U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division T.

5/29/92 JLW:JAM:PLB:HJB:ca:jfh 202-CON Office of the Assisant Attorney General III-4-4200 Washington, D.C. 20035

JUN 3 1992 The Honorable Gary L. Ackerman U.S. House of Representatives 238 Cannon House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515-3223 Dear Congressman Ackerman: This letter responds to your correspondence regarding an inquiry by your constituent, Ira Farbstein, concerning the obligations of public accommodations with respect to barrier removal under title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Depending on the context, title III of the ADA imposes a range of compliance standards on private entities regarding physical barriers in places of public accommodation. When a public accommodation is engaged in new construction of a facility, or in an alteration or remodeling of an existing facility, it must comply with the rigorous requirements of the ADA Accessibility Guidelines. When a public accommodation is engaged in neither new construction nor alteration of a facility, then a significantly less demanding accessibility obligation is imposed. The public facility must remove any physical 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. 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. A copy of these regulations is enclosed. cc: Records OADA Wodatch Bowen Breen Beard McDowney Arthur udd:Beard.C.302B2AIV.Ackerman

-2The removal of physical barriers in an existing restaurant should be evaluated under the "readily achievable" standard. Where removal of all barriers is not readily achievable, a public accommodation must still take whatever steps it can under that standard to remove barriers. In addition, the obligation to remove any existing barriers is an ongoing one. What is not readily achievable today may be readily achievable next year. I hope that you find this information useful in responding to your constituent. Sincerely, John R. Dunne Assistant Attorney General Civil Rights Division Enclosure 01-00852

The garden of eating AN EATING AND DRINKING ESTABLISHMENT 212-02 Union Turnpike * Flushing, N.Y. 11364 * (212) 468-8463 January 15, 1992 (Hand Written) DEAR SIR, I AM WRITING YOU IN REGARD TO THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT (ADA) PUBLIC LAW 101-336, AND HOW THIS LAW WILL AFFECT ME. I HAVE A SMALL FORTY (40) SEAT RESTAURANT AT ABOVE ADDRESS. MY RESTAURANT HAS ALWAYS BEEN ACCESSIBLE TO THE HANDICAPPED: IE THE BLIND, DOWNS SYNDROME PERSONS, WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE, ETC. UNFORTUNATELY THE PHYSICAL SETUP OF THE STORE MAKES THE RESTROOMS UNACCESSIBLE TO THE WHEELCHAIR.

IN ORDER TO MAKE THE RESTROOMS WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE I MUST ILLEGIBLE DOWN EXISTING WALL WHICH WILL CAUSE ME TO LOSE EIGHT SEATS. (20% OF ILLEGIBLE SEATING CAPACITY. ALSO MY PRESENT RESTROOMS WHICH ARE SEPARATED BY A ILLEGIBLE WOULD HAVE TO BE TORN DOWN. ALSO, PART OF MY KITCHEN WALL WOULD HAVE TO BE TORN DOWN AND MOVED BACK. THIS WOULD FORCE ME TO DISCONNECT MY DISHWASHERMACHINE, MOVE MACHINE AND ILLEGIBLE WITH NEW PLUMBING. ALL THIS WOULD HAVE TO BE DONE IN ORDER TO MAKE A RESTROOM THAT WILL COMPLY WITH ADA ORDER. THE COST TO DO THIS WOULD PUT ME IN A SEVERE FINANCIAL BIND AND CREATE MUCH HARDSHIP. IT SEEMS RIDICULOUS THAT I MUST INVEST ALL THIS MONEY, PLUS LOSS OF BUSINESS AS THE RESTAURANT WOULD HAVE TO BE CLOSED DURING ALTERATIONS. ITS ALSO UNHEARD OF FOR A BUSINESS OF ANY KIND TO MAKE AN INVESTMENT TO DO LESS BUSINESS. PLEASE ADVISE ME AS TO MY RIGHTS SINCERELY YOURS IRV FARESTEIN P.S. WHEN YOU'RE BACK HOME FROM YOUR DUTIES IN THE CAPITOL I WOULD MORE THAN WELCOME A VISIT TO MY ILLEGIBLE 01-00853