide transportation or they are "places of public accommodation." Privately owned ships are subject to the requirements of the Department of Justice regulation implementing title III if they are "places of public accommodation" as that term is defined by the ADA. Publicly owned ships that are used for purposes other than providing transportation are subject to this Department's regulation implementing title II of the ADA. Ships operated by a private entity that is primarily engaged

in the business of providing transportation and ships operated by public entities as part of a public transportation system (e.g., ferries) are subject to the ADA requirements established by the U.S. Department of Transportation's regulation implementing titles II and III of the ADA, 49 C.F.R. Part 37. Depending on the specific use of a vessel, it is possible for a ship to be subject to the requirements of both the Department of Justice and the Department of Transportation regulations. The Department of Justice regulation implementing title III of the ADA applies to private entities that own, operate, lease, or lease to a private entity whose operations fall within one or more of twelve specified categories. Among those categories are places of lodging, places that serve food or drink, places of public gathering, and places of recreation or entertainment. If a ship is used for a purpose described in these categories, the ship is a place of public accommodation that is subject to the Department of Justice title III regulation to the extent that the operators are subject to the laws of the United States. If a ship is operated as a place of public accommodation, it must comply with the title III requirements applicable to the provision of goods and services, which include nondiscriminatory eligibility criteria; reasonable modifications in policies, practices, and procedures; provision of auxiliary aids; and the removal of barriers in existing facilities. However, at this time, a ship is not required to comply with specific accessibility standards for new construction or alterations because no Federal standard for the construction of accessible ships has been developed. A ship that is owned and operated by a public entity is subject to the nondiscrimination requirements of this Department's title II regulation, 28 C.F.R. Part 35. The title II regulation requires that programs, services, and activities conducted by public entities in existing facilities must be made accessible to people with disabilities unless the public entity can demonstrate that providing access will result in undue financial and administrative burdens. The title II regulation does not establish any specific design or construction requirements for ships. Under the regulation issued by the Department of Transportation, privately owned ships may be subject to that Department's regulation if they are operated by a private entity

that is primarily engaged in the business of providing transportation. Publicly owned ships that are used as part of a system of public transportation system are also subject to the requirements of the Department of Transportation's rule. The Department of Transportation has not yet established specific requirements applicable to ships; however, that Department has stated that ships registered under foreign flags that operate in United States ports may be subject to United States regulations (which would include the title III regulation discussed above) unless there are specific treaty prohibitions that preclude enforcement. Additional information about the regulation issued by the Department of Transportation may be obtained from the Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 7th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20590. Copies of the Department of Justice regulations implementing title II and title III, the Title II Technical Assistance Manual, and the Title III Technical Assistance Manual are enclosed for your information. I hope that this information is helpful to you. Sincerely,

L. Irene Bowen Deputy Chief Public Access Section Enclosures