NOV 18 The Honorable Ron Wyden United States Senator 500 NE Multnomah Street Suite 320 Portland, Oregon

97232 Dear Senator Wyden: I am responding to your inquiry on behalf of your constituent, Mr. XXX of XXX , Oregon, who wrote to you about alleged discrimination on the basis of disability at the International Air Academy (Academy) in Vancouver, Washington. Please excuse our delay in responding. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (section 504), as amended, may apply to the allegation raised by Mr. XXX . Title III of the ADA prohibits places of public accommodation such as the Academy from discriminating on the basis of disability. Title III offers a variety of remedies for individuals who believe their rights under that statute have been violated. It provides for a private right of action, and Mr. XXX may wish to consult with a private attorney if he is interested in pursuing this option. In addition to filing a private suit, there are a number of avenues that your constituent may pursue to resolve this matter, including consulting State or local authorities, disability rights organizations, or organizations that provide alternative dispute resolution services (such as mediation or negotiation). We have enclosed a list of organizations in Oregon and Washington. One of these groups may be able to assist Mr. XXX . A State or local bar association may be able to provide the names of private attorneys or mediation services that handle disability rights matters. The mediation process and information on securing a local mediator are summarized in the enclosed brochure "Want to Resolve Your ADA Complaint? Consider Mediation." CC: RECORDS; CHRONO; WODATCH; TALIAN; MCDOWNEY; FOIA H:\JTALIAN\MYFILES\CONGRESS\OKREFER.504.WPD -2-

Title III also authorizes the Department of Justice to investigate alleged violations of the Act by public accommodations and commercial facilities. 42 U.S.C. S 12188 (b) (1) (A). In this respect, staff of the Disability Rights Section, Civil Rights Division, have reviewed Mr. XXX complaint. We determined that the Academy is approved to participate in the Federal education loan program administered by the Department of Education. This arrangement subjects the Academy to coverage by section 504, because of its status as a recipient of Federal financial assistance from the Department of Education. When both title III and section 504 apply to a complaint, we frequently refer the complaint for processing by the agency with section 504 jurisdiction. This results from the fact that the Department has received several thousand complaints about potential ADA title III violations, and we do not have unlimited resources to investigate each of the complaints that we receive and attempt to resolve them informally. Additionally, we do not investigate each complaint that we receive for the purposes of bringing litigation. The Department may seek judicial relief only in instances where there appears to be a pattern or practice of discrimination or where an issue of general public importance is involved. The Department does not act as an attorney for, or representative of, an individual. For these reasons, we have referred Mr. XXX complaint to the Department of Education for processing under section 504 (Enclosure). Mr. XXX also has a private right of action pursuant to section 504, which generally offers relief similar to that available under the ADA. The address for the Department of Education to which we referred Mr. XXX complaint is: Mr. Gary D. Jackson Office for Civil Rights/ED 915 Second Avenue Room 3310, 10-9010 Seattle, Washington 98174-1099 Telephone (206) 220-7880 FAX (206) 220-7887; TDD (206) 220-7907 If Mr. XXX has additional questions or seeks to provide additional information, he should contact the Department of Education at the address listed above. If Mr. XXX has

questions about the ADA or section 504, he may call the Department of Justice ADA information line (800-514-0301 (voice) or 800-514-0383 (TDD) ). Members of the Disability Rights Section staff are available to answer questions on the information line on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Eastern time. On Thursday, the information line is staffed from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

-3I hope this information is useful in responding to your constituent. Sincerely, Isabelle Katz Pinzler Acting Assistant Attorney General Civil Rights Division Enclosures