DEC 16 1992

The Honorable Arlen Specter United States Senator The Federal Building Liberty Avenue and Grant Street Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222 Attn: Vernon Jackson Dear Senator Specter: This letter is in response to your inquiry on behalf of (b)(6)xx regarding his difficulty in locating a cellular phone that is compatible with a hearing aid. 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 XX in understanding the ADA's requirements. However, it does not constitute a legal interpretation, and it is not binding on the Department. Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by public accommodations. Even if manufacturers of cellular phones were considered places of public accommodations, the Act does not require a public accommodation to alter its inventory to include accessible or special goods that are designed for, or facilitate use by individuals with disabilities. Discussion of this issue appears in the enclosed title III regulation at section 36.307 on page 35,996. Further clarification can be found in the regulation's preamble, which states on page 35,571 that "the purpose of the ADA's public accommodations requirements is to ensure accessibility to the goods offered by a public accommodation, not to alter the nature or mix of goods that the public accommodation has typically provided."

cc: Records; Chrono; Wodatch; McDowney; Perley; FOIA; MAF. :udd:perley:congressional.specter.phones


-2Please note, however, if cellular phones compatible with hearing aids do become available, stores that sell cellular phones would be required to special order such phones if the store in the normal course of its operation, made special orders for unstocked goods. I have enclosed a list of organizations that may be able to help (b)(6)xx in search for cellular phones that are compatible with hearing aids. Of these organizations, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association would be the most likely source of information for XX I hope this information is helpful in responding to your constituent. Sincerely,

John R. Dunne Assistant Attorney General Civil Rights Division Enclosures (2) 01-01797

ABLEDATA Newington Children's Hospital 181 East Cedar St. Newington, CT 06111 (800) 344-5405 Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf, Inc. 3417 Volta Place NW Washington, DC 20007 (202) 337-5220 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association 10801 Rockville Pike Rockville, MD 20852 (301) 897-5700 (800) 638-8255 Job Accommodation Network West Virginia University 809 Allen Hall PO Box 6123 Morgantown, WV 26506-6123 (800) 526-7234

National Association of the Deaf 814 Thayer Ave. Silver Spring, MD 20910-4500 (202) 347-3066 National Information Center on Deafness Gallaudet University 800 Florida Ave., NE Washington, DC 20002 (202) 651-5051 Self-Help for Hard of Hearing People 7800 Wisconsin Ave., NW Bethesda, MD 20814 (301) 657-2248 Telecommunications for the Deaf, Inc. 8719 Colesville Road, Suite 300 Silver Spring, MD 20910 (301) 589-3786



A number of weeks ago I spoke to your assistant, Mr. Vernon Jackson about a problem I am trying to resolve.

I am 60 years old, in an active eye practice in Mt. Lebon, Pa. I have a severe Hearing loss in 1 ear and no hearing in the other ear. I wear, full time, a powerful hearing aid in 1 ear. That is telephone compatable (I/E Induction coil compatability). In attempting to purchase a cellular mobil telephone that would be Hearing Aid compatable I have found that all manufactures have, for some reason, chosen to ignore this problem and have no intention of doing so now or in the future. I believe legislation was enacted recently (For Disabled people) that addresses this issue Directly. (ie the Disability Act) Could your office direct me to the appropriate federal agency to whom I could direct my complaint and possibly solve this situation for myself and other seriously Hearing Impaired Citizens. Cordially, PS/Good luck in the (b)(6) xx Election--We need you