JAN 19 1993

The Honorable Lane Evans Member, U. S. House of Representatives 1640 North Henderson Street, Suite 1 Galesburg, Illinois 61401 Dear Congressman Evans: This letter is in response to your inquiry on behalf of Allan Smith, who asks whether a public entity must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) in existing buildings. The 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, or legal advice, and it is not binding on the Department. Your constituent asks whether public entities have ADA responsibilities in existing buildings. He states that he believes public entities have no ADA responsibilities unless an existing building undergoes "substantial remodeling." This understanding of the ADA is incorrect. The ADA has provisions that affect existing public facilities, and it has additional provisions that apply when a public facility is altered. Title II of the ADA applies to the programs and facilities of state or local government, or "public entities." Title II, and the Department's regulation promulgated under that title, contain many provisions with which public entities must comply in existing facilities, affecting structural and non-structural aspects of each public entity's operations. The title II regulation and a Technical Assistance Manual interpreting the regulation are enclosed with this letter. Some of the obligations of public entities in existing facilities may be found in the title II regulation in sections 35.140, 35.14935.150, and 35.160-35.164, at pages 35719-35721, and in the corresponding preamble sections on pages 35707-35713. In the

Technical Assistance Manual, discussion of obligations in existing facilities may be found at pages 9-22, and 35-39. cc: Records, Chrono, Wodatch, Bowen, McDowney, Novich, FOIA, MAF Udd:Novich:congress:evans 01-01846​ -2With regard to structural aspects of existing public facilities, title II requires that programs of public entities be accessible to people with disabilities. This means that each program, when viewed in its entirety, must be accessible. It does not necessarily mean that each building must be made accessible. These provisions apply to public facilities even if no alterations are planned. You may consult section 35.150 of the enclosed regulation, at pages 35719-35720 and 35708-35709, for a discussion of the program accessibility requirement. In addition, when public facilities are altered, section 35.151 of the title II regulation requires that alterations affecting usability be done so as to make the altered area accessible, to the maximum extent feasible. Section 35.151 appears at pages 35720-35721 of the title II regulation, with corresponding preamble discussion at pages 35710-35711. I hope this information is helpful to you in responding to your constituent. Sincerely,

John R. Dunne Assistant Attorney General Civil Rights Division Enclosures (2) 01-01847​ AL SMITH & ASSOCIATES RR3

GALESBURG, ILLINOIS 61401-9348 CONGRESSMAN LANE EVANS 1040 N. HENDERSON STREET GALESBURG ILLINOIS 61401

6 NOVEMBER 1992 FIRST AND FOREMOST: CONGRATULATIONS!

SECOND: WOULD YOU PLEASE DIRECT THE FOLLOWING REQUEST FOR INFORMATION TO THE PROPER AGENCY? WE REQUIRE A LETTER FROM THE AGENCY RESPONSIBLE FOR ENFORCEMENT OF THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT THAT CLEARLY STATES WHETHER OR NOT A PUBLIC BODY CAN EVER BE FORCED TO COMPLY WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT IN AN EXISTING BUILDING. WE BELIEVE THAT THE ONLY TIME A PUBLIC BODY CAN BE REQUIRED TO COMPLY WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT IN AN EXISTING BUILDING IS DURING A PERIOD OF "SUBSTANTIAL REMODELING". WE ALSO UNDERSTAND THAT "GOOD FAITH" EFFORTS MUST BE MADE TO CORRECT NON COMPLIANT AREAS. AN EXAMPLE OF "GOOD FAITH" EFFORT WOULD BE TO REPLACE AN EXISTING DEFECTIVE DRINKING FOUNTAIN WITH A TYPE SUITABLE FOR USE BY THE ENTIRE PUBLIC.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE.

ALLAN L. SMITH 01-01848