NOV 4 1992 The Honorable Jim Sasser United States Senate 363 Russell Senate Office Building Washington

, D.C. 20510-4201 Attn: Kim Bengston Dear Senator Sasser: This letter is in response to your inquiry on behalf of Paul Voiles, regarding the accessibility of restrooms to visually impaired individuals. The Americans with Disabilities Act (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 Mr. Voiles in understanding the ADA's requirements. However, it does not constitute a legal interpretation, and it is not binding on the Department. Title II of the ADA applies generally to public entities such as State and local governments, and requires that new construction meet certain accessibility requirements. For existing facilities, Title II requires that covered state and local governments make "reasonable modifications" of programs and services to make them accessible to persons with disabilities, which may include modifications to make restrooms accessible to visually impaired persons. Discussion of the title II requirements appears in the enclosed title II regulation at section 35.151 on pages 35710-11 and 35720 (new construction), and section 35.103(b)(7) on pages 35718-19 (reasonable modifications). These issues are also addressed in the enclosed Title II Technical Assistance Manual at pages 11, 20, and 23. cc: Records; Chrono; Wodatch; Mobley; McDowney; FOIA; MAF. :udd:jonessandra:ada.sasserl 01-01704​ -2Title III of the ADA applies generally to places of public accommodation, as defined in the ADA. For existing facilities, it requires removal of barriers in existing facilities, if removal is "readily achievable." Such required barrier removal

may include modifications to make restrooms accessible to visually impaired persons. For new construction and alterations, places of public accommodation must comply with the Accessibility Guidelines (Guidelines) promulgated by the Department of Justice, which include specific requirements relating to restroom accessibility. Discussion of the title III requirements appears in the enclosed regulation at sections 36.401-402 on pages 35599600 and 35574-75 (new construction and alterations), section 36.104 on page 35594 and pages 35553-54 (definition of "readily achievable"), and sections 4.30.4, 4.30.5, and 4.30.6 of the Guidelines at page 35659 (specific signage requirements). There is further discussion of these issues in the enclosed Title III Technical Assistance Manual at pages 29, 43, 48, and 57. All Department of Justice publications are available in large print, braille, audiocassette, and computer disk. They may be obtained by calling this office, (202) 514-0301, Monday through Friday, 1:00 p.m. through 5:00 p.m., E.S.T., or by requesting those documents in writing at the address listed above. I hope this information is helpful in responding to your constituent. Sincerely, John R. Dunne Assistant Attorney General Civil Rights Division Enclosures (4) 01-01705​ The Blind & Visually Impaired Support Group Greeneville and Greene County Route 1, Box 357 Mosheim, TN 37818 June 9, 1992 Representative Tommy Haun 202 War Memorial Building Nashville, TN 37243-0108 Dear Representative Haun:

We, as a concerned group, wish to commend the State of Tennessee for the fine job they have done in their campaign to help the handicapped. However, we believe that a group of handicapped, the blind and visually impaired, have been left out. We especially feel that this is true as far as restroom facilities are concerned. A visually impaired person has no way in which to distinguish the men's restroom from the ladies restroom. We think that the words for the respective restrooms could be printed in Braille. A hand rail could be installed on the wall just inside the door as a guide to a stall. Also at public rest stops and facilities on the interstates, we feel that the same idea could be implemented or even a family restroom facility could be built for the visually impaired and their families. We would appreciate whatever help and support you can give us in helping us obtain our goal. Thanks, Paul Voiles, President 01-01706