XX MAR 23 1993 (b)(6) San Antonio, Texas 78212 Dear XX I am writing in further response to your March 31, 1992, letter requesting

information about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). 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 you in understanding the ADA's requirements; however, it does not constitute a legal interpretation and it is not binding on the Department. Your letter requests guidance in determining whether your organization, the Eastern Star Chapters, is exempt as a "private club" under Section 307 of the ADA. Your letter also states that this organization intends to meet occasionally in a two-story brick building. In general, the ADA requires places of public accommodations to remove access barriers, such as entrance steps or stairs, where such removal is "readily achievable." The ADA defines readily achievable to mean easily accomplishable without much difficulty or expense. A number of factors are considered in determining whether barrier removal is readily achievable, including the nature and cost of the action required and the size and resources of the business involved. Section 307 of the ADA exempts "private clubs" from the ADA's requirements. The Department's implementing regulation, 28 C.F.R. pt. 36 (enclosed), defines a private club as a "private club or establishment exempted from coverage under title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964." 28 C.F.R. 36.104. Courts have considered a number of factors in determining whether a private entity qualifies as a private club under title II, including the degree of member control of the club's operations, the selectivity of the membership selection process, whether substantial membership fees are charged, whether the entity is

cc: Records, Chrono, Wodatch, Bowen, Nakata, FOIA, XX Udd:Nakata:202.PL.237. (b)(6) 01-01965 -2operated on a nonprofit basis, the extent to which the facilities are open to the public, the degree of public funding, and whether the club was created specifically to avoid compliance with the Civil Rights Act. Even if a private entity is exempt as a "private club" under the ADA, however, the entity's facilities are still subject to the requirements of the ADA to the extent that such facilities are made available for use by nonmembers as places of public accommodation. 56 Fed. Reg. 35552-53 (1991). I have enclosed a copy of the Department's Title III Technical Assistance Manual, which may further assist you in understanding your obligations under the ADA. Private clubs are discussed at pages 5-6 of the manual. I hope this information is useful to you. Sincerely, L. Irene Bowen Deputy Director Public Access Section Enclosures (2) Title III Technical Assistance Manual Title III regulation

01-01966 United States Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board 1331 F Street, NW Suite 1000 Washington, DC 20004-1111 202-272-5434 (V/TDD FAX 202-272-5447 JUN (ILLEGIBLE), 1992 Mr. John Wodatch Director Office on the American with Disabilities Act Civil Rights Division U.S. Department of Justice Washington, DC 20530 Dear Mr. Wodatch: Please find enclosed four letters addressed to the Access Board requesting assistance regarding the ADA. It is our opinion that they address issues more appropriately under the purview of the Department of Justice. Please respond directly to the parties requesting assistance. We have notified them that we have forwarded their inquiries to your office. Sincerely, Marsha K. Mazz Technical Assitance Coordinator Enclosures

The Access Board (b)(6) 01-01967 (HANDWRITTEN) (b)(6) SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS 78212 XX March 31, 1992 Architectural Barriers and Compliance Board Suite 501 111 18th St. N.W. Washington, DC 20036-3894 Gentlemen: Reference section 307 of the "Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990", please let me know if Eastern Star Chapters meeting in a two

I believe Eastern Star

story brick building are exempt from provisions and Masonic organizations of said Act. Each Chapter meets on are exempt under different days and times. Private "Clubs" 503(ILLEGIBLE) of this code Do they not come under said section 307 and are exempt from the Act? I certainly agree that anyone with a disability should be provided for to the extent of laws but was interested to see if the said law exempted disabilities. May I hear from you? Thank You

Sincerely, (b)(6)

01-01968 T. 7-13-92 JUL 14 1992 (b)(6) San Antonio, Texas 78212 Dear XX The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice has received your request for an interpretation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA authorizes the Department of Justice to provide technical assistance to entities that have rights or responsibilities under the Act. The Civil Rights Division will treat your inquiry as a request for technical assistance and will provide informal guidance to you. However, because of the large volume of requests for interpretations of the ADA, we are unable to answer your letter at this time. Please be assured that the Division will respond to your letter expeditiously. We regret any inconvenience caused by our delay in responding and have enclosed for your information two documents on the ADA: "Title II Highlights" and "Title III Highlights." Sincerely, L. Irene Bowen Deputy Director Office on the Americans with Disabilities Act

Civil Rights Division Enclosures : Records, Chrono, Wodatch, Bowen, Nakata d:mercado:policy.letters.acknowl:bowen.plack.(b)(6)