T. 2-23-98 MAR 5 1998 D.J. No.

202-50-0 FIRST CLASS MAIL The Honorable Daniel Patrick Moynihan United States Senator United States Senate Washington, D.C. 20510-3201 Dear Senator Moynihan: I am responding to your letter on behalf of your constituent, XXX . Mr. XXX wrote to you about his general concerns about the Americans with Disabilities Act. As you requested, we have responded directly to Mr. XXX and have enclosed a copy of our response for your records. I hope this information is helpful to you and your constituent. Sincerely, Bill Lann Lee Acting Assistant Attorney General Civil Rights Division Enclosures cc: Records, Chrono, Wodatch, Blizard, McDowney, Hahm, FOIA jhahm\myfiles\plcyltrs\moynihan.wpd U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division D.J. No. 202-50-0 Disability Rights Section P.O. Box 66738 Washington, DC 20035-6738 FIRST CLASS MAIL FEB 23 1998

Mr. XXX XXX Syracuse, NY XXX Dear Mr. XXX :

I am writing in response to your letter to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, which the Department of Justice received on February 3, 1998, regarding questions about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA authorizes the Department of Justice to provide technical assistance to individuals and entities having rights or obligations under the Act. This letter provides informal guidance to assist you in understanding the ADA's requirements. However, it does not constitute a legal interpretation or legal advice, and it is not binding on the Department. The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, State and local government, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation, and telecommunications. The following four Federal agencies are primarily responsible for enforcing the ADA. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces ADA provisions prohibiting discrimination in employment against qualified individuals with disabilities (title I). The U.S. Department of Justice enforces ADA provisions prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability in State and local government services (title II), and in public accommodations and commercial facilities (title III). The U.S. Department of Transportation enforces ADA provisions that require nondiscrimination in public and private mass transportation systems and services. The Federal Communications Commission enforces ADA telecommunications provisions (title IV). The elements that an ADA claimant must prove vary slightly depending on the particular claim. For example, an ADA title I claimant must show that (1) he has a disability within the meaning of the ADA; (2) he is qualified for the job, with or without reasonable accommodation, and is able to perform the essential functions of the job; (3) he was subjected to an adverse employment decision; (4) the employer knew or had reason to know of his disability; and (5) he was replaced by a non-disabled person or treated less favorably than a non-disabled

person. An ADA title II claimant must show that (1) she has a disability within the meaning of the ADA; (2) she is qualified, with or without reasonable modifications to rules, policies, or practices, and meets the essential eligibility requirements for the receipt of services or the participation in programs or activities; and (3) by reason of such disability, she was denied the benefits of the services, programs or activities by a public entity. An ADA title III claimant must show that (1) he is disabled within the meaning of the ADA; (2) a private entity owns, leases (or leases to), or operates a public place of accommodation; and (3) he was denied the opportunity to participate in or benefit from services or accommodations on the basis of his disability. Remedies available under the ADA also vary depending on the claim. Under title I, remedies available may include hiring, reinstatement, promotion, back pay, front pay, reasonable accommodation, or other actions that will make an individual "whole." Compensatory and punitive damages also may be available where intentional discrimination is found. Under titles II and III, remedies available may include an order granting temporary, preliminary, or permanent relief; requiring that facilities be made readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities; requiring provision of an auxiliary aid or service; or requiring modification of a policy, practice, or procedure. In addition, the Department may request monetary damages for individual victims and/or civil penalties against covered entities. Enclosed, among other things, is a booklet entitled "A Guide To Disability Rights Laws" that provides an overview of Federal civil rights laws that ensure equal opportunity for people with disabilities. Also enclosed is the most recent status report that summarizes ADA activities of the Department of Justice during the fourth quarter of 1997. In addition, enclosed is a list containing telephone numbers and Internet and electronic bulletin board addresses of federal agencies and other organizations that provide information about the ADA. I hope this information is helpful to you. Sincerely, John L. Wodatch Chief

Disability Rights Section Enclosures -2-