NOV 24 1992

Jeffrey H. Flora, CAE Managing Director The Electric Association of Missouri & Kansas 638 W. 39th Kansas City, Missouri 64141-4168 Dear Mr. Flora: This letter is in response to your request for a statement of our policy for enforcing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). As with other Federal civil rights statutes protecting Americans against employment discrimination, the ADA will be enforced with reason and fairness. I am confident that our enforcement policy will not contribute to the litigation crisis, but rather will provide expanded opportunities for businesses, as well as potential employees and consumers. Our general enforcement strategy is a simple one and can be summarized in a phrase: educate, negotiate and litigate only when those efforts fail. Our goal is voluntary compliance with the ADA through an active outreach and public education effort. We will attempt first to resolve complaints through a process of technical assistance and negotiation, and resort to litigation only when necessary to achieve compliance after those efforts. To date, this policy has been very successful. Daily, we advise owners and managers of businesses on ways to comply with the ADA, and they express a great interest in doing so voluntarily - not to avoid litigation, but because it is the right thing to do. In the long run, compliance will also make them more competitive in the marketplace. cc: Records; Chrono; Wodatch; Breen. :udd:jonessandra:disabling.america 01-01745

-2It is true that litigation will be unavoidable in some circumstances. The ADA and the Federal regulations, however, strike a careful balance between the rights of individuals with disabilities to equal access to the mainstream of American life and the legitimate needs of business for efficiency and profitability. The ADA's incorporation of such limiting concepts as "readily achievable," "undue burden" and "undue hardship" takes into consideration the economic health of individual businesses and simultaneously protects essential rights and promotes economic growth. The day has long passed when individuals with disabilities can be shunted away in segregated programs or denied employment. Now is the time for all American institutions to reassess their policies and practices to ensure that all individuals are included in their activities, services, and employment opportunities. It's good business, it makes sense, and it's fair. Sincerely,

John R. Dunne Assistant Attorney General Civil Rights Division 01-01746

The Electric Association OF MISSOURI & KANSAS 638 W. 39TH * P.O. BOX 414168 * KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI 64141-4168 * 816-561-5323 FAX #816-561-1249 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE President GARY HICKOX MID-WEST CHANDELIER CO. * President- Elect RON LOMAX SQUARE D CO. August 31, 1992 Secretary-Treasurer RICH SGARLAT SIEMENS ENERGY & AUTOMATION, INC. * Immediate Past President DON ANDERSON SCHOOLER & ASSOCIATES, INC. Mr. John R. Dunne ****** Assistant Attorney General Vice Presidents Civil Rights Division UTILITIES U.S. Justice Department

SYLVERSTER BYRD BOARD OF PUBLIC UTILITIES Washington, D.C. 20515 MANUFACTURERS PAUL BODDE THE WIREMOLD CO. Dear Mr. Dunne: CONTRACTORS DICK YATES YATES ELECTRIC CO. I read with much interest your letter to the editor SUPPLY WHOLESALERS TERRY MASTERS in the August 20th issue of the Wall Street Journal. BERNIE ELECTRIC AGENTS GARY SNEATHEN Our Association represents approximately 600 members MOKAN ELECTRICAL SALES who are individual businesses and business owners AT LARGE ART MALLE and who are also very concerned about the impact of KANSAS POWER & LIGHT MAINT-REPAIR-SERVICE the employment provisions of Title I of the AmeriLARRY HURST cans With Disabilities Act which went into effect in HUNT MIDWEST July, 1992. ****** Board of Directors DIANE BECHMANN We would appreciate very much for you to write the KANSAS CITY POWER & LIGHT LARRY LaBOUNTY Electric Association of Missouri & Kansas a memo on T&B MFG. Justice Department stationery outlining the policies GRANT HILBURN that you stated in your letter to the Wall Street BOESE-HILBURN ELECTRIC RAY HAWKINS Journal. MISSOURI VALLEY ELECTRIC JOHN MARIETTI CBM INC. I look forward to hearing from you soon. CHRIS HEDGES CHRISTOPHER HEDGES CO. BOB VAN LANDINGHAM Sincerely, LOGIC CONTROL SALES DON ALBER WALKER LOUDERMILK CO. WALT WESTMORELAND MISSOURI VALLEY ELECTRIC TOM ISENBERG Jeffrey H. Flora, CAE WESTERN EXTRALITE IDA MAY EDMISTEN Managing Director MISSOURI VALLEY ELECTRIC

JHF/dh cc: Ernest Isenberg Legislative Committee Chairman cc: John Wodatch 01-01747​ THE WALL STREET JOURNAL DATE: 8-20-92 PAGE: A xx Letters to the Editor Unsupported Fears About the ADA Your July 24 editorial "Disabling America" is misleading and fosters unsupported fears about the consequences of the employment provisions of Title I of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), which went into effect last month. As with other federal civil rights statutes protecting Americans against employment discrimination, Title I will be enforced with reason and fairness. I am confident that our enforcement policy will not contribute to the litigation crisis, but rather will provide expanded opportunities for employers, as well as potential employees. Our compliance strategy is a simple one and can be summarized in a phrase: educate, negotiate and litigate only when those efforts fail. Our goal is voluntary compliance with the ADA through an active outreach and public education effort. We will attempt first to resolve complaints through a process of technical assistance and negotiation, and resort to litigation only when compliance is required. You confuse the administrative enforcement procedures for the ADA's various provisions and actual court litigation. Your reference to 320 cases filed with our department and the "20% jump in discrimination lawsuits, or 15,000 new cases a year," is a reflection of this confusion. These statistics refer to the number of

administrative complaints filed with our department and those that may be lodged with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) during the coming year. Some of the department's cases go to litigation, but the vast majority will be settled voluntarily. Similarly, a very small percentage of EEOC's cases will result in litigation. To date, our experience has been very different from the bleak view you present. Daily we advise the owners and managers of businesses on ways to comply with the ADA and they express a great interest in doing so voluntarily -- not to avoid litigation, but because it is the right thing to do. Moreover, in the long run, compliance will make them more competitive in the marketplace. It is true that litigation will be unavoidable in some circumstances. The ADA and the federal government's regulations, however, strike a careful balance between the rights of individuals with disabilities to equal access to the mainstream of American life and the legitimate needs of government and business for efficiency and profitability. The ADA's incorporation of such limiting concepts as "readily achievable," "undue burden" and "undue hardship" takes into consideration the economic health of individual businesses and state and local governments, and simultaneously protects essential rights and promotes economic growth. The day has long passed when individuals with disabilities can be shunted away in segregated programs or denied employment. Now is the time for all American institutions to reassess their policies and practices to ensure that all individuals are included in their activities, services and employment opportunities. It's good business; it makes sense, and it's fair. JOHN R. DUNNE

Assistant Attorney General Civil Rights Division U.S. Justice Department Washington *** You accurately describe fears many people have about the ADA. You point out that there is a fear that there will be many costly lawsuits and that ultimately we may find costs of "reasonable accommodation" to be excessive. One of the uncertainties that breeds fear is that there is no consensus on the definition of disability. Who counts under the ADA as having a disability is simply not known. Also, the face of disability is changing quickly due to the rise of AIDS, the recurrence of tuberculosis in our cities and the overall aging of the population (thus increasing the prevalence of disability). JOHN B. WINGATE Executive Director International Center for the Disabled New York *** Your editorial is unfortunately a reflection of the fear, ignorance and patronizing attitudes that made the ADA necessary in the first place. It's not only remarkable for its misstatement of fact, but for its complete misunderstanding of the spirit and history underlying the ADA, of which I was the primary sponsor in the Senate. Let's remember for a moment why the ADA enjoyed such sweeping bipartisan support when it was passed: because Congress and the White House recognized that "compassion for the accidents of birth or circumstance that limit some people" (your phrase) has been insufficient to guarantee to individuals with disabilities the rights that are taken for granted by others in our society. With the ADA, for the first time, people with disabilities have

those same rights. While you see the ADA as a potential "Lawyer's Annuity Act," people with disabilities see it as the one law that will help them achieve inclusion and independence in the mainstream of society. For the same reason that soldiers hate war most because they have the most to lose, people with disabilities have the greatest interest in seeing the effective and non-adversarial implementation of the law -- because they have the most to lose if the ADA fails. However, your editorial suggests that fear of legal liability under the ADA will result in increased employment discrimination against people with disabilities. But your conclusions are contradicted by your own reporters. The Journal has previously documented not only the existence of rampant job discrimination in the absence of legal protection, but also the benefits to the work force as a whole when protections are in place. As early as January 1976, in reporting on the change in employment practices resulting from the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, a Journal article highlighted the limitations that had been placed on American businesses, not by civil rights laws, but by erroneous perceptions of the value of disabled Americans in the workplace. Regarding the efforts by the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF): Far from the lawsuit-happy "Barrier Busters" you portrayed, DREDF has worked from the beginning of the ADA to bring the business and disability communities together, to educate and clarify misperceptions. Finally, your editorial quotes economist Walter Ol as saying the ADA will "make the disabled more dependent on the government." A Harris Poll recently found that two-thirds of all working-aged people with disabilities are on the public dole.

Case after case has found that when given a chance, people with disabilities perform as well as the non-disabled. Little wonder the EEOC projects not only productivity gains of $164 million under the ADA, but a $222 million net benefit from decreased support payments coupled with increased revenue. Far from making people with disabilities more dependent on government, this law is truly a mandate for transforming tax-users into taxpayers. TOM HARKIN (D., Iowa) U.S. Senate Washington *** 22 Cont 01-01748