JAN 27 1995

The Honorable Henry A. Waxman U.S. House of Representatives 2408 Rayburn Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515-0529 Dear Congressman Waxman: This is in response to your inquiry on behalf of your constituents, XX . They ask whether the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) can be interpreted to require places of public accommodations to provide baby care and diaper-changing facilities in public restrooms. The ADA is a civil rights statute that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. By providing restroom facilities accessible only to able-bodied persons, public accommodations discriminate against persons with disabilities. It is for that reason that the ADA has accessibility requirements for restrooms in places of public accommodations. Although failing to provide appropriate diapering facilities might similarly be considered discrimination against families with infants and small children, the ADA does not prohibit discrimination against such individuals unless they have disabilities. There is only one Federal civil rights statute that protects families with children and that is the Fair Housing Act which prohibits discrimination on the basis of familial status, but only in transactions involving housing. I hope this information will be useful to you in responding to your constituents. Sincerely,

Deval L. Patrick Assistant Attorney General Civil Rights Division

01-03597 Congress of the United States House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515-0529 HENRY A. WAXMAN 29th DISTRICT, CALIFORNIA December 16, 1994

The Honorable Janet Reno Attorney General Department of Justice Constitution Avenue and Tenth Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20530 Dear Attorney General Reno: Enclosed is a letter I received from constituents of mine, XX , regarding their belief that the Public Accommodations section of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should be interpreted to require the presence of baby care and diaper-changing facilities in public restrooms. I would appreciate it if you would advise me of the applicability of the ADA in this manner. Thank you for your attention to this matter. With kind regards, I am Sincerely,

HENRY A. WAXMAN Member of Congress HAW:lkg 01-03598​ xx XX North Hollywood, CA 91601 XX

October 29, 1994

The Honorable Henry A. Waxman Member, U.S. House of Representatives 8436 W. Third Street, #600 Los Angeles, CA 90048 Dear Congressman Waxman: We are residents of your district, and wanted to relate a recent experience to you in hopes you might be able to help. We took our eight month-old son to Universal City's CityWalk and were unpleasantly surprised to find there were no facilities in the public restrooms to change his diaper. The only choices were to change him in his stroller, or place him on the unsanitary tile floor. Perhaps some of the restaurants have changing facilities, but we didn't have time to go on a hunting expedition. After writing to MCA Development Company which operates CityWalk and other Universal facilities, to our local elected officials, and to L.A. PARENT magazine, we received word from CityWalk that they, too, had noticed to oversight and that they plan to install diaper-changing facilities in women's and men's restrooms this fall. Hooray!

This experience got us to thinking, because Universal City is not alone in ignoring the needs of families it's seeking as customers. We've been in many "family" restaurants and other establishments throughout the greater Los Angeles area that lack these facilities, too. Please understand that we see this as a critical matter of health and safety for our children. We would like to know whether it is possible to apply the Public Accommodations section of the Americans with Disabilities Act to require any public establishment to add baby care and diaper-changing facilities to its restrooms. It's crucial to have wheelchair access in restrooms, but shouldn't infants and children have access to sanitary and safe facilities?


At the bare minimum, establishments could install an ironing-board type "Koala Kare" changing table that folds down when needed, and a trash container to deposit dirty diapers. I'm sure these items are reasonably priced, easy to install, and the upkeep is no more than regular restroom maintenance. The "Koala Kare" boards could easily fit in the smaller restrooms of most restaurants and stores as well. Most major department stores and shopping centers (and even Dodger Stadium!) have these facilities in the women's restrooms and even the men's restrooms. They post signs advertising the fact on the restroom entrance so customers don't have to search them out. These establishments also have comfortable couches and chairs for nursing and feeding babies. Disneyland has a special facility with all that -- plus facilities to prepare and heat baby food. That day at CityWalk, we'd have been happy to have anything besides the stroller and the dirty floor! Congressman Waxman, during your distinguished legislative career, you have accomplished so much to improve Americans' health and the quality of our lives. We really hope you will ask one of your staff members to look into this issue for us. Sincerely, XX XX

And XX