FEB 16 1995 XX West Des Moines, Iowa XX Dear XX This is in response to your letter regarding the requirements of title

II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA authorizes the Department of Justice to provide technical assistance to individuals and entities that have rights or responsibilities under the Act. Pursuant to that authority, this letter provides informal guidance to assist you in understanding the ADA. However, this technical assistance does not constitute a legal interpretation of the statute, and it is not binding on the Department. Your letter asks, first, whether title II of the ADA permits a public school district to relocate a special education class containing a number of students with physical disabilities from an inaccessible building to a newer accessible building. Title II of the ADA prohibits public entities, including public schools, from discriminating on the basis of disability. A public school district may not afford students with disabilities opportunities that are not equal to the opportunities afforded to other students. In addition, a public school district must operate each of its programs so that, when viewed in its entirety, the program is accessible to individuals with disabilities. Title II's program access requirement does not require a public entity to make each of its facilities physically accessible, as long as the program is accessible when viewed in its entirety. However, in determining which structures must be altered to provide physical accessibility, the equal opportunity requirement also applies. Therefore, title II may permit relocation of a special education class to an accessible facility if the accessible facility provides opportunities and benefits that are equal to the inaccessible facility to which the students were originally assigned. In assessing the equality of the two facilities, the school district must consider such aspects as the cc: Records, Chrono, Wodatch, Hill, FOIA, MAF

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-2types of programs and facilities offered and the distance from the student's homes. Your letter next asks whether title II permits a school district to relocate an individual student from an inaccessible school to an accessible school within the district. Again, the program access and equal opportunity requirements of title II apply. Program access will permit such relocation in lieu of alterations to the inaccessible school if the accessible school provides opportunities and benefits that are equal to those of the inaccessible school. In both situations described in your letter, if the school district is required to undertake structural alterations or other measures to provide program access, it is only required to do so to the extent such measures do not constitute a fundamental alteration of its program or an undue financial or administrative burden. Public education of individuals with disabilities is also regulated under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Therefore, those statutes may also affect your school district's obligations toward students with disabilities. I hope that this information is helpful to you. Sincerely,

John L. Wodatch Chief Public Access Section

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