MAR 22 1993 Ms. Mary C.

Becker Administrator 17th Congressional District of California 380 Alvarado Street Monterey, California 93940 Dear Ms. Becker: This letter is in response to your inquiry on behalf of your constituent, Merlyn McAlister. Ms. McAlister asked two questions about the Americans with Disabilities Act. She wanted to know the number and exact title of the law. The public law number is P.L. 101-336, and the title is the "Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990" (ADA). It appears in the United State Code at 42 U.S.C. 12101. She also wanted to know which government offices and private businesses must provide information or signs in braille. 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 and it is not binding on the Department. Title II of the ADA sets forth the obligations for state and local governments. Title II prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in all services, programs, and activities provided or made available by public entities. A public entity includes any department, agency, special purpose district, or other instrumentality of a state or local government. cc: Records; Chrono; Wodatch; McDowney; Magagna; Burch; FOIA. \udd\bethea\burch.pan

01-01949 -2Any newly constructed facility of a state or local government must be designed and constructed so that it is readily accessible to and usable by people with disabilities. In new construction, public entities have the choice of two accessibility standards to follow in constructing or altering a facility: the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS) or the ADA Accessibility Standards for Buildings and Facilities (ADAAG). UFAS requires that: (1) signs designating permanent rooms and spaces be raised (Braille is not required) and must be mounted at a certain height and location; (2) all other signs (including temporary signs) must comply with requirements for letter proportion and color contrast, but not with requirements for raised letters or mounting height. See 4.30 of enclosed copy of UFAS at p. 47 ADAAG requires that: (1) signs designating permanent rooms and spaces (men's and women's rooms; room numbers; exit signs) have raised and Brailled letters; comply with finish and contrast standards; and be mounted at a certain height and location; (2) signs that provide direction to or information about functional spaces of a building (e.g. "cafeteria this way;" "copy room") need not comply with requirements for raised and Brailled letters, but they must comply with requirements for character proportion, finish, and contrast. If suspended or projected overhead, they must also comply with character height requirements; (3) building directories and other signs providing temporary information (such as current occupant's name) do not have to comply with any ADAAG requirements. See section S 4.30 in enclosed copy of ADAAG, which can be found on p. 53. State and local governments are required to operate each

program so that, when viewed in its entirely, the program is readily accessible. While new buildings must be built in accordance with UFAS or ADAAG as explained above, existing buildings need not be modified (and braille signage need not be added) if a program as a whole can be made accessible by some method other than providing architectural access -- moving it to an accessible location, for example. Program access is required unless the state or local government can show that it would result in a fundamental alteration of the program or undue financial or administrative burden. Title III of the ADA prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities by any public accommodation or commercial facility. A public accommodation is any private entity that owns, leases or leases to, or operates a place of public accommodation. The following twelve categories of entities are places of public accommodations: 01-01950 -31. Places of lodging. 2. Establishments serving food or drink. 3. Places of exhibition or entertainment 4. Places of public gathering. 5. Sales or rental establishments. 6. Service establishments. 7. Stations used for specified public transportation. 8. Places of public display or collection. 9. Places of recreation. 10. Places of education. 11. Social service center establishments. 12. Places of exercise or recreation. A commercial facility is a facility intended for nonresidential use by a private entity and whose operations affect commerce. Factories, warehouses, office buildings and other buildings in which employment may occur would be included in this category. For new construction and alterations of places of public accommodations and commercial facilities, the ADAAG requires that signs of different types comply with specific characteristics to accommodate persons with 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 required to be tactually readable. In existing buildings, ADA requires that public accommodations remove structural communication barriers where such removal is readily achievable. Readily achievable means easily to accomplish without much difficulty or expense. Adding braille designations in an elevator is an example of a change that will usually be readily achievable. I have also enclosed a copy of the Department's Title II and Title III Technical Assistance Manuals with the current supplements which may be of further assistance in understanding the signage requirements under the ADA. Sincerely,

James P. Turner Acting Assistant Attorney General Civil Rights Division Enclosures (4) 01-01951 CONSTITUENT REQUEST DATE: 1/25/93 kwc Ms. Merlyn McAlister



ADDRESS: S & S Trophies 3112 Porter St. Soquel, CA 95073 PHONE: 475-5512


Information/B B

Bill Status/C


VIEWPOINT OR REQUEST Issue/Subject The Americans with Disabilities Act.

Ms. McAlister has some questions about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): 1. She would like to know the number of the ADA law, and the exact title of the law (is it still known as the Americans with Disabilities ACT now that it is a law, in other words?). 2. Ms. McAlister understands that certain businesses and public offices must, as a result of the ADA, begin posting signs in braille. She would like to know exactly what offices must provide information or signs in braille, please. This would include both the types of private businesses and public/government offices that would be required to do so.