DEC 11 1995 The Honorable Bill Emerson Member, U.S.

House of Representatives The Federal Building 339 Broadway Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701 Dear Congressman Emerson: I am responding to your letter on behalf of your constituent, Sheriff Bill Ferrell, who is concerned about accessibility requirements for persons with disabilities. Please excuse our delay in responding. Sheriff Ferrell is concerned that retrofitting the Scott County administrative offices and jail in order to make them accessible would constitute an undue financial burden on the County. Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (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 county jail or administrative office building would have to be made accessible, as long as there is access to the buildings' programs, services, and 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 local government eliminate structural barriers to all its facilities 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.eme\sc. young-parran 01-04099 ​ -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). The decision that any proposed alterations would result in a fundamental change or in undue financial and administrative burdens must be made by the head of the public entity or his or her designee after considering all the resources available for use in the funding and operation of the service, program, or activity. Where an action would result in such a fundamental change or undue 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. I hope this information assists you in responding to your constituent. Sincerely,

Deval L. Patrick Assistant Attorney General Civil Rights Division Enclosure 01-04100