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US. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Public Access Section P.O. Box 66738 Washington, D.C. 20035-6738 JUN 17 1993
(b)(6) Washington, D.C.
Re: DJ Holiday Inn 5th & C Sts., S.W. Washington, D.C. 20002 Dear Mr.XX This letter is in response to your correspondence in which you allege a violation of title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. SS 12181-12189, and the Department of Justice implementing regulation, 28 C.F.R. pt. 36, by the above-referenced Holiday Inn. In particular, you indicated that an AT&T Access 2000 unit, a card-operated telephone with TDD capability located in the hotel lobby, would not accept your credit card for a local call. In addition, the AT&T telephone unit would not accept coins and the adjacent coinoperated telephones were not accessible because no TDDs were present. The Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") authorizes the Department of Justice to investigate alleged violations of title 111. 42 U.S.C. S 1218,8 (b) (1) (A). However, after considering the information you have provided to us, we have concluded that the facts presented do not constitute a violation of title II of the ADA. As an existing place of public accommodation, the Holiday Inn is, among other things, obligated to remove communication barriers that are structural in nature, where such removal is readily achievable; to provide auxiliary aids and services where
necessary to ensure effective communication; and to ensure generally that individuals are not denied, an the basis of disability, an equal opportunity to participate in or benefit from the goods, services, and facilities of the hotel. See generally 28 C.F.R. SS 36.202, 36.303, 36.304. 01-02416 2 Accordingly, if the hotel offers its clients or customers the opportunity to make outgoing telephone calls on "more than an incidental convenience basis," such as providing in-room telephone service for its guests, the hotel must make TDDs available on request in private guest rooms. A hotel also is required to have a TDD at the front desk on request so that guests with hearing or speech impairments can contact the front desk from their rooms. However, as an existing place of public accommodation, the hotel is not obliged to provide TDDs in common areas such as lobbies. The ADA Standards for Accessible Design for new construction and alterations are more stringent. With regard to new construction, for example, if four or more public pay telephones are provided on a hotel site, including at least one that is located in the interior of the hotel, the hotel is required to provide at least one TDD. In addition, in new buildings with banks of three or more interior public pay telephones, at least one public pay telephone in each bank must be equipped with a shelf and a power outlet to accommodate a Portable TDD. See ADA Standards at sections 4.1.3 (17)(c) and 4.1.3 (17)(d) . A hotel would be obligated to provide a coin-operated TDD if the other pay telephones are coin-operated. If the hotel only provided a card-operated TDD unit, the hotel would deny individuals, on the basis of a disability, an equal opportunity to benefit from the goods, services, and facilities of the hotel in violation of 29 C.F.R. 202(b). If you have any questions concerning our action on this complaint, please feel free to contact me at (202) 3076309.
Sincerely, Sheila K. Delaney Attorney Public Access Section Enclosure 01-02417