JUL 14 1995 Mr. Raymond C. Speciale Yodice Associates 500 E Street, S.W. Suite 930 Washington, D.C. 20024 Dear Mr.

Speciale: This is in response to your letter to Ed Miller regarding the obligation of the AOPA Air Safety Foundation (ASF) to provide sign language interpreters at aviation safety seminars. You wish to know whether ASF is required under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) to provide sign language interpreters for deaf pilots who wish to attend a free aviation safety seminar that is jointly sponsored by ASF and the Federal Aviation Administration. Title III of the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in all places of public accommodation and commercial facilities. Congress defined place of public accommodation as a facility that is operated by a private entity, whose operations affect commerce, and that falls within one of twelve listed categories. One of those categories covers "places of education". 42 U.S.C. 12181, 28 CFR 36.104. Thus, your analysis of section 36.309 is not determinative. As a place of public accommodation, ASF is required to comply with section 36.303 of the ADA, which requires that: A public accommodation shall take those steps that may be necessary to ensure that no individual with a disability is excluded, denied services, segregated or otherwise treated differently than other individuals because of the absence of auxiliary aids and services, unless the public accommodation can demonstrate that taking those steps would fundamentally alter the nature of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations being offered or would result in an undue burden . . . . A public accommodation shall furnish appropriate auxiliary aids and services where necessary to ensure effective communication with individuals with disabilities. cc: Records; Chrono; Wodatch; Milton; FOIA n:\udd\milton\letters\interp.spe\sc. young-parran

01-03662​ -2The term auxiliary aids and services includes qualified interpreters, notetakers, computer-aided transcription services, written materials, etc. A fundamental alteration is a modification that is so significant that it alters the essential nature of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations offered. An undue burden is defined as "significant difficulty or expense." Among the factors to be considered in determining whether an action would result in an undue burden are the nature and cost of the action; the overall financial resources of the site or sites involved; the number of persons employed at the site; the effect on expenses and resources; and the administrative or fiscal relationship of the site or sites in question to any parent corporation or entity. You assert that ASF is a non-profit entity with limited resources and that the cost of providing interpreters would hamper ASF's ability to provide the same number of free seminars it provides today. While it may be that the provision of interpreters at all seminars would be an undue burden to ASF, you should bear in mind that if a public accommodation determines that providing a particular auxiliary aid or service would result in a fundamental alteration or undue burden, it is not necessarily relieved from its obligations under the ADA. The public accommodation must still provide an alternative auxiliary aid or service that would not result in an undue burden or fundamental alteration but that would ensure effective communication to the maximum extent possible, if such alternatives are available. I hope this information has been helpful to you. Sincerely,

John L. Wodatch Chief Disability Rights Section 01-03663