JAN 19 1993

The Honorable John F. Kerry United States Senator One Bowdoin Square Tenth Floor Boston, Massachusetts 02114 Attn: Ms. Bonnie Cronin Dear Senator Kerry: In response to your inquiry on behalf of John Ness, I am enclosing a copy of our response to Mr. Ness, concerning requirements for permanent signs under title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). I hope this information is helpful to you and your constituent. Sincerely,

John R. Dunne Assistant Attorney General Civil Rights Division Enclosures (2) cc: Records, Chrono, Wodatch, Lusher, McDowney, FOIA, MAF data2:Udd:mercado:congltrs:kerry.rhl 01-01853​ JAN 19 1993

Mr. John Ness Vice President

Merrimack Engraving and Marking Company, Inc. P.O. Box 424 Methuen, Massachusetts 01844 Dear Mr. Ness: This letter is in response to your letter concerning requirements for permanent signs under title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA authorizes the Department of Justice to provide technical assistance to individuals and entities that are subject to the Act. Therefore, this letter provides informal guidance to assist you in understanding the ADA's requirements. However, this technical assistance does not constitute a legal interpretation by the Department and it is not binding on the Department. In general, the Department's standard for accessible design, contained as Appendix A to our title III regulation, does not require that signs be provided in buildings and facilities. When signs are provided in a building, section 4.1.3(16) of the standard requires that certain types of signs comply with specific characteristics intended to accommodate persons with varying degrees of visual impairments. Signs designating permanent rooms and spaces are required to have raised and Brailled numbers and characters, making them tactually readable. In addition, elevator car controls, floor markings on elevator hoistways, and elevator identification adjacent to emergency communication, are also required to be tactually readable. Because tactual signs are intended to be used by persons who are blind or severely visually impaired, strict requirements for the location and placement of such signs exist to ensure ease of location and use. The requirements apply to the room numbers portions of all permanent signs, including those for offices, kitchens, hotel rooms, classrooms, and any other type of room cc: Records, Chrono, Wodatch, Lusher, McDowney, FOIA, MAF Udd:Mercado:congltrs:kerry.rhl 01-01854​ -2-

that has a room number, as well as signs at exits and toilet rooms. The requirements for tactual signs do not apply to signs that provide information about the room or space such as the function or purpose nor to temporary signs that may provide the name of the current occupant or user of a space. The signage requirements contained in the Department's standard apply to new buildings intended for first occupancy after January 26, 1993 or any building for which alterations were initiated after January 26, 1992. Further, existing public accommodations must undertake barrier removal in existing facilities where it is readily achievable. The Department's recommended priority list includes providing raised character and Brailled signs in its second highest category. I hope that this information is helpful to you. Sincerely,

John L. Wodatch Chief Public Access Section 01-01855​MEMCO MERRIMACK ENGRAVING & MARKING CO., INC. P.O. BOX 424 (508) 686-4777 METHUEN, MA 01844 FAX: (508) 681-0909 November 23, 1992 Bonnie Cronin Office of Senator John Kerry 1 Bowdoin Square 10th Floor Boston, MA 02114 Dear Bonnie, In response to our telephone conversation last Friday, I am enclosing the information I received about permanent room sign requirements for the Americans with Disabilities Act. A problem has risen due to a letter written by Assistant Attorney General John

Dunne. In a letter he wrote to Michael J. Davis, Editor of the Engravers Journal (a trade publication), Mr. Dunne states that the only rooms and areas considered permanent are: mens and womens restrooms, room numbers and exits. Mr. Dunne refers Mr. Davis to page 59 of the Title 3 Technical Assistance Manual. When you look at that page, it clearly states that what Mr. Dunne has listed as the only permanent rooms are merely some examples of permanent rooms and areas. Mr. Dunne neglected to include the eg. before his list of rooms and areas. I question as to why elevators, stairwells, business offices, kitchens, etc. would not be considered permanent rooms or areas. Section 4.30.4 of the Federal Register Vol. 56, No. 144 Part 3 of the Americans with Disabilities Act requires that all permanent rooms or areas be designated with a sign that contains raised lettering, grade 2 braille and, when applicable, the appropriate international symbol. All the information I have heard and read about the A.D.A. has been stressing the fact that this law is intended to allow all handicapped people become more independent by removing physical and communication barriers. If that is the case, then wouldn't it make sense to identify all rooms and areas with raised lettering and grade 2 braille? This would allow a handiapped person to move independently throughout hospitals, hotels, restaurants and the like. This matter greatly concerns me due to the fact that my company is a small family-run business and we have invested a great deal of time and money to manufacture signs to comply with the A.D.A. If it were a case of the law being amended, we could understand Mr. Dunne's letter, but it is his error that now has the Justice Department considering just three types of rooms to be permanent rooms. I hope that something can be done to correct this error and I will look forward to hearing from you regarding this matter. Thank you for your time and cooperation. Respectfully,

John Ness Vice President 01-01856