T. 8-5-93 DJ 202-PL-259 AUG 23 1993 Mr. Lowell C.

Horton Horton Products Company 601 East Burgess Road Building H-4 Pensacola, Florida 32504 Dear Mr. Horton: I am writing in response to your letter inquiring as to whether the standards issued under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) apply to swimming pools in places of public accommodations and whether swimming pool operators are required to remove architectural barriers. The ADA authorizes the Department of Justice to provide technical assistance and information to individuals and entities who have questions about the Act or the Standards for Accessible Design adopted under the Department's ADA regulations. This letter provides informal guidance to assist you in understanding and complying with the ADA's requirements. However, this technical assistance should not be viewed as legal advice or a legal opinion about your rights or responsibilities under the ADA. The Access Board developed the ADA Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities which were subsequently adopted as the Standards for Accessible Design (Standards) under the Departments regulations issued under title III of the ADA. A copy of the Department's regulations are enclosed for your use. The Standards currently do not contain specific design criteria for providing access into a swimming pool. However, the Standards' general accessibility provisions would apply to access to the pool deck, dressing rooms, toilet rooms, parking, and other public and common use areas. The Access Board has announced its intention to develop guidelines for recreational facilities and has convened a Federal Advisory Committee on Recreation to assist in the development of

accessibility guidelines for all types of recreational facilities, including swimming pools. As new guidelines are cc: Records, Chrono, Wodatch, Breen, Lusher, FOIA, Friedlander n:\udd\mercado\plcrtltr\horton.rhl 01-02541

-2developed by the Board, the Department will enter into rulemaking to adopt the guidelines as enforceable standards under the ADA. All public accommodations covered by the ADA must comply with the nondiscrimination and accessibility requirements of title Ill. In existing facilities, all barriers to accessibility must be removed if the removal is readily achievable. Readily achievable means easily accomplishable and able to be carried out without much difficulty or expense. Sections 36.304(b) and (c) of the enclosed title III regulations, at pages 35597-98, provide examples and suggest priorities for barrier removal steps. Public accommodations are urged first to provide an accessible route into the facility from public sidewalks, parking or transportation. Next, a public accommodation should provide access to, in order of priority, areas where goods and services are made available and to restroom facilities. The public accommodation should then provide access to the remainder of its "goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations." Please consult the enclosed regulation and Technical Assistance Manual for a more complete discussion of barrier removal. The ADA establishes two avenues for enforcement of the requirements of title III: 1. Private suits by individuals who are being subjected to discrimination or who have reasonable grounds for believing that they are about to be subjected to discrimination. 2. Suits by the Department of Justice, whenever it has reasonable cause to believe that there is a pattern or practice of discrimination, or where discrimination raises

an issue of general public importance. The Department will investigate complaints and conduct compliance reviews of covered entities. I hope this information is useful to you. Sincerely,

John L. Wodatch Chief Public Access Section Enclosures 01-02542

HORTON PRODUCTS C0MPANY PO. Box 36277 1200 Old Corry Field Road Pensacola, Florida 32516 Phone 904/438-4111 FAX 904/438-4226 RESPOND TO: July 13, 1992 601 E. Burgess Rd Building H-4 Pensacola, Fl 32504

Mr. John Wodatch Head, AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT U.S. Department of Justice P.O. Box 66738 Washington, D.C. 20035-9998 Dear Mr. Wodatch: This is my fourth effort through various members of your staff to obtain simple, written answers to three clear, direct questions concerning certain ADA requirements. To date, I have received only stacks of regulations - but not one single word from any staff member addressing my spefific questions.

In total frustration I am asking for your assistance. Will you please see that I am provided simple, black and white answers to my questions? My questions are: (1) do ADA standards of equal access apply to swimming pools in those places of public accommodations listed on Page 30.7 of the House of Representatives Report 101-596; (2) are those pool operators listed therein required to remove architectural barriers prohibiting equal pool access provided such removal does not cause undue burden, and (3) is the Government actually going to enforce ADA standards or "look the other way" on enforcement? Please respond to me in simple, understandable language and I will be most grateful. Yours very truly, JUL 17 1992 HORTON PRODUCTS COMPANY Lowell C. Horton President LCH/jc Enclosure 01-02543 202-PL-259 Received-OADA