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MAY 10 1993

The Honorable Richard G. Lugar
United States Senate
306 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Lugar:

This letter is in response to your inquiry on behalf of your
constituent, XXXXXX concerning the possibility of
providing both ramps and stairs at the entrances to places of
public accommodation.

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.

While current law does not require stairs at any entrance,
XXXXXX should be pleased to know that the ADA's Standards for
Accessible Design do include certain requirements regarding
stairways. In promulgating a regulation to implement title III
of the ADA, the Department of Justice included a set of architec-
tural standards -- the Standards for Accessible Design -- with
which all places of public accommodation must comply whenever
they alter an existing facility or build a new facility. These
Standards set precise limits for stair treads, risers, and
nosings, and require continuous handrails at specified heights.
Thus, whenever there are stairs in an altered or newly
constructed facility, they will be as accessible to persons with
disabilities as possible.

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The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance
Board, also known as the Access Board, is the organization that
is initially responsible for drafting and amending the ADA
Accessibility Guidelines, which are the guidelines on which title
III's Standards for Accessible Design are based. We have taken
the liberty of forwarding XXXXX letter to the Access Board,
so that the Board may consider her comments and the possibility
of proposing that the ADA Accessibility Guidelines be altered or
amended.

I have enclosed for your information a copy of the
Department of Justice's title III implementing regulation, which
contains the Standards for Accessible Design as Appendix A, and a
copy of the Department's Technical Assistance manual for title
III, which contains a section discussing the requirements of the
ADA Accessibility Guidelines. I hope this information is useful
to you in responding to your constituent.

Sincerely,

James P. Turner
Acting Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division

Enclosures
Mr. Lawrence W. Roffee
Executive Director
Access Board
1331 F Street, N.W.
Suite 1000
Washington, D.C. 20004-1111

Dear Mr. Roffee:

Senator Richard Lugar forwarded to this office a letter from
his constituent, XXXXX regarding the provision of
both ramps and stairs at entrances to places of public
accommodation.

While we have responded to Senator Lugar, we are taking the
liberty of forwarding XXXXXXX letter to you, so that you may
consider her comments. Enclosed you will find copies of both
XXXXXX letter and our response to Senator Lugar.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

James P. Turner
Acting Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division
Enclosures

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XXXXXXX
Logansport, Indiana 46947

February 5, 1993

The Honorable Richard Lugar
United States Senate
Washington D.C. 20510

Dear Mr. Lugar,

I am writing to you about the issue of accommodating
public buildings for the handicapped. I think that it is
good that buildings were remodeled for those in wheelchairs.

Last year, when buildings were remodeled, ramps
were out in so that they were accessible to those people who
are in wheelchairs. But, there are also those who are
handicapped but are not in wheelchairs to think about.

In 1989, my grandmother had hip replacement
surgery. Unfortunately, there were complications so she now
uses a walker to get around. Occasionally, she will use a
wheelchair, so then she is able to use the ramps. However,
when she uses her walker, which is most of the time, the
ramps are difficult for her to use. Ramps are very hard for
her to walk up with her walker. She cannot walk up them
alone, but she can walk up stairs by herself.

A possibility to consider would be to have two
doors into these buildings, such as restaurants, with a ramp
at one door, and a set of steps at the other door.

Thank you for taking the time to read my letter. I
hope you will consider my ideas and discuss them with your
fellow representatives.
Sincerely

XXXXXXXX