JUN 23 1992 DJ 202-PL-165 Mr. Thomas R. Howard Beck Program Management 1401 Elm Street, No.

4585 Dallas, Texas 75202 Dear Mr. Howard: This letter responds to your inquiry as to the requirements for barrier removal under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. 12101-12213. 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's requirements. However, it does not constitute a legal interpretation, and it is not binding on the Department. Specifically, you inquire whether any alteration to make a rest room accessible that can be made without requiring the relocation of walls is probably (or necessarily) readily achievable. Further, you inquire whether the same number of accessible entrances to a building are required under the readily achievable barrier removal standard as are required under 4.1.3.(8) of ADAAG. As you clearly understand, 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 neither new construction nor alteration of a facility, then the least rigorous 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. cc: Records Chrono Wodatch Bowen Bea rd.ta.302.howard arthur T. 6/17/92 01-00951

-2The 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. Because all of these factors must be considered, it is not possible to state a general principle concerning whether the removal of particular existing physical barriers in restrooms is readily achievable. Some alterations requiring the relocation of a wall, particularly an easily moved wall, might indeed be done easily and without much difficulty or expense; but also some modifications, particularly those requiring the moving of plumbing and fixtures, might not be readily achievable. Whether a particular building entrance to an existing building must be made accessible must be evaluated in the same way. Your clients do not need to make any entrance accessible if to do so would not be readily achievable. However, as all or parts of the existing facility are altered or modified, the facility's owner would have an obligation under the "path of travel" provision of 28 C.F.R. 36.403(e) to spend at least twenty per cent of the original alteration cost to make accessible a path of travel to the original altered area, including an accessible entrance. Where removal of all barriers is not readily achievable, you must still take whatever steps you 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.

We hope that this information is useful to you in evaluating your client's compliance with the ADA. Sincerely, L. Irene Bowen Deputy Director Office on the Americans with Disabilities Act 01-00952

BECK Program Management April 24, 1992 The Office of the Americans with Disabilities Act Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice P.O. BOX 66118 Washington, D.C. 20035-6118 Re: Title III of the ADA Section 36.304 Removal of Barriers Dear Sir: BECK Program Management is a construction management firm located in Dallas, Texas, that is involved in ADA compliance. We provide consulting services to clients regarding compliance with Title III of the ADA. More specifically, our firm provides site surveys and inspection services to clients for their existing facilities. In essence, we help our clients develop compliance plans for barrier removal for their existing facilities. We also are a member of a group which among others includes the Kent Waldrep National Paralysis Foundation. This group which was formed in May, 1991 provides seminars and training sessions to public and private groups. All of our services to this group are donated and all proceeds from these seminars are donated directly to the Foundation. The purpose of this letter is to request clarification on two issues regarding

barrier removal in existing facilities or buildings. First, in advising clients regarding toilet facilities, where does one draw the line between readily achievable and not readily achievable? In general, we advise our clients that if improvements can be made that do not require the relocation of walls, these changes are probably readily achievable and should be undertaken. On the other hand, if the size of a toilet room is such that nothing short of relocating walls will make these rooms accessible, we advise them that such changes may not be required. Second, regarding accessible entrances into a building, how many accessible routes are actually required into an existing building? Is it the same number as that required for new buildings as specified per 4.1.3.(8) of ADAAG or can less than 50% be accessible for existing buildings? If the building has four entrances and only one of these is accessible, must the building owner make other entrances accessible? We would appreciate any input or advice you could provide regarding these areas of compliance. We are constantly confronted with questions regarding these areas of accessibility and would like to know that we are providing accurate and reasonable advice to our clients and associates. Sincerely, Thomas R. Howard ADA Program Administrator BECK Program Management 01-00953