11-24-93 DJ 202-PL-705 NOV 29 1993

Mr. Anthony H. Vergona 1653 Dogwood Drive Harvey, Louisiana 70058-3534 Dear Mr. Vergona: This letter is in response to your inquiry about the application of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to cruise ships and casino boats that operate on the Mississippi River. The ADA authorizes the Department to provide technical assistance to individuals and entities that have rights or responsibilities under the Act. This letter provides informal guidance to assist you in understanding the ADA. However, this technical assistance does not constitute a legal interpretation of the statute, and it is not binding on the Department. Cruise ships and casino boats may be subject to the requirements of both the Department of Justice and the Department of Transportation regulations implementing title III of the ADA. This Department's regulation implementing title III applies to private entities that own, operate, lease, or lease to a private entity whose operations fall within one or more of twelve specified categories. Among those categories are places of lodging, places that serve food or drink, places of public gathering, and places of recreation or entertainment. If the activities conducted on a ship fall within one or more of these categories, the ship would be considered a place of public accommodation that is subject to the Department of Justice title III regulation. A ship that is a place of public accommodation must comply with the full range of title III requirements, which include nondiscriminatory eligibility criteria; reasonable modifications in policies, practices, and procedures; provision of auxiliary aids; and readily achievable removal of barriers in existing

facilities. However, a ship is not required to comply with a specific accessibility standard for new construction or alterations because no Federal standard for the construction of accessible ships has been developed. cc: Records, Chrono, Wodatch, Blizard FOIA Friedlander n:\Udd\blizard\adaltrs\vergona 01-02751 -2Coverage of cruise ships is discussed in the preamble to section 36.104 of this Department's title III regulation (at page 35550) and in section III-5.3000 of the Title III Technical Assistance Manual. Copies of the regulation and the Technical Assistance Manual are enclosed for your information. Under the regulation issued by the Department of Transportation, cruise ships are classified as "specified public transportation," because they are operated by a private entity that is primarily engaged in the business of providing transportation. Entities operating forms of specified public transportation may not discriminate on the basis of disability in providing transportation services. Additional information about the regulation issued by the Department of Transportation may be obtained from the Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 7th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20590. I hope that this information is helpful to you. Sincerely,

John L. Wodatch Chief Public Access Section Enclosures