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U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division DJ# 192-06-00024 Coordination and Review Section P.O.

Box 66118 Washington, D.C. 20035-6118 MAY 28 1992 Mr. Wayne W. Harley Assistant Director, Beaver County Emergency Services Center 250 East End Avenue Beaver, Pennsylvania 15009 Dear Mr. Harley: This responds to your request for an interpretation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA authorizes the Department to provide technical assistance to entities that are subject to the Act. This letter provides informal guidance to assist you in understanding how the ADA may apply to the situation you describe. However, this technical assistance does not constitute a determination by the Department of Justice of your rights or responsibilities under the ADA and does not constitute a binding determination by the Department of Justice. The Department's Technical Assistance Manual for title II of the ADA, which applies to State and local governments, addresses requirements for TDD access to telephone emergency services. It provides that public entities must ensure that these services, including 911 services, are accessible to persons with impaired hearing and speech, and includes the following discussion of the questions you raise: Are any additional dialing or space bar requirements permissible for 911 systems? No. Additional dialing or space bar requirements are not permitted. Operators should be trained to recognize incoming TDD signals and respond appropriately. In addition, they also must be trained to recognize that "silent" calls may be TDD or computer modem calls and to respond appropriately to such calls as well.

Title II Technical Assistance Manual at 38 - 39. 01-00825

-2A copy of the Manual and of the title II regulation are enclosed for your information. We hope this information is helpful to you. Sincerely Stewart B. Oneglia Chief Coordination and Review Section Civil Rights Division Enclosures (2) 01-00826

BEAVER COUNTY JAMES ALBERT, CHAIRMAN RUSSELL T. CHIODO DAN DONATELLA DIRECTOR ROGER L. JAVENS WAYNE W. HARLEY COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ASSISTANT DIRECTOR WESLEY W. HILL EMERGENCY SERVICES CENTER SARA/FIRE COORDINATOR 250 EAST END AVENUE BEAVER, PENNSYLVANIA 15009 TELEPHONE: 412/775-1700 December 4, 1991 Office on Americans with Disabilities Act Civil Rights Division U.S. Department of Justice P.O. Box 66118 Washington, D.C. 20035-6118 Attn: Legal Interpretation Division Reference: Section 35.162 of Title 2 Dear Sirs; I am writing on behalf of the Beaver County Emergency Services Center,

Beaver County, PA. We operate a Countywide 9-1-1 Center here in southwestern PA for 185,000 residents. Although we don't have access to Federal Register 28 CFR 35 which details the provisions of Section 35.162 of Title 2 (regarding TDD's), we are aware from trade journal articles that we need to fully comply with this law. We have had a TTY machine for 10 years but it is not directly hooked into 9-1-1. I am asking for guidance regarding whether our current setup is in compliance to the law. Since 1981 our TTY machine has been hooked up to a dedicated phone number, 728-1222. All the local directories issued for the benefit of our hearing impaired citizens have listed this number for years. A citizen using a TTY or TDD machine and calling this number automatically knows that he will be connected to our TTY machine. We have had Enhanced 9-1-1 here in Beaver County since March, 1988. Our approach to date with 9-1-1 has been to advise those with TTY or TDD machines that they have the option of dialing 9-1-1 to report an emergency, but that they need to hit the spacer bar a number of times to alert our dispatchers. With our Bell of PA Centrex system we can then transfer such a 9-1-1 call to 728-1222 and then communicate via our TTY with the calling party. I think our present system is the best way to go here in Beaver County, but perhaps it is not in

01-00827 compliance with the law. I'm especially concerned that we'll mistake a TTY/TDD call received via 9-1-1 for a prank call if our dispatcher does not detect the sound of the TTY/TDD machine. What is your interpretation of our system compliance to the law? Incidentally we've had only one emergency call (a fire) reported via our TTY in the more than 10 years its been in place. I suppose I expected that we'd have received more than 1 call every 10 years. Please if possible send me a copy of Section 35.162 of Title 2 and offer an opinion as to whether our current setup would be in compliance to the law. Sincerely, Wayne W. Harley, Assistant Director

Beaver County Emergency Services Center WWH:ljw 01-00828