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3/30/92 SBO:rjc DJ#192-180-04033

APR 7 1992

The Honorable John C. Danforth United States Senate 249 Russell Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510-2502 Dear Senator Danforth: I am writing in response to your recent inquiry on behalf of Mayor Marvin D. Ensworth of the City of Lee's Summit, Missouri. We are aware of the concern expressed by your constituent and the National Emergency Number Association about the provision in our regulation implementing title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act that states "telephone emergency services, including 911 services, shall provide direct access to individuals who use TDD's and computer modems." The apparent concern is that by mandating access to persons using computer modems, the regulation may require that there be access by every format that could be used by a modem, including those that are not compatible with equipment presently used by emergency service systems. That is not the case. The regulation does not require telephone emergency systems to do anything that is technologically infeasible; accordingly, we are interpreting the requirement for access by computer modems to mean only when the modem is using the Baudot format. Until it can be technically proven that communications in another format can operate in a reliable and compatible manner in a given telephone emergency, the public service answering point is not required to provide direct access to computer modems using other formats. Records, CRS, Oneglia, McDowney :UDD:Craig:Danforth.911 01-00554

-2This interpretive guidance has been issued by the Department of Justice in its recently published Technical Assistance Manual,

which is available from the Office on the Americans with Disabilities Act, Post Office Box 66738, Washington D.C. 200359998, telephone: (202) 514-0301. Sincerely, John R. Dunne Assistant Attorney General Civil Rights Division 01-00555

February 4, 1992 The Honorable John C. Danforth United States Senator SR249 Russell Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510 Dear Senator Danforth:

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) passed by Congress in 1990 contains a provision we believe is impossible for Lee's Summit and every other City to follow. We are requesting your assistance to change the regulations mandating emergency telephone access by computer modems. The ADA mandates public agencies provide direct access to emergency telephone numbers (9-1-1) to individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDDs) and computer modems. The TDD requirement is not an issue. We obtained the necessary equipment for such access last year. What is an issue, and what we believe to be technologically impossible as we understand it, is the requirement to make access available to computer modems. Even though most computers can be outfitted with a modem, not every such computer can communicate with every other computer. From a technological standpoint, we cannot comply with this requirement. The mandate for computer modems, by the way, is not found in the ADA, but rather in the regulations promulgated by the Department of Justice, 28 CFR, Section 35.162. We encourage you to require the Department of Justice to change this mandate until such time as technology can provide viable equipment, software and standards. Sincerely, Marvin D. Eusworth Mayor MDE/tl 01-00556