NOV 21 1995 The Honorable Cass Ballenger Member, U.S. House of Representatives P.O.

Box 1830 Hickory, North Carolina 28603 Dear Congressman Ballenger: I am responding to your letter on behalf of your constituent, XX who is concerned about provisions for students with disabilities in public schools. Specifically, XX would like to know whether the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires the provision of access to all public school activities and facilities, including the assembly area stage. Please excuse our delay in responding. Title II of the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in State and local government services. Sections 35.149 and 35.150 of the Department's title II regulation (enclosed) require accessibility to programs, services, and activities in facilities existing on the effective date of the statute, January 26, 1992. The principal focus of the program accessibility standard is access to programs, services, and activities, as opposed to access to physical structures. Therefore, not every area of an existing school facility would have to be made accessible, as long as there is access to a school's programs, services, or activities. For existing facilities, every building does not necessarily have to be made accessible if all of the programs located inside that building can be made accessible by alternative means. Section 35.150 (b) (1) of the title II regulation does not require that a school district eliminate structural barriers if it provides access to its programs through alternative methods such as redesign of equipment, reassignment of services to accessible buildings, assignment of aides to beneficiaries, delivery of services at alternate accessible sites, alteration of existing facilities and construction of new facilities, or any other methods that result in making the services, programs, or activities readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. cc: Records, Chrono, Wodatch, McDowney, Milton, FOIA

n:\udd\milton\congress\existfac.bal\sc. young-parran 01-03852​ -2If structural alterations are necessary to provide program accessibility, such alterations must be undertaken unless the public entity can demonstrate that the alterations would cause a fundamental change to its program or that the cost of the alterations would result in undue financial and administrative burdens. 28 C.F.R. S 35.150(a) (3). Where an action would result in such a change or such burdens, the public entity must take any other action that would not result in such change or such burdens but would nevertheless ensure that individuals with disabilities receive the benefits or services provided by the entity. Thus, in situations where a school has an inaccessible stage and students with mobility impairments must be on the stage, in order to meet its program accessibility obligations, the school district may choose to move the event from the inaccessible stage to an accessible location or make the stage accessible to persons with disabilities. If making the stage accessible would result in a fundamental change in the events or would constitute an undue financial or administrative burden, then the school district would be required to move all such events to an accessible location. I hope this information assists you in responding to your constituent. Sincerely, Deval L. Patrick Assistant Attorney General Civil Rights Division Enclosure 01-03853​ Congress of the United States House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515-3310

September 20, 1995 Mr. Deval L. Patrick Asst. Attorney General U.S. Department of Justice PO Box 65808 Washington, DC 20035-5808

Dear Mr. Patrick: My constituent, XX has contacted my office about provisions for the handicapped in pubic schools as it relates to the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). XX says that the schools in his district do have provisions for the handicapped to enter and exit the school building and classrooms, but that during assembly sessions the handicapped students cannot access the stage to receive diplomas or awards unless they are carried up by someone. He would like to know if the ADA regulations provides access to handicapped students to all school activities and facilities. I would appreciate any information you may wish to offer that would assist me in responding tomy constituent. Please address your response to my Hickory District Office, P.O. Box 1830, Hickory, NC 28603. Thank you for your time and attention to this matter. Sincerely, Cass Ballenger Member of Congress CB/gse 01-03854 This stationery printed on paper made of recycled fibers.