MAR 14 1996 The Honorable Mark E. Souder Member, U.S. House of Representatives 3105 Federal Building 1300 S.

Harrison Street Fort Wayne, Indiana 46802 Dear Congressman Souder: This letter is in response to your inquiry on behalf of your constituent, XX , regarding obesity. XX feels that seating should be made available at such places as restaurants and doctors' offices for persons who are severely overweight. The response to your letter was delayed because of the shutdown of the Federal government. I apologize for any inconvenience to your constituent. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. However, in order to be viewed as a disability under the ADA, an impairment must substantially limit one or more major life activities. Being overweight is generally not, by itself, an impairment. On the other hand, severe obesity, which has been defined as body weight more than 100% over the norm, is an impairment. Whether the impairment of severe obesity rises to the level of a disability depends on whether the obesity substantially limits a major life activity, such as walking. Therefore, except in rare circumstances, obesity would not be considered a disabling impairment. I hope this information is useful to you in responding to your constituent. Sincerely, Deval L. Patrick Assistant Attorney General Civil Rights Division cc: Records, Chrono, Wodatch, McDowney, Milton, FOIA n:\udd\milton\congress\obesity.sou\sc. young-parran 01-04154

Dear Congressman Souder I am writting to address to you a problem I've come across and it needs your attention. Please take this befor congress as a law. Now, here is the problem that my Wife and millions of others face. You see, my Wife and 4 other people I know are heavy set. As you may know being heavy set is also a disability just like or about like being crippled. My Wife and these other people go into Law Offices, Doctors Offices, Dentists, some Resturants and even Court Rooms. Most of thease places have seating for people who are small built by having chairs with arms on them. Well, a heavy set person is unable to set in thease chairs because the arms are too close together. They can't set in Booths at Resturants because the seats are too close to the table. So when my wife and I go to a Doctors office she may have to stand for as much as an hour to an hour and a half waiting to be seen. How would you feel if you had to stand for an hour waiting to get into seeing a doctor and you have trouble with your legs and feet hurting because of the weight? Thease places should be made to have seating for thease people. I've brought it to the attention of Doctors and Dentists and they said they 01-04155 will not change there seating for anyone. Its just unfair to thease people. They should have the right to set comfertable just as much as a skinny or thin person. Don't you

think so? Pleas write back and give me your insight on this problem. Can you do anything with this? Sincerely, XX P.S. The Huntington Co. Hospital is an example of such places without proper seating arrangements. You can also check Dr. Boyed's. office down by I69 behind the car wash and McDonalds, and almost any other doctors office in Ft. Wayne and Huntington. You can also check Dr. Cox ILLEGIBLE office in ILLEGIBLE accross from the Hospital. If you need addresses of thease people I can get them for you. All McDonalds, Bugar King, Harrdies and most Fast food places have Booths with attached chairs you can't move. Take a heavy set person to one of thease places to see how much trouble they have setting. 01-04156