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T.

10/7/93

OCT 19 1993

XXXX
XXXX
XXXX

RE: Complaint Number XXXX (formerly XXXX)

Dear Mr. XXXX :

This letter constitutes our Letter of Findings in response
to your complaint filed with our office against the Town of
Falmouth, Maine (Town under title II of the Americans with
Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). Title II of the ADA protects
qualified individuals with disabilities from discrimination on
the basis of disability in the services, programs, and activities
of a State or local government. In your complaint you allege
that the programs, services, and activities provided by the Town
in the Falmouth Town Hall (Town Hall) are not accessible to
individuals with mobility impairments. Specifically, you allege
that the hearing rooms in which programs, such as hearings on
general assistance and tax matters, are held are located on the
second floor of the Town Hall and that the second floor is not
accessible to individuals with disabilities. You further allege
that the Town has not taken steps to appropriately relocate the
programs or to otherwise make them accessible to individuals with
disabilities. In addition, you allege that the accessible
parking that is provided at the Town Hall by the Town fails to
meet the requirements of the ADA because there are not enough
accessible spaces provided and the accessible spaces are
incorrectly marked. In conducting our investigation we relied on
information that you provided to us, as well as information
provided to us by the Town and by the Maine Human Rights
Commission, with whom you have filed a similar complaint.

Section 35.150(a) of the Department of Justice's title II
implementing regulation requires that a public entity operate
each of its programs so that, when viewed in its entirety, the
program is readily accessible to and usable by individuals with
cc: Records CRS Chrono Friedlander Morrow.XXX.
closure.lof

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disabilities. Section 35.150(b) lists a number of the methods
that a public entity may use to make its programs accessible.
These methods include reassignment of services to accessible
buildings, assignment of aides to beneficiaries, home visits, and
alteration of existing facilities. Structural changes in
existing facilities generally are required only when there is no
other feasible way to make the program accessible.

The Town acknowledges that the second floor of the Town Hall
can be reached only by ascending a flight of stairs and that the
second floor is inaccessible to some people with disabilities.
In July of 1992 the Town received a final report from an
architectural firm entitled "Accessibility and Expansion Study
for the Falmouth Town Hall." The Town has since made the
changes to the first floor and building entrance that were
recommended for accessibility to those areas, and our information
shows that the first floor is now fully accessible. Other
recommendations for providing access to the second floor will be
implemented and are scheduled to be completed in 1994.

Until there is an accessible route to the second floor, when
people with disabilities need to access a program, service, or
activity on the second floor, the Town will relocate it to the
first floor. This has been done in the past when you have
requested it, specifically with respect to tax abatement
hearings, and when other citizens have requested it. our
information shows that this accommodation was made in an
appropriate manner. Although the Town Council Chamber, the area
to which hearings usually are relocated, was not available for
one of your hearings, alternative space on the first floor was
used. That space did not provide the amenities of the Council
Chamber, but you were provided with access to a hearing,
nonetheless.
You submitted photographs of parking spaces that were
designated as accessible spaces at the Town Hall. The access
aisle in those pictures was located at the wrong end of the ramp.
Since you submitted those photographs to us, the Town has
repainted the striping at the accessible spaces to provide the
correct route of access.

You also wrote that the Town did not provide enough
accessible parking spaces at the Town Hall. The information that
we received from the Maine Human Rights Commission shows that the
number of accessible parking spaces at the Town Hall complies
with the requirements of title II of the ADA.

We find that the Town has taken appropriate steps to provide
access to its programs, services, and activities, including
relocating them to space that it has made accessible and

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providing appropriate parking. Therefore, we have determined
that no violation of title II occurred.

This letter contains our determination with respect to your
allegations of discrimination in your administrative complaint.
If you are dissatisfied with our determination, you may file a
complaint presenting your allegations of discrimination in an
appropriate United States District Court under title II of the
ADA.

You should be aware that no one may intimidate, threaten, or
coerce anyone or engage in other discriminatory conduct against
anyone because he or she either has taken action or participated
in an action to secure rights protected by the ADA. Any
individual alleging such harassment or intimidation may file a
complaint with the Department of Justice. We would investigate
such a complaint if the situation warrants.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 522, we may
be required to release this letter and other correspondence and
records related to the complaint in response to a request from a
third party. Should we receive such a request, we will
safeguard, to the extent permitted by law, release of information
that could constitute an unwarranted invasion of your or other's
privacy.

If you have any questions regarding this letter, please
contact Merle Morrow at (202) 514-3571.

Sincerely,

Stewart B. Oneglia
Chief
Coordination and Review Section
Civil Rights Division

cc: Ms. Barbara L. Krause, Attorney
Town of Falmouth, Maine

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