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AUG 6 1997 The Honorable Frank Pallone, Jr. U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C.

20515-3006 Dear Congressman Pallone: I am responding to the correspondence that you forwarded on behalf of your constituent, XXX , of Edison, New Jersey. XXX takes issue with the use of fine print in legal and other documents, and believes such practices may be discriminatory against elderly persons, many of whom have vision impairments. Please excuse our delay in responding. The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice is responsible for the implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by public entities and public accommodations. XXX query relates most directly to the auxiliary aids and services provisions of titles II and III of the ADA as these apply to covered entities, including governments and private sector businesses, respectively. Such aids and services must be provided by these covered entities to ensure "effective communication" for individuals who have impaired vision or speech. A covered entity, thus, must provide effective communication under a flexible standard, reflecting the variable nature of what constitutes effective communication. This ADA flexible standard does not broadly regulate the nature of print, such as requiring a wholesale prohibition against the use of fine print. Rather, the ADA strikes a balance between protecting persons with vision loss from discrimination, while preserving economical means of producing printed materials, such as fine printing where it is appropriate. The ADA's flexible communication standard accounts for other factors used to determine the effectiveness of communication in any given circumstance, including the length, complexity, and significance of the information being exchanged. Thus, most of the "legal documents" that XXX refers to in his letter cc: Records; Chrono; Wodatch; Talian; McDowney; FOIA h:\jtalian\myfiles\congress\okvision.ifo.wpd -2are subject to the ADA's requirements, by virtue of the fact that a government agency or private practitioner (attorney, insurance

agent, or physician, for example) might be required to provide standard or larger print versions of a document upon request by the disabled person. Furthermore, such covered entities in our society must absorb the cost of this aid or service, unless it would result in an undue burden. The term "undue burden" means "significant difficulty or expense." In determining whether the provision of an interpreter, reader, tape, or other aid or service would result in an undue burden, covered entities should consider their overall financial resources. The effective communication requirements of the ADA briefly described above are discussed more fully in the technical assistance manuals developed by the Department of Justice (enclosures). XXX can direct any questions about specific documents, or communications problems generally, to the various Federal ADA hotlines established to address such concerns by the American public. Our flyer listing the prominent Federal telephone resources on the ADA also is enclosed. I hope this information will assist you in responding to your constituent. Sincerely, Isabelle Katz Pinzler Acting Assistant Attorney General Civil Rights Division Enclosures (handwwritten) Rick Page 1 of 2 JAN 15 A.M. ID 140037083 Doc 9900805 Jan. 11-1997 Honorable Congressman Frank Pallone House of Representatives Washington, D.C. Dear Congressman: Thousands of people in our nation are being deceived and taking advantage of every day by Fine Print especially Senior Citizens who have some sort of vision difficulty but do not have any problem with

standard news paper print. Fine Print is a means of hiding information. It is constantly used in Legal Documents and in Public Notice in Newspaper publications and contracts etc. Many people are being hurt in some way by Fine Print. Public notices which are important to every citizen because it most always effects local taxpayers. It's difficult even for people with good vision to read newspaper Public Notices. (cont.) Page 2 Because of Fine Print many legal documents and public notices go on read and that is the purpose of Fine Print. I am a very active and alert eighty year old man and with my eyeglasses I have no problem reading standard news print. I ask you now to introduce or cause to be introduced legislative outlawing Fine Print completely and make it illegal to print anything in any form in less than the standard news print size. I have enclosed newspaper examples. Please acknowledge this letter. I wish you a Healthy and Happy New Year Yours Truly XXX XXX Edison-N.J. XXX