Retyped 3/22/94 MAF:AMP:rjc DJ 204-59N-0

MAR 25 1994

The Honorable David L. Boren United States Senate Russell Senate Office Building Room 453 Washington, D.C. 20510 Dear Senator Boren: This is in response to your recent letter on behalf of your constituent, Ms. Susan L. Bello, the Executive Director of Therapetics, Service Dogs of Oklahoma, who has requested your advice on how to change the language of the regulation implementing title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). Specifically, Ms. Bello would like to change the language of section 36.302(c) of the title III regulation, which requires a public accommodation to modify its programs, practices, or procedures to permit the use of a service animal (emphasis added) by an individual with a disability. Instead, Ms. Bello would prefer that the regulation refer to "assistance animals." We apologize for the delay in responding to your letter. The ADA regulations were adopted only after an extensive opportunity for review and comment by affected parties. On February 22, 1991, the Department published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for the title III regulation in the Federal Register (56 FR 7452). (An NPRM for the title II regulation, which covers State and local governmental entities, was published on February 28, 1991). The Department read and analyzed each of the over 2,718 public comments that were submitted within the official comment periods. The vast majority of those comments addressed the issues raised in the title III regulation. In an effort to encourage broad public participation, the Department also held four public hearings at sites across the country. The comments from those hearings were also carefully analyzed by the Department during the process of drafting the final ADA regulations. Thus, the Department made an extensive effort to give individuals and groups interested in

commenting on the provisions of concern to Ms. Bello every opportunity to do so. This process is described in the preamble to the title III regulation at 56 FR 35544. A copy of the regulation has been enclosed for your convenience. Records, CRS, Chrono, MAF, Pecht, McDowney, FOIA :UDD\PECHT\CONGRESS.93\BOREN 01-02989

-2You may wish to explain to Ms. Bello that the fact that the Department has adopted the generic term "service animal" to refer to any animal that fits the definition set forth in the title III regulation, does not mean that the Department is attempting to regulate the terminology used by any particular subgroup within that broad category, such as the "assistance dog industry." Far example, if Therapetics changed its name from "Assistance Dogs of Oklahoma" to "Service Dogs of Oklahoma" because of the terminology used in the title III regulation, it was not required to do so by the ADA, and may return to its original name. If Therapetics provides animals "individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability," those animals are covered by the ADA regardless of what they are called. The same is true of other types of animals that may be trained by groups that prefer to use terminology different from that used by the "assistance dog industry." I hope the information provided above will assist you in responding to Ms. Bello's concerns. Sincerely,

James P. Turner Acting Assistant Attorney General Civil Rights Division

Enclosure 01-02990