DJ 202-PL-790

MAY 3 1994 Craig Nishimura Building Department City and County of Honolulu 650 South King Street Honolulu, HI 96813 Dear Mr. Nishimura: I am writing in response to your letter regarding the new construction of the Campbell Industrial Park Fire Station and Aikahi Fire Station projects. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) authorizes the Department of Justice to provide technical assistance to individuals and entities having rights or obligations under the Act. The Department does not review designs or drawings for compliance with the ADA. This letter provides informal guidance to assist you in understanding the ADA's requirements. However, it does not constitute a legal interpretation, and it is not binding on the Department. Title II of the ADA requires all new facilities constructed by, on behalf of, or for the use of a public entity to be designed and constructed to be "readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities." Title II permits public entities to choose either of two design standards -- the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS) or the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities (ADAAG). Your letter indicates that the Honolulu Fire Department has selected UFAS as it design standard for the facilities in question. In a new facility, UFAS must be met in all areas for which the intended use will require public access or which "may result in employment ... of physically handicapped persons" UFAS 4.1.4(7). Your letter states that "all operational areas of the station are intended for fire fighters use only and will be

restricted." Your letter further states that persons with disabilities "obviously cannot be hired for fire fighting positions." The letter describes the restricted areas, not open cc: Records, Chrono, Wodatch, Magagna, Justesen, MAF, FOIA udd\justesen\nishimur 01-03019

2 to public access, to include "kitchens, dorms, fire fighters and officers bathroom/shower facilities, storage areas, laundry, decontamination room, library, physical training areas, work room, meeting room, generator room, etc." Accordingly, you believe that UFAS Section 4.1.4(7) authorizes the exemption of the "restricted areas" from the accessibility standards. This analysis is not necessarily correct for all of the areas mentioned, even if the fire department could establish that it is lawful under the employment requirements of titles I and II of the ADA to exclude persons with certain types of physical disabilities from firefighter positions. For example, other employees, such as those responsible for cooking, cleaning, laundry, maintenance, and clerical tasks, may be permitted in some or all of the areas in question and it is not likely that the department could demonstrate that persons with physical disabilities are lawfully excluded from those types of positions. Supervisory personnel and city officials may also have access to such areas. Accordingly, such areas of a new facility should be constructed to meet UFAS. I hope this information is of help to you. In the future if you need assistance, the Department maintains a telephone information line to provide technical assistance regarding the rights and obligations of individuals, businesses, agencies, and others covered or protected by the ADA. This technical assistance is available by calling 800-514-0301 (voice) or 800514-0383 (TDD). Use of the information line will ensure a more timely response to questions. Sincerely,

John L. Wodatch Chief Public Access Section 01-03020