T.

3-8-94 MAY 23 1994 DJ 202-PL-577 DJ 202-PL-578

Mr. Daniel M. Sprague Executive Director The Council of State Governments Iron Works Pike P.O. Box 11910 Lexington, Kentucky 40578-1910 Dear Mr. Sprague: I am responding to letters from yourself and Mr. William Voit on behalf of the Council of State Governments concerning the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). I apologize for the delay in responding. I appreciate your transmittal of the Resolution on Federal Assistance with State Level Implementation of the Title II Provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and your organization's willingness to use its unique position and abilities to assist States and the Department of Justice in implementing the ADA. I believe the efforts of organizations such as yours are valuable to the ultimate fulfillment of the spirit and goals of the Act. The ADA itself recognizes, as you do, the need for dissemination of information to covered entities, including State and local governments. For that reason, the ADA expressly requires each agency charged with enforcing the ADA to provide technical assistance regarding the agency's area of expertise. Therefore, questions and concerns may be directed to any of several different enforcing agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (for employment issues), the Department of Transportation (for transportation issues), and the Department of Justice (for public access and public services issues).

Over the past two years, the Department of Justice and the other enforcement agencies have been actively pursuing their duties to inform the public and covered entities of the rights and obligations imposed by the ADA. For example, the Department of Justice and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have cc: Records, Chrono, Wodatch, Hill, FOIA, Friedlander n:\udd\blizard\adaltrs\hill.578 01-03121 -2jointly published the ADA Handbook, which provides annotated regulations for titles I, II, and III, appendices of information related to the ADA, and resources for gathering additional information. The Department of Justice and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have also jointly published a booklet of Questions and Answers addressing some of the most often asked questions about the ADA. In addition, the agencies have published Technical Assistance Manuals to provide information about the ADA in a complete and comprehensible format. The Technical Assistance Manuals for titles II and III are updated annually by the Department of Justice and are available on a subscription basis. In addition to such general information, the Department of Justice has undertaken to provide more specific information and analysis about the application of the ADA through a variety of programs. First, the Department issues letters in response to written questions from covered entities and protected individuals. These letters are available to the public pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act. They can be obtained by sending a written request to: Freedom of Information/Privacy Acts Branch, Civil Rights Division, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. 20530. Second, the Department has a Speakers' Bureau, made up of speakers with training and expertise in the ADA, that is made available to groups needing more detailed information regarding particular aspects of the Act. Third, the Department of Justice operates a toll-free telephone information line to respond to requests for publications and to provide advice to individuals about specific problems. The information line number is (800) 514-0301 (voice), (800) 514-0383 (TDD) and currently operates from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM (eastern time).

Finally, to ensure further dissemination of technical assistance, the Department has awarded a substantial number of grants addressing the needs of both covered entities and protected individuals. For example, in 1992, the National Conference of States on Building Codes and Standards received a grant to prepare and present a training seminar and materials regarding the process, provided by title III of the ADA, for Department of Justice certification of State and local building codes that meet the accessibility requirements of title III. A number of recent grants have focused particularly on title II of the ADA. For example, the U.S. Conference of Mayors Research and Education Foundation has received a grant to provide material on title II of the ADA to more than 1000 cities, to publish articles on the ADA in its newsletter, to hold an ADA seminar at its annual conference, to create a directory of city ADA coordinators, and to select examples of good ADA practices for use as models by city officials in complying with title II of the ADA. The National Association of Towns and Townships has received a grant to produce ADA training materials for use by 01-03122 -3State and regional ADA technical assistance providers to assist the providers to explain the ADA to towns and townships. The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law has received a grant to document an analysis of South Carolina's public benefit and social services programs and to share the results with other States. The Police Executive Research Forum has received grants to produce materials for training police officers regarding the ADA rights of persons with disabilities. Through these efforts, the Department of Justice is attempting, and will continue to attempt, to address the general concerns raised by your letters regarding the dissemination of ADA information. Your letter, and the subsequent letter from Mr. Voit, included specific questions that your organization's members had directed to you. Many of these questions can be answered by reference to the Technical Assistance Manuals developed by the Department of Justice and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to assist entities subject to the ADA to understand and satisfy their obligations. Additional questions pertaining to titles II

and III may be resolved as they arise by contacting the Department of Justice telephone information line. Questions regarding title I may be directed to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission at the address and telephone number provided in the title I Technical Assistance Manual. I encourage you to make your members aware of these resources. For your reference, I am sending, in a separate package, the Technical Assistance Manuals addressing titles I, II, and III, the Department of Justice regulations regarding titles II and III, the ADA Handbook and the ADA Questions and Answers booklet. I hope that this information is helpful to you. Sincerely,

John L. Wodatch Chief Public Access section

01-03123