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Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
T. 5/22/92
DJ# 192-180-07238
Office of the Assistant Attorney General Washington, D.C. 20035

JUN 4 1992
The Honorable Hank Brown
United States Senate
717 Senate Hart Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Brown:

This responds to your letter requesting information about
the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in order to respond to
your constituent, Mark H. Schmidt.

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 responding
to Mr. Schmidt. However, this technical assistance does not
constitute a determination by the Department of Justice of
Mr. Schmidt's rights or responsibilities under the ADA and
does not constitute a binding determination by the Department
of Justice.

Mr. Schmidt's letter concerns the paperwork burden of
conducting the self-evaluation required by S 35.105 of the
Department of Justice's regulation implementing title II of the
ADA. He enclosed with his letter a guide for conducting the
self-evaluation distributed by Colorado Counties, Inc. That
guide was not produced by the Department of Justice, and the
Department of Justice does not require that it, or any other
particular guide, be used in completing the self-evaluation.
Section 35.105 of the Department's regulation provides that:

(a) A public entity shall, within one year of the
effective date of this part, evaluate its current
services, policies, and practices, and the effects
thereof, that do not or may not meet the requirements
of this part and, to the extent modification of any
such services, policies, and practices is required, the
public entity shall proceed to make the necessary

cc: Records CRS Oneglia Friedlander Kaltenborn McDowney


(b) A public entity shall provide an opportunity to
interested persons, including individuals with disabilities
or organizations representing individuals with disabilities,
to participate in the self-evaluation process by submitting
(c) A public entity that employs 50 or more
persons shall, for at least three years following
completion of the self-evaluation, maintain on file and
make available for public inspection:

(1) A list of the interested persons consulted;

(2) A description of areas examined and any
problems identified; and

(3) A description of any modifications made.

(d) If a public entity has already complied with
the self-evaluation requirement of a regulation
implementing section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of
1973, then the requirements of this section shall apply
only to those policies and practices that were not
included in the previous self-evaluation.

This requirement is intended to enable a public entity to
identify and correct obstacles to participation in its services,
programs, and activities by individuals with disabilities in
order to avoid the necessity for administrative complaints or
litigation. It is derived from the regulations implementing
section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 for programs and
activities that receive Federal financial assistance, and is the
same as the self-evaluation requirement imposed on Federal
Executive agencies under regulations implementing section 504 for
federally conducted programs, see, e.g., 28 CFR S 39.110
(Department of Justice).

As explained in the preamble to the regulation,

Experience has demonstrated the self-evaluation
process to be a valuable means of establishing a
working relationship with individuals with
disabilities, which has promoted both effective and
efficient implementation of section 504. The
Department expects that it will likewise be useful to
public entities newly covered by the ADA.

56 Fed. Reg. 35,701 (July 26, 1991). The requirement in the
regulation is both simple and flexible. The Department has not
issued detailed guidelines for conducting self-evaluations
because it intends to allow public entities to tailor their


evaluations to their own programs and needs. However, pages 40-
43 of the enclosed Technical Assistance Manual contain some
general guidance on self-evaluations. We have not reviewed
the document enclosed with Mr. Schmidt's letter and have no
opinion on its contents.

I hope that this information is helpful to you in responding
to your constituent.

John R. Dunne
Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division
Law Office of
(719) 523-6294
March 25, 1992 HOWARD M. SCHMIDT 1909-1988

Honorable Hank Brown
717 Senate Hart Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Brown:

One of the clients I represent is Baca County. I have
become increasingly frustrated by the amount of time County
officials and employees and I must devote to complying with
Federal regulations. These include Fair Labor Standards
Act, landfills, stormwater, alcohol and drug free workplace,
wetlands and others. The most recent is Americans With
Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations.

Baca County's population is approximately 4,500. The
County employs about 100 full and part-time people. The
economy here is heavily dependent on agriculture. We don't
have a lot of the problems of more heavily populated parts
of the country. Nor do we have some of the human resources
that other larger units of government have. It is a
considerable burden for us to keep up with the current
Federal paperwork requirements.

I have enclosed a copy of the March 19, 1992 memo from
Allen E. Chapman, Loss Prevention Manager for CCI. This
memo went out to all of the counties in Colorado. In it Mr.
Chapman attempts to provide some guidance as to the
requirement to conduct self-evaluations under ADA by January
26, 1993.

I challenge any Congressman who voted for the ADA to
conduct a similar evaluation of his own office. Even a
cursory examination of the proposed checklist would reveal
what a time-consuming and basically meaningless exercise
this evaluation is.

March 25, 1992
Page Two

It seems to me that any time some pressure group (in
this case that group is the disabled) seeks some assistance
from Washington on a perceived problem the answer that comes
from the Congress is more regulation, more paperwork, and
more bureaucracy. We're literally drowning in paperwork and
it affects this country's productivity.

My simple wish is that Congress would show a little
faith in state and local officials to deal with these issues
without massive Federal rules, regulations and paperwork
requirements. The idea that all problems can or should be
solved in Washington has to end.


Mark H. Schmidt