# 172 III-3.3000 III-4.2000 III-4.2100 III-4.4200 III-4.

5100

July 26, 1995

Mr. Robert L. Kuiken Administrative Assistant Summit County's Disabled Citizens Program 47 North Main Street, 2-148 Akron, Ohio 44308-1991 Dear Mr. Kuiken: Thank you for your kind words about my presentation at the Cleveland City Club. It was a beneficial trip for me. Your letter asks the Department of Justice to take action to compel companies that operate gas stations to provide a "full service" option for their customers. The Department is responsible for enforcing title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by places of public accommodation, including gas stations. Title III requires places of public accommodation to ensure that the services that are provided to clients or customers are accessible to people with disabilities. However, title III does not require any place of public accommodation to fundamentally alter the nature of its business to provide different services, even if those services might better meet the needs of people with disabilities. Therefore, the ADA does not require gas stations to provide full service to any customer. The ADA does require existing gas stations that are not otherwise being altered to remove architectural barriers to the extent that it is readily achievable to remove them. The Department of Justice regulation implementing title III requires such barrier removal to comply with the ADA Standards for

Accessible Design (Standards) for each altered element if it is readily achievable. If a self-service gas station determines that it is not readily achievable to redesign gas pumps to enable people with disabilities to use them, the gas station is not required to make physical modifications to the gas pumps. However, the gas station is required to provide its services to individuals with disabilities through any readily achievable method, such as providing refueling service upon request to an individual with a disability at self-service prices. A service station is not required to provide refueling service to individuals with disabilities at any time when it is operating exclusively on a remote control basis with a single cashier. In our view, the ADA does not prohibit the operation of gas stations on a self-service basis. Therefore, the Department is unable to take further action in response to your request. I have included the Division's most recent status reports on ADA enforcement for your information. Sincerely,

Deval L. Patrick Assistant Attorney General Civil Rights Division Enclosures