T. 8-3-93 AUG 23 l993 DJ 202-PL-565 Mr. James C. Bagley Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood, Inc. 125 Interstate Park Drive P.O.

Box 3605 Montgomery, Alabama 36109-0605 Dear Mr. Bagley: I am responding to your letter inquiring about the certification of State and local accessibility codes pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Specifically, your letter asks if the adoption of a model code by a State or local government requires the approval of the Department of Justice. The ADA authorizes the Department of Justice to provide technical assistance to individuals and entities that have rights or responsibilities under the Act. This letter provides informal guidance to assist you to understand the ADA. However, this technical assistance does not constitute a determination by the Department of your rights or responsibilities under the ADA, and it is not binding on the Department. The ADA does not preempt all State regulation in the area of accessible design. States may continue to enact and enforce State accessibility codes. These codes do not require Department of Justice approval. However, if the State code provisions differ from the ADA requirements in a way that may result in less accessibility, then a covered entity is required to comply with the ADA standards in addition to the State code. The ADA requirements that govern the new construction or alteration of facilities subject to the ADA are contained in the Department of Justice regulations implementing titles II and III of the ADA. Title II of the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by public entities, including all State and local governments. Title III of the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by places of public accommodation, and it requires all new construction of, or alterations to, places of public accommodation and commercial facilities to be readily

accessible to people with disabilities. cc: Records, Chrono, Wodatch, Breen, Blizard, FOIA, Friedlander n:\udd\blizard\cert\alabama.ta 01-02538

-2The Department of Justice regulation implementing title II (28 C.F.R. pt. 35) requires all new construction of, or alterations to, public buildings after January 26, 1992, to comply with either the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards or the Standards for Accessible Design published as Appendix A to the Department's regulation implementing title III (28 C.F.R. pt. 36). The Department's title III regulation requires all places of public accommodation and commercial facilities designed and constructed for first occupancy after January 26, 1993, or altered after January 26, 1992, to be designed in compliance with the requirements of Subpart D of the regulation and the Standards for Accessible Design. The ADA recognizes that individuals involved in the design and construction of facilities subject to title III of the Act may want to be able to rely on compliance with State or local codes as a means of complying with the ADA. Therefore, title III permits the Department of Justice, in response to a request from a State or local government, to certify that the accessibility provisions of a State or local building code that apply to places of public accommodation or commercial facilities meet or exceed the requirements of the ADA. Certification of a code by the Department does not ensure that a facility constructed in compliance with the code will comply with the ADA, but it does enable a party in litigation that alleges a violation of title III to point to compliance with a certified code as rebuttable evidence of compliance with the ADA. The ADA does not authorize the Department to certify State or local code requirements that apply only to the construction of public buildings or facilities. For your information, I am enclosing copies of the

Department's regulations implementing titles II and III of the ADA, and the Department's technical assistance manuals. I hope that this information is helpful to you. Sincerely,

John L. Wodatch Chief Public Access Section Enclosures 01-02540

Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood, Inc. ENGINEERS ARCHITECTS SURVEYORS May 10, 1993 THE OFFICE OF THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT CIVIL RIGHTS DIVISION U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Post Office Box 6618 Washington, D.C. 20035-6118 REFERENCE: Response CERTIFICATION OF LOCAL CODES - Request for Written

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: The State of Alabama Fire Marshall, who has the legal authority to promulgate and enforce regulations regarding accessibility, adopted UFAS-88 as Alabama's ADA Standard, in conjunction with or at least with endorsement of the State Building Commission. This has been in place for over a year, and is now relied upon across the state.

My understanding from numerous ADA meetings, seminars, convention activities, research, etc., and discussion with several lawyers where this has come up, is that the Department of Justice must endorse our State Fire Marshal's action before it is acceptable, 'official," later admissible as factual evidence, etc. QUESTION: Does the adoption of a "Model Code" by a State or municipality require the endorsement, acceptance, or similar action by the Department of Justice and/or other authority? Thank you for your time in attention to this request. We will be looking forward to your response very soon. Sincerely yours, GOODWYN, MILLS & CAWOOD, INC. James Bagley, AIA, CDT, CSI JCB:mh:6400-ADA.ARC

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