U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Coordination and Review Section P.O. Box 66118 Washington, D.C.

20035-6118 AUG 29 1994 XX RE: Complaint Number XXXXXX Dear Mr. Modica: This letter constitutes our Letter of Findings in response to the complaint filed by XX against the Town of Henrietta, New York, under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). Title II protects qualified individuals with disabilities from discrimination on the basis of disability in the services, programs and activities of a State or local government. XX is alleged that the programs, services, and activities provided in the Henrietta Town Hall are not readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. XX also alleged that the Town retaliated against him because he complained about the lack of accessible facilities. Specifically, XX alleged that his job description was changed and he was moved to another work site, which was allegedly inaccessible. In conducting this investigation we reviewed information supplied by XX , as well as information provided by the Town of Henrietta. Section 35.140 of the regulation implementing Title II states that no qualified individual with a disability shall, on the basis of disability, be subjected to discrimination in employment under any service, program, or activity conducted by a public entity. This section requires an employer to provide a reasonable accommodation for any qualified employee with a disability. Section 35.149 of the Title II regulation requires a public entity to ensure that no qualified individual with a disability shall, because the facilities are inaccessible to or unusable by such individuals, be excluded from receiving the benefits of the services, programs or activities.

01-03390 -2Section 35.150(a) of the Title II regulation requires that a public entity operate each of its programs so that, when viewed in its entirety, the program is readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. Section 35.150(b) lists a number of methods that a public entity may use to make its programs accessible. These methods include reassignment of services to accessible buildings, assignment of aides to beneficiaries, home visits, and alteration of existing facilities. Structural changes in existing facilities are required only when there is no other feasible way to make the program accessible. Section 35.150(a) states that actions are not required if they would result in undue financial and administrative burdens or in a fundamental alteration in the nature of the program or activity. Section 35.134 of the Department of Justice's implementing regulation prohibits retaliation against any individual because that individual has opposed any practices alleged to be unlawful by Title II or for participating in a complaint investigation. This Department has completed its investigation of the complainant's allegations. The issues raised have been successfully resolved based on the actions taken by the Town of Henrietta to comply voluntarily with the requirements of Title II. The results of the investigation are summarized below. Issue I: Alleged Retaliation XX worked as an employment counselor for the Town of Henrietta. In November 1992, he was reassigned from his worksite at the Town Hall to a new location in a local high school. XX viewed this reassignment of his worksite as a form of retaliation. He alleged that his activism in seeking to bring the Town of Henrietta into full compliance with the ADA and his advocacy of issues important to persons with disabilities led to the reassignment. XX alleged that he encountered serious problems entering the local high school building and that, once inside, he did not have access to his office or to restrooms. He added that it was difficult to move about the facility because of the building's layout and that the

doorknobs prevented access to the offices he used. The Town denied that XX reassignment was in retaliation for asserting rights protected by the ADA. The Town stated that it made the transfer to a new worksite as a means of providing counseling services at a location closer to the clients XX served. Since XX clients were primarily high school students, Town officials believed that he would be 01-03391 -3more effective working in the local high school, as opposed to the Town Hall. The Town also moved immediately to resolve the accessibility problems XX is encountered at his new worksite. Based upon documentation submitted by the complainant and the Town, and as clarified in interviews with XX, these problems were resolved. XX expressed satisfaction with the Town's response and the adjustments to make his worksite readily accessible. Before this aspect of the investigation was finished, XX passed away on May 25, 1993. However, in response to his allegations, the Department examined fully the other issues raised in his complaint. These issues follow: Issue II: Access to the Henrietta Town Hall The complainant alleged that several areas of the Town Hall were not readily accessible to persons with disabilities. The balance of this letter describes the alleged problems, the actions taken by the Town to address them, and the resolution of each. A. Entrance to Town Hall The complainant alleged that the doors to the Town Hall were too heavy to open unassisted. Because of weather conditions, lighter doors were not an option. The Town recognized this and made plans to install power-assisted doors. Power-assisted doors were installed at all entrances to the Town Hall in October 1993, providing accessibility to the building for individuals with

mobility impairments and others who have difficulty opening doors. The Town also redesigned and altered the sidewalk area and ramps leading to the building at the rear entrance, making it easier for individuals with disabilities to enter. B. Programs, Services and Activities Although the investigation determined that the programs, services and activities conducted inside the Town Hall are accessible to persons with disabilities, the complainant described problems with the counters at which business is carried out, stating that some counters are too high for persons in wheelchairs. As a consequence, the Town built what it describes as "knee holes" that allow individuals in wheelchairs to see over the counter and to access the services provided in the Town Hall. 01-03392 -4C. Water Fountain The complainant alleged that there was an inaccessible water fountain outside the Town Supervisor's office. The Town installed a cup dispenser to provide access. The complainant asserted that because the dispenser next to the water fountain was frequently out of cups, it was often inaccessible to individuals with disabilities. The Town acknowledged that cups are frequently taken by employees or others who are not disabled, and said it would monitor the cup supply. As a permanent solution, the Town installed a new, accessible water fountain. D. Restrooms The complainant alleged that the Town Hall's bathrooms were inaccessible. The investigation disclosed that there are two bathrooms for employees on the main floor. Persons with disabilities may use these. The Town has made some adjustments to make them accessible and plans to post signage to clearly indicate that they are available to persons with disabilities, as well as employees. A consultant who evaluated the Town Hall's facilities made several recommendations for improving the restroom services, which have been accepted. The consultant's report and recommendations are discussed below.

E. Town Supervisor's Office The complainant alleged that the entrance to this office is too narrow for someone in a wheelchair to enter. The Town does, however, provide access to the programs in the office. The door is always open and the staff person sitting in the outer office is available to respond to the needs of persons who use wheelchairs, as well as arrange for direct contacts with the Town Supervisor, which are held in an accessible room. F. Access to Town Park Baseball Fields The complainant alleged that because of the installation of a one foot-high curb surrounding the baseball fields, without curb cuts, he was unable to attend local games played in this location. Before the curb was installed, XX was able to roll up the grassy slope to the baseball diamonds. With the new curbs, it became difficult, if not impossible, for him to continue attending these activities. The Town acknowledged that some of the fields were inaccessible to individuals using wheelchairs or those with other mobility impairments. The Town has made plans, and budgeted funds, for providing direct access to the ballfields. It will construct several five foot-wide paths going from the parking lot, which has accessible parking, 01-03393 -5to the ballfields. Once there, an individual in a wheelchair will approach a pad wide enough for viewing all activities conducted on the ballfields. The Town planned to have this project completed in November 1993. Because of the weather, lack of staff and other priorities, the Director of Parks and Facilities has now committed to completing this alteration by the Fall of 1994. G. Other Activities The Town of Henrietta commissioned a study of the Town Hall's accessibility by the Rochester Center for Independent Living. The study examined all public and common use areas of the building for adherence to the Americans with Disabilities Act

Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities (ADAAG). Although strict adherence to ADAAG is not necessarily required in existing facilities where the standard is one of "program accessibility" (i.e., ensuring that programs rather than individual facilities are accessible), the Town has nevertheless made plans to implement the recommendations of this study. In response to suggestions by the Department, the Town of Henrietta has taken steps to notify members of the public and its employees regarding their rights and the protections afforded by the ADA. The notice describes the accommodations available for individuals with disabilities who wish to use the services offered or participate in activities conducted in the Town Hall. The notification includes steps to effectively communicate with individuals with hearing and visual impairments and describes the availability of services, e.g., interpreters, for qualified individuals seeking services. The notice identifies the person(s) responsible for ADA matters, and the availability of grievance procedures for prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging any actions prohibited by the ADA. The Town will also ensure that appropriate signage is installed in and around the Town Hall directing individuals with disabilities into the facility. The Town has taken steps to consult with persons with disabilities whenever program changes or construction are planned, to identify any accessibility problems. Conclusion This letter contains our determination with respect to the allegations raised in the administrative complaint filed by XX . We find that the Town of Henrietta is in compliance with the ADA because it has taken appropriate steps to provide access to its programs, services and activities and will communicate these efforts to the community. These actions, when completed, successfully resolve the issues raised in the complaint to the Department of Justice. The Town will submit a written report to the Department no later than October 15, 01-03394 -61994, describing the progress of the actions planned above to provide accessibility to individuals with disabilities. If you are dissatisfied with our determination, you may file

a complaint presenting your allegations of discrimination in an appropriate United States District Court under Title II of the ADA. You should be aware that no one may intimidate, threaten, or coerce anyone or engage in other discriminatory conduct against anyone because he or she either has taken action or participated in an action to secure rights protected by the ADA. Any individual alleging such harassment or intimidation may file a complaint with the Department of Justice. We would investigate such a complaint if the situation warrants. Under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552, we may be required to release this letter and other correspondence and records related to the complaint in response to a request from a third party. Should we receive such a request, we will safeguard, to the extent permitted by law, release of information that could constitute an unwarranted invasion of your or another's privacy. If you have any questions regarding this letter, please contact Thomas Esbrook at (202) 307-2940. Sincerely, Merrily A. Friedlander Acting Chief Coordination and Review Section Civil Rights Division cc: Mr. James R. Breese Supervisor Town of Henrietta Mr. William H. Walker, Jr. Mrs. Gene McGinnis Mr. William Dykstra 01-03395 U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division

Coordination and Review Section P.O. Box 66118 Washington, D.C. 20035-6118 AUG 29 1994 Mr. James R. Breese Supervisor Town of Henrietta 475 Calkins Road P.O. Box 999 Henrietta, New York 14467-0999 RE: Complaint Number XX Dear Mr. Breese: Enclosed is the Letter of Findings (LOF) resolving a complaint filed with the Department of Justice by XX XX under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. We appreciate your willingness to resolve this matter in a voluntary manner. As discussed with Mr. William Walker, Town Attorney, and Mr. William Dykstra, Director of Parks and Facilities, the Department requires a written report that describes your progress in completing all projected improvements to provide access to the Town's programs, services, and activities for individuals with disabilities. Please submit a report to the Department no later than October 15, 1994, that includes information on the following planned activities that are referenced in the LOF: - Installation of a new, accessible water fountain in the Town Hall. - Construction of accessible paths to the Town ballfields. - Signage for the accessible restrooms. - A description of all actions taken in response to the recommendations of the study conducted for the Town by the Rochester Center for Independent Living. 01-03396

-2The Department will monitor your adherence to the proposed changes until they are completed. If you have any questions or need further information, please contact Mr. Thomas Esbrook of my staff at (202) 307-2940. Sincerely, Merrily A. Friedlander Acting Chief Coordination and Review Section Civil Rights Division Enclosure cc: Mr. William Walker Town Attorney Mr. William Dykstra Director of Parks and Facilities 01-03397