FEB 12 1997 The Honorable Nancy Pelosi Member, U.S.

House of Representatives Federal Building 450 Golden Gate Avenue San Francisco, California 94102-3460 Dear Congresswoman Pelosi: I am responding to your letter on behalf of your constituent, XXX , regarding the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) regarding health clubs and martial arts schools. Health clubs and martial arts schools are covered by title III of the ADA and, therefore, are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of disability in the provision of their services. Title III requires, among other things, that covered entities make reasonable modifications to their policies, practices, and procedures when necessary to ensure that people with disabilities have equal access to their services. A health club, therefore, may be required to modify its training procedure to provide extra time for an individual with a learning disability to learn how to use the available exercise equipment. Similarly, exercises in an exercise class may have to be demonstrated more slowly than usual, either before or during class, in order to ensure that a person with a learning disability can follow the class. A martial arts school may need to modify some of its class requirements, such as requirements for specific warm-up movements, for a person with a disability who cannot carry out the required movements. Title III does not, however, require a covered entity to make any modification that would fundamentally alter the nature of the services provided. Therefore, an exercise facility would not be required to develop a special curriculum for an individual with a disability. Similarly, a martial arts program that requires participants to demonstrate a specific level of achievement in order to advance in the program would not be required to exempt a participant with a disability from the fundamental requirements of a class. cc: Records, Chrono, Wodatch, McDowney, Hill, FOIA

n:\udd\hille\policylt\pelosi.ltr\sc. young-parran -2When an individual with a non-apparent disability requests a reasonable modification of policy under title III, a covered entity may ask the individual questions necessary to determine what modifications will be effective and reasonable. The entity may not ask additional questions that are not tailored toward determining the appropriate modification. I have enclosed two copies of the regulation implementing title III of the ADA for your reference. I hope this information is helpful to you in responding to your constituent. Sincerely, Isabelle Katz Pinzler Acting Assistant Attorney General Civil Rights Division Enclosures NOV 19 1996 San Francisco, CA November 11, 1996 Norman Chesler Representative Nancy Pelosi 450 Golden Gate Avenue San Francisco, CA 94102 Dear Mr. Chesller, I have a disability covered under title three of the 1990 ADA. I am writing to you regarding understanding of title three as this relates to public accommodation. I have had a hard time in exercise, martial art classes and health clubs because of my disability. I have tried a few times on and off without out much success because of a number of difficulties from my disability. Outside of my experience with

Adaptive PE I have had a hard time with sports, recreation and exercise. Recently the 1990 ADA was brought to my attention. After reading title three of the handbook I am wondering if 36.203, Intergrated Settings, 36.302, Modifications and 36.201a, General and other sections of title three applies to my situation. In Health Clubs/Fitness Centers/Gyms I have two problems. One is with understanding the instructions for the different cardiovascular and weight training machines. I need the instructions in audio tape (I had text books on cassettes in college) and not the printed form that appears on the machines. Because of information processing difficulties from my disability (I do not have hearing problems) it takes me much longer time then most people to understand how these machines work. Another method which should work is to have someone explain, taking a much longer time then the normal introductory explanation as to how the machine works. I have hurt myself (I have taken up to four months for one injury to get better) several times on exercise machines because I do not understand how they work. The second problem I have in health clubs is in group classes. I have gone to a number of exercise classes that are not aerobic classes which are for beginners. Though these classes have beginners not everything is slowly demonstrated before it is done. Because I have Gross Motor Planning Disorder, (one of the difficulties I have from my disability), I am unable to reproduce an exercise or movement unless it is done slowly several times. Because of this disorder I am unable to reproduce an instructors movements or exercises that they do unless it is demonstrated slowly several times. I am unable to participate for up to 35% of the classes because the instructors do not slowly do or demonstrate some of the exercises. I have found this to be a consistent problem at several places. The classes are 30 to 60 minutes in length. If the instructor demonstrated slowly everything it would take up 2-3 minutes in the shorter classes and 2-4 minutes in the 60 minute classes. I think this would be a minor modification. Would a health club be required to demonstrate everything slowly? The marketing people say the instructors are suppose to demonstrate everything slowly in classes which are for 'beginners' or 'all levels'. I have tried several ways to resolve this including meeting the instructors before class. If the 1990 ADA covered this situation it would open up

exercise/recreational class opportunities for me that I could fully participate in. I have found one type of martial art which I can learn and do somewhat even though I have a disability. While I am able to fully participate in most of the core of the class, I am not able to do 25%-50% of the warm ups because of primary and secondary restrictions and difficulties from my disability. What has happened, is that I have been taking private lessons which are very expensive (about 8 times the cost of a group class) partly because I can not do a lot of the 20-35 minutes of warm ups. The instructor asks that I do them in the group class. In private lessons I only have to do warm ups which I can do. Are martial art schools considered public accommodations in category's 10 or 12? Does the 1990 ADA require that I be excused from some warm ups or be allowed to do other warm ups which I am able to do? Sometimes there is one part of the core part of the class which I am not able to participate in because of my disability. Is the instructor required to provide an alternative activity for me during this part of the class? With regards to the two situations covered in this letter I have the following question. It is always hard to explain my disability to someone not in the health care industry so that they understand it. Am I required to explain it? Should I have a doctor's letter covering each detail of why I can't participate or do something? It would be easier to just have a letter documenting that I have the disability. If I did need to explain why I can't do each thing it would be hard for me and my doctor. Though the difficulties covered in this letter may seem silly they are important to me. It is not possible for me to play most popular sports or recreational activities because of my disability. I would greatly appreciat e any time that you spend looking into these issues.Can you please keep this letter confidential. Sincerely yours, XXX XXX December 10, 1996

Dear Mr. Chesler, Thank you for your letter of November 26th. I was confused by Congress Woman Nancy Pelosi's response. The information goes against what I have been told in the past with regards to Titles 2 and 3. I assume there was miss communication with my first sentence of my letter of November 11th. I have a disability that is specifically listed as being covered in Titles 2 and 3. My disability is included in the circled areas of the enclosed copy marked A. As a direct result of my disability I have the disorders or difficulties mentioned in my letter. Perhaps you thought that physical exercise is my disability. I have always been told that private public places of exercise and recreation are covered in category 12 of Public Accommodation. I have been told that I am covered in the two situations in my letter, but I have some questions regarding this. Could you please review my letter of November 11th again and respond. I would appreciate if you could please assist me by answering the questions in my letter of the 11th. Sincerely yours, XXX enclosures: photocopys