t. 7/6/94 MAF:NM:ls/rjc DJ 204-58-0 DATE ILLEGIBLE The Honorable Tony P. Hall Member, U.S.

House of Representatives 501 Federal Building 200 West Second Street Dayton, Ohio 45402 Dear Congressman Hall: This is in response to your letter on behalf of your constituent, XX , who is concerned about the opening force of doors to public restrooms. We apologize for the delay in responding. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) authorizes the Department of Justice to provide technical assistance to individuals and entities that are subject to the Act. This letter provides informal guidance to assist you in understanding provisions applicable to your constituent. However, this technical assistance does not constitute a legal interpretation of the application of the statute and it is not binding on the Department. The Department of Justice's regulation implementing title II of the ADA prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities on the basis of disability by State and local governments. The Department of Justice's regulation implementing title III of the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by privately owned places of public accommodation and commercial facilities. The title III regulation requires that all newly constructed or altered facilities comply with the ADA Standards for Accessible Design (ADA Standards). The title II regulation requires that all newly constructed or altered facilities comply with either the ADA Standards or the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS). Both the ADA Standards and UFAS require that all interior doors have a maximum opening force of five pounds. Thus, in any restroom facilities constructed or altered after January 26, 1992, interior doors would be required to meet this maximum door opening force requirement.

Records, CRS, Chrono, Friedlander, Milton, FOIA udd\Milton\Congress\Doors.Hal 01-03342 ​ -2In existing facilities (facilities that were not constructed or altered after January 26, 1992) covered by title II, State and local governments are required to make all programs, services, and activities in the facility accessible to people with disabilities. If a State or local government facility, such as a publicly owned highway rest area, contained restrooms that were open to the public, the government would be providing a service to the public that they would therefore have to provide to people with disabilities. If the doors to the restrooms were too heavy for someone with a disability to open, the government entity would either have to make some of the doors accessible by making them lighter or would have to find some other way to make some of the restrooms accessible. In existing facilities covered by title III, privately owned places of public accommodation must remove architectural barriers to access where such removal is readily achievable (easy to accomplish without much difficulty or expense). Where barrier removal is not readily achievable, a public accommodation must make its services available through alternative methods. Please note that the provisions requiring a maximum of five pounds of force for opening doors apply only to interior doors. Neither UFAS nor the ADA Standards set a limit for the maximum door opening force for exterior hinged doors. Thus, exterior hinged doors, including entrances to restrooms from exterior areas, need not be built in compliance with any specific design standards. Nevertheless, exterior doors to State and local restroom facilities are not exempt from the ADA. Title II of the ADA requires that qualified individuals with disabilities be given an equal opportunity to participate in the programs and services of covered entities, and title III likewise requires equal opportunity. Providing an equal opportunity may entail provision of fully accessible restrooms, including accessible exterior doors that can be opened using less than five pounds of force. Finally, the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board) is in the process of developing

guidelines for automated doors under the ADA. (Currently, automated doors are not required either by UFAS or the ADA Standards.) Preliminary research on automated doors has been completed and is being studied by the Access Board's ADA Accessibility Guidelines Review Committee, which was established to provide advice on issues related to amending the ADA Accessibility Guidelines. Once the Access Board has completed developing its guidelines for automated doors, it is anticipated that the ADA Standards will be amended to incorporate those new guidelines. 01-03343 ​ -3If XX wishes to file a complaint against a specific State or local government entity that maintains inaccessible restrooms, she should send her complaint to Merrily A. Friedlander, Acting Chief, Coordination and Review Section, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice, P.O. Box 66118, Washington, D.C. 20035-6118. If she wishes to file a complaint against a specific privately owned place of public accommodation that maintains inaccessible restrooms, she should send her complaint to Mr. John Wodatch, Chief, Public Access Section, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice, P.O. Box 66738, Washington, D.C. 20035-6738. We hope this information is helpful to you in responding to your constituent. Sincerely, Deval L. Patrick Assistant Attorney General Civil Rights Division 01-03344 ​HANDWRITTEN ILLEGIBLE May 20, 1994

Honorable Tony Hall, I'd like to call your attention to a difficulty for handicapped people who must use public restrooms. The pressure mechanism is set so heavy that handicapped people have difficulty entering and leaving the

restroom. Some are so heavy if some one doesn't open the door for us we could not go in or leave. Im sure you or whoever is responsible for the inspection of the public restrooms and doors do not think of this problem. I never did until four years ago when we were hit by a DUI driver and I was handicapped with walking ILLEGIBLE go in wheelchair or very short distance with my walker ILLEGIBLE I must have someone open them 01-03345 for me. We must travel to visit our children in Florida, Louisiana, Indiana, Tennessee - So we do get into a many different rest rooms. Last trip we stopped in a State at Welcome Station and the pressure on the door was so light I could open the door by myself. So I know it can be remedied if it is brought to the right persons attention. The ILLEGIBLE in your Dayton Office said to write to you and you'd see it would get to the correct person. Thank you for your attention and help. Sincerely XX XX XX 01-03346