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U.S.

Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
T. 5/19/92
JLW:LIB:HJB:Jfh
202-PL-00005 Washington, D.C. 20530

JUN 2 1992

Ms. Debra A. Hixson


Stark Manufacturing, Inc.
Post Office Box 633
Paris, Arkansas 72855

Dear Ms. Hixson:

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 and entities having rights or obligations under the
Act. This letter provides informal guidance to assist you in
understanding the ADA regulations. However, it does not
constitute a legal interpretation and it is not binding on the
Department.

Specifically, your letter inquires as to the obligations of


a manufacturing concern under title III of the ADA.

Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act governs the


obligations of privately-owned places of public accommodation and
of commercial facilities to provide access to individuals with
disabilities. A commercial facility is a non-residential
facility whose operations affect commerce (such as a
manufacturing operation), but which does not contain a place of
public accommodation such as a showroom, retail sales office, or
establishment serving food or drink.

Title III of the ADA imposes three different types of


compliance duties on commercial facilities and places of public
accommodation. When a commercial facility or a public
accommodation is engaged in new construction of a facility, it
must comply with the accessibility provisions of the ADA
standards for new construction, including the ADA Accessibility
Guidelines (ADAAG). When a commercial facility or a public
accommodation is engaged (after January 26, 1992) in an
alteration to an existing facility, it must comply with the
alterations standards.

When a public accommodation is engaged in neither new


construction nor alteration of a facility, then a third and less
rigorous duty is imposed: The public accommodation must remove
any barriers to individuals with disabilities where the removal
cc: Records OADA Wodatch Bowen Beard
udd:beard.ta.304.hixson

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of those barriers is "readily achievable" -- that is, where the
removal can be done easily and without much difficulty or
expense. If your facility is a place of public accommodation,
rather than a commercial facility, you may be required to remove
barriers such as the curb.

The Title III regulations 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 sites to the
parent organization.

However, where it is not possible to comply completely with


the accessibility specifications of the ADAAG, title III provides
that a public accommodation should comply as much as possible --
again without much difficulty or expense.

When a commercial facility is engaged in neither new


construction nor alteration of its building, then it has no
obligations under title III of the ADA. However, as of July 26,
1992, title I of the ADA will become effective, and any employer
with 25 or more employees will be covered. Employers with 15 or
more employees will be covered after July 26, 1994. Such an
employer will be obligated to make a reasonable accommodation for
the disabilities of any current or newly hired employee. This
may include modifications of the buildings, such as yours, in
which the employer conducts his or her business. Decisions about
what is reasonable would be made on a case-by-case basis. We are
unable to give you more specific guidance; implementation of
title I is within the jurisdiction of the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission. We are enclosing the Title I regulation
for your information.
I hope that this information will be of assistance to you in
evaluating your obligations under the ADA.

Sincerely,

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

Enclosure: Title III Regulation


EEOC Title I Regulation

01-00848

STARK MANUFACTURING, INC.


310 Pennington Dr
P.O. Box 633
Paris, Arkansas 72855
(501) 963-3046

January 17, 1992

U.S. Department of Justice


Civil Rights Division
Office of the Americans with Disabilities Act
P.O. Box 66118
Washington, D.C. 20035-6118

RE: TITLE III Public Accommodations Provisions

To Whom it may concern:

A few months ago I wrote to you requesting information on the new


ADA act. Your department mailed me a Federal register and a
booklet with questions and answers that was very helpful, and I
appreciate it.

Within the booklet are phone numbers to call for more specific
information about ADA requirements affecting employment. I have
called the number a total of ten (10) times, as of today, and have
become very aggravated with the facility I am phoning. The first
three (3) times I called, a lady named Brenda took my message and
assured me each time that she would have another lady named Mrs.
Kay Klugh return my call. The last seven times, (last, Thursday &
Friday, and every day this week) I called I have received a
recording (which could not clearly be heard) and left a message for
Mrs. Klugh to please return my call. It does not look good for an
Official Office to handle there business in this manner. It also
makes it very difficult to make every effort to comply with the new
Act, and not be able to do so because of the very people who are
requiring it. The name, address, and phone number of the facility
I am referring to it:

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission


1801 L Street NW
Washington, DC 20507
1-800-669-4000

Could you please answer one question for me concerning the ADA Act?
I work within a Manufacturing Company. We fully understand the
requirements in employing disabled personnel. My question is in
reference to Title III (Public Accommodations Provisions). This
company hires through an employment agency. We do not accept
application forms in our office area. Do we still need to make our
front office area accessible to the disabled person, by January 26,
1992, will the front work, the front office ILLEGIBLE
ILLEGIBLE

ADA Act (pg 2)


January 17, 1992

As an example lets say they (any disabled person) did not know we
were not accepting applications in the front office area, and they
tried to come in to submit one.

There is a 6 ' curb beginning at the front entrance walkway. We


will eventually slant that curb, but until then are we in error
with the Act?

We realize that plans need to be outlined to comply in theses areas


by July 26, 1992.
My Manager is waiting on an answer from me on this single question
and I cannot get the answer anywhere, please help!

Sincerely,

Debra A. Hixson
Personnel Assistant