U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division T. 5/11/92 JLW:LIB:HJB:jfh Washington, D.C.

20530 MAY 19 1992 (b)(6) San Antonio, Texas 78221 Dear Mr. XX This letter responds to your correspondence requesting technical assistance with respect to the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA authorizes the Department of Justice to provide technical assistance to individuals or entities having rights or obligations under the Act. This letter provides informal guidance to assist you in understanding the ADA accessibility standards. However, it does not constitute a legal interpretation and it is not binding on the Department. Title III of the ADA imposes on places of public accommodation, such as shopping malls, three different requirements concerning their facilities. When a public accommodation is engaged in new construction of a facility, it must comply with the accessibility provisions of the ADA and the ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) established pursuant to it. When a public accommodation is engaged (after January 26, 1992) in an alteration or remodeling of an existing facility, it must comply with ADAAG's alteration requirements, which are sometimes less stringent. When a public accommodation is engaged in neither new construction nor alteration of a facility, then a third requirement applies: the public accommodation must remove any barriers to individuals with disabilities where the removal of those barriers is "readily achievable" -- that is, where the removal can be done easily and without much difficulty or expense. In so doing, the public accommodation is never required to exceed ADAAG's alteration requirements. The regulations issued by the Department of Justice discuss the factors that are to be used in determining whether the

removal of a particular barrier is readily achievable. These include: the nature and cost of the action; the financial resources available both to the site and the parent organization; the size and number of employees at the site and overall; and the relationship of the site to the parent organization. cc: Records OADA Wodatch Bowen Beard Arthur FOIA udd:beard.ta.304 (b)(6) 01-00797 -2However, where a public accommodation is not able to comply completely with the accessibility specifications of the ADAAG, title III provides that a public accommodation should comply to the extent it is able to do so -- again without much difficulty or expense. With respect to your question about automatic doors in particular, it is important to note that ADAAG does not currently require automatic doors in any case. I hope that this information is useful to you in understanding the requirements of the ADA. Sincerely,

L. Irene Bowen Deputy Director Office on the Americans with Disabilities Act

01-00798

2-17-92 (b)(6) SAN ANTONIO TX 78221 TO: U.S. DEPT. OF JUSTICE CIVIL RIGHTS DIVISION DEAR SIR(S), I AM AN AMERICAN WITH A DISABILITY. I AM A QUADRAPLEGIC CONFINED TO A WHEELCHAIR. I WOULD APPRECIATE YOUR HELP IN ANSWERING SOME QUESTIONS CONCERNING ADA. SPECIFICLY IN REFERENCE TO ACCESSIBILITY TO PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS. ONE OF MY MAIN PROBLEMS IS GETTING INSIDE OF A SHOPPING MALL. SOME MALLS NOT ONLY HAVE ONE DOOR BUT TWO. THESE DOORS DO NOT OPEN AUTOMATIC. THEREFORE, THEY ARE A PHYSICAL BARRIER. AM I CORRECT OR NOT? IF I AM CORRECT THEY MUST BE REMOVED IF REMOVAL IS READILY ACHIEVABLE. MY QUESTION IS, CAN A

SHOPPING MALL CLAIM THAT REMOVING THEIR DOOR(S) IS NOT READILY ACHIEVABLE? I'M SURE THAT A SHOPPING MALL MAKES ENOUGH MONEY TO INSTALL AUTOMATIC DOOR(S). HOW MUCH TIME DOES A PUBLIC ACCOMMODATION HAVE TO REMOVE PHYSICAL BARRIERS, ESPECIALLY SINCE ADA REQUIREMENTS BECAME EFFECTIVE JANUARY 26, 1992? I WOULD LIKE TO POINT OUT THAT UNDER ADA HIGHLIGHTS TITLE III , VII IT STATES "FIRST PRIORITY SHOULD BE GIVEN TO MEASURES THAT WILL ENABLE INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES TO "GET IN THE FRONT DOOR," IT'S ONLY COMMON SENSE THAT IF WE CANNOT GET IN, WE DO NOT HAVE ACCESS TO PUBLIC GOODS AND SERVICES. IS A SHOPPING MALL IN VIOLATION OF MY CIVIL RIGHTS IF IT IS NOT ACCESSIBLE? THE REASON I ASK THIS QUESTION IS BECAUSE I SPOKE TO AN INDIVIDUAL IN CHARGE OF A SHOPPING MALL. HIS RESPONSE WAS THAT THE MALL WAS IN COMPLIANCE WITH ADA. EVEN AFTER I EXPLAINED TO HIM THAT I COULD NOT GET IN THE FRONT DOOR. GETTING IN THE FRONT DOOR IS VERY IMPORTANT AND MEANS ALOT TO INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES. I ONLY HOPE THAT WE ARE NOT TOLDED TO USE THE BACK DOOR AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO GET IN TO A PUBLIC ACCOMMODATION. I TRULY APPRECIATE YOUR ASSISTANCE IN THIS MATTER AND LOOK FORWARD HEARING FROM YOU. SINCERELY YOURS, xx (b)(6) 202-PL-00094 01-00799