You are on page 1of 4

DEC 21 1992

The Honorable Dan Glickman Member, U.S. House of Representatives 401 N. Market Street Room 134 Wichita, Kansas 67202 Attention: Janet Anderson Dear Congressman Glickman: This letter is in response to your inquiry on behalf of Reverend Roy Nelson, concerning the compliance obligations of churches under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("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 your constituent in understanding the ADA's requirements. However, it does not constitute a legal interpretation, and it is not binding on the Department. Section 307 of the ADA specifically provides that religious organizations and entities controlled by religious organizations are not subject to title III of the ADA. Thus, the 10th Avenue United Methodist Church is not required to provide an elevator, and if it does provide an elevator, the elevator is not required to comply with the ADA Accessibility Guidelines. However, any nonreligious entities that are places of public accommodation and that lease space to conduct activities in the church facilities would have to comply with ADA requirements. Enclosed are the Department's Title III Technical Assistance Manual and the Department's implementing regulation for further guidance. A discussion of the religious exemption may be found on pages 4-5 of the Technical Assistance Manual and page 35,554 of the regulation. cc: Records, Chrono, Wodatch, Contois, MaDowney, FOIA, MAF

udd:Contois:CGL.Glickman

01-01805

-2Please note that although religious organizations are exempt from the facilities requirements of title III, they are not exempt from the title I requirements for employment. Information about title I can be obtained by writing to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 1801 L Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20501. For information regarding voluntary measures by religious organizations to improve access for persons with disabilities, you may wish to direct Mr. Nelson's attention to a handbook published by the National Organization on Disability entitled "That All May Worship: An Interfaith Welcome to People with Disabilities." A copy of the handbook can be obtained by writing to the National Organization on Disability, Religion and Disability Program, 910 16th Street N.W., Suite 600, Washington, D.C. 20006. I hope this information is useful to you in responding to your constituent. Sincerely,

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

01-01806

DAN GLICKMAN FOURTH DISTRICT-KANSAS 20515-1604 ASSISTANT MAJORITY WHIP

2311 RAYBURN BUILDING WASHINGTON, DC (202)225-6216 401 N. MARKET ST.

ROOM 134 COMMITTEES: WICHITA, KS 67202 AGRICULTURE (316)262-8396 CHAIRMAN, SUBCOMMITTEE ON WHEAT, SOYBEANS AND FEED GRAINS JUDICIARY 335 N. WASHINGTON SUITE 220 SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE HUTCHINSON, KS 67501 SCIENCE, SPACE, AND TECHNOLOGY (316)669-9011 DEMOCRATIC STEERING AND POLICY CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES WASHINGTON, DC 20515-1604 OCTOBER 20, 1992

John Wodatch Director Office on the ADA U.S. Department of Justice P.O. Box 66738 Washington, D.C. 20035-9998 Dear John: I am writing this letter in regard to a request for assistance from Roy Nelson, Pastor of the 10th Avenue United Methodist Church in Hutchinson, Kansas. Rev. Nelson would like information regarding the ADA requirements for churches. He wants to know if there is a timeline in which churches will be required to comply with the ADA guidelines in regard to elevators. If so, if a church already has an elevator, what will be required to comply with the guidelines? If a new elevator is to be installed, what is required? I would greatly appreciate any information you could share with me regarding Rev. Nelson's concerns. If you have questions or desire additional information, please feel free to contact Janet Anderson in my Wichita office as she is assisting me in this matter. With best regards, Dan Glickman MEMBER OF CONGRESS DG:joa 01-01807