DJ 202-PL-00034 SEP 23 1992 Mr.

Luther Field Batt-Chief/Critical Issues Municipal Building, 8th at Colorado Post Office Box 1088 Austin, Texas 78767 Dear Mr. Field: This letter responds to your inquiry concerning fire station modifications that may be required by the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. ​ 12131-12134 ("ADA"). 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. It does not, however, constitute a legal interpretation and it is not binding on the Department. Title II of the ADA prohibits State and local governments from discriminating against persons with disabilities. Title II and the Department's implementing regulation, 28 C.F.R. pt. 35 (enclosed), also require that new construction and alterations of government buildings ensure accessibility and that programs in government facilities be made accessible. ADA 204(b); 28 C.F.R. ​ 35.149 -.150. More specifically, all State and local government buildings constructed or altered after January 26, 1992, must meet federal accessibility standards by complying with either the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS) or the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG). 28 C.F.R. 35.151. A different standard applies to services, programs, or activities conducted in State or local government facilities. Each such service, program, or activity must be operated so that, when viewed in its entirety, it is readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. cc: Records, Chrono, Wodatch, Bowen, Friedlander, FOIA, Nakata Udd:Nakata:202.PL.00034 01-01569​ -2[T]itle II requires a public entity to make

its programs accessible in all cases, except where to do so would result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of the program or in undue financial and administrative burdens.... [T]he program access requirement of title II should enable individuals with disabilities to participate in and benefit from the services, programs, or activities of public entities in all but the most unusual cases. 56 Fed. Reg. 35,708 (1991). Program access required by title II can be achieved by various means, including physical changes to existing buildings, the acquisition or redesign of equipment, the reassignment of services to accessible buildings, and the delivery of services at alternate accessible sites. 28 C.F.R. 35.150(b). For instance, you may wish to provide tours of accessible existing facilities as a means of making that aspect of your activities accessible. You would not necessarily be required to alter other inaccessible facilities for that purpose. If this approach would impose undue burdens, program access may be achieved by providing an audio-visual display of inaccessible areas in an accessible location on the ground floor. I have included a copy of the Department's Title II Technical Assistance Manual, which may provide further assistance in this area at Section II-5.0000. This letter does not address other accommodations that may be required under the employment requirements of title I of the ADA. Thank you for your inquiry in this matter. Sincerely, L. Irene Bowen Deputy Director Office on the Americans with Disabilities Act Enclosures (2) Title II Technical Assistance Manual Title II regulation 01-01570​

City of Austin Founded by Congress, Republic of Texas, 1839 Municipal Building, Eighth at Colorado, P.O. Box 1088, Austin, Texas 78767 Telephone 512/499-2000 March 2, 1992 Civil Rights Division Office on the Americans with Disabilities Act U.S. Department of Justice P.O. Box 66118 Washington, D.C. 20035-6118 Dear Sirs: As a member of the Austin Fire Department's ADA compliance committee I am contacting the Justice Department directly to obtain guidance in the matter of requirements for Fire Stations under the Americans with Disabilities Act. We seem to be getting conflicting interpretations of the ADA pertaining to this question. I am hoping you can inform us as to what extent Fire Stations are required to be made accessible under the ADA. Our stations are primarily used to house firefighters, trucks and equipment. We conduct no scheduled programs or activities at the stations involving the public other than tours of the stations and equipment upon request by interested groups, usually school children. My interpretation of the ADA requirements are that the stations do not need modifying since our programs and services, when viewed in their entirety, are accessible. I would appreciate any clarification you could supply on this matter as soon as possible and in writing, please. If you have any questions or I can be of help in any way, please contact me at (512) 477-5784. Sincerely, Luther Field Batt. Chief/Critical Issues Austin Fire Department 01-01571