12-1-93 DJ XX (b)(7)(c) XX XX Crowley, Texas XX Dear XX DEC 3 1993

I am responding to your letter requesting information about the obligations of municipal governments under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). I apologize for our delay in responding. 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 in understanding the ADA and the Department's regulation. However, this technical assistance is not a legal interpretation of the statute, and it is not binding on the Department. You have asked about the construction standards that apply to public buildings, and the ADA enforcement process that applies to public entities. Title II of the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by public entities. To implement this requirement, the Department of Justice has issued a regulation that sets forth the specific obligations of public entities. The regulation also establishes the procedures through which the regulation may be enforced. The title II regulation and the Department's Title II Technical Assistance Manual are enclosed for your information. Section 35.151 of the Department's regulation requires all facilities designed, constructed, or altered by, on behalf of, or for the use of a public entity to be readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, if the construction or alteration began after January 26, 1992. This means that each facility must be designed, constructed, or altered in strict compliance with either the ADA Standards for Accessible Design or the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards. This requirement applies both to buildings that are open to the public and to

those that are not. This requirement is discussed further in the preamble to the enclosed regulation at pages 35710-35711, and in section II-6.0000 of the Technical Assistance Manual. (b)(7)(c) cc: Records, Chrono, William, Blizard, Johansen, FOIA, Friedlander n:\udd\blizard\adaltrs\ XX 01-02769 -2If a public entity is offering a program, service, or activity in an existing building, it is subject to section 35.150 of the regulation, which provides that a public entity may not deny the benefits of its programs, activities, and services to individuals with disabilities because its facilities are inaccessible. A public entity's services, programs, or activities, when viewed in their entirety, must be readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. This standard, known as program accessibility, applies to all existing facilities of a public entity. This requirement is discussed further in the preamble to the enclosed regulation at pages 35708-35710, and in section II-5.0000 of the Technical Assistance Manual. If a public entity fails to comply with title II, a person, a specific class of individuals, or their representative may file an administrative complaint alleging discrimination on the basis of disability with an appropriate Federal agency, or may file a lawsuit in Federal district court. It is not necessary to exhaust administrative remedies before filing a lawsuit. The title II enforcement procedures are established in subparts F & G of the regulation; they are discussed at pages 35713-35716 of the preamble to the regulation, and in section II-9.0000 of the Technical Assistance Manual. I hope that this information is helpful to you. Sincerely,

Janet L. Blizard Supervisory Attorney

Enclosures

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