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# 166

II-3.3000

May 1, 1995

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXX Dear Mr. XXXXXX: I am responding to your letter to President Clinton regarding section 35 of the general business law of the State of New York, as amended in 1991. Please excuse the delay in responding. As we understand it, section 35 permits cities with a population in excess of one million people to apply laws governing street vendors to disabled veterans on the same basis as those laws apply to others. You indicate that section 35 has resulted in the loss of employment for 176 disabled veterans in New York City, and express additional concern that the act will not expire on July 1, 1995, as provided in the statute. The ADA authorizes the Department of Justice to provide technical assistance to individuals and entities having rights or obligations under title II (State and local governments) and title III (public accommodations) of 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. Under title II, public entities, such as the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs, may not deny services to individuals on the basis of disability, if it makes those services available to other citizens. Generally, however, it is not required to provide special programs, services, or privileges for individuals with disabilities if it does not provide them for individuals without disabilities. It does not appear that section 35 of the general business law of the State of New York violates the ADA because both persons with disabilities and

persons without disabilities are subjected to the same requirements. For this reason, the Department of Justice is unable to assist you in this matter. You may wish to contact your State's vocational rehabilitation agency for information about programs that might be available to assist individuals with disabilities in finding alternatives that may be available. You may reach Vocational Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities through the New York State Education Department in Albany at 1-800-2225627. The Brooklyn Center for Independence of the Disabled may also have information that would be helpful. They can be contacted at (718) 625-7500. Another possible resource, which you may have already contacted, is the New York City office of the Department of Veterans Affairs. I hope this information is helpful to you and wish you the best of luck in your endeavors. Sincerely,

John L. Wodatch Chief Disability Rights Section