MAY 20 1998 The Honorable Herb Kohl United States Senator 14 West Mifflin Street Suite 312 Madison

, Wisconsin 53703 Dear Senator Kohl: I am responding to your inquiry on behalf of your constituent, Monte K. Hottmann, District Administrator of the School District of Cambridge, Wisconsin. Mr. Hottmann wrote to you concerning a determination by the Wisconsin Department of Commerce that the Cambridge School District is required to install an elevator to provide access to the press box/control room that the school district is building at its high school athletic field. The Wisconsin Department of Commerce has granted the school district a two-year extension of time in which to comply with this requirement of the State accessibility code, which is based on the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). Please excuse our delay in responding. The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice is responsible for the implementation of title II of the ADA, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in the programs, services, and activities of public entities. The ADA authorizes the Department of Justice to provide technical assistance to assist individuals and entities subject to the Act to understand their rights and responsibilities. Because this response is based solely on the facts presented in Mr. Hottmann's letter to you, it is intended only as technical assistance to help Mr. Hottmann to understand the applicable legal requirements and to identify pertinent facts. This response does not constitute a legal opinion of the Department with respect to the obligations of the Cambridge School District. (handwritten) FOIA -2The ADA requires new construction of (or alterations to) public facilities to be readily accessible to and usable by

individuals with disabilities, including those who use wheelchairs. The Department's regulation implementing title II, 28 C.F.R. S 35.151 (c), provides that a public entity may comply with this requirement by complying with the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS) or the ADA Standards for Accessible Design that were adopted to implement title III of the ADA. We understand that the State of Wisconsin has adopted accessibility requirements based on the ADA Standards. Therefore, our analysis will be based solely on those standards. The ADA Standards require a covered entity to provide an accessible route to an accessible facility and to provide an accessible entrance. In a multi-story facility, an accessible means of vertical access must be provided to connect all levels. Although an elevator is the most common means of providing vertical access, ramps and (in certain, limited circumstances) platform lifts may also be used. See, S 4.1.3 (5), Exceptions 4, of the enclosed ADA Standards. If the press box/control room is not part of a multi-story facility and is reached by its own entrance, a ramp may be used to provide access to the entrance. Mr. Hottmann should note, however, that the ADA does not preempt the authority of the State of Wisconsin to impose more stringent requirements on construction through its building code process. Therefore, the State may require the installation of an elevator in the high school press box. The interpretation and application of the State's accessibility code is a matter that the Cambridge School District must resolve with State officials. Mr. Hottmann also inquired about the possibility of amending the Federal regulations. The ADA Standards are based on the ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) developed by the United States Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board). The Access Board is now engaged in a total review of these accessibility guidelines. The Access Board anticipates that the revised guidelines should be published as a proposed rule before the end of this year. To be fully responsive to your request, we at the Department of Justice will apprise the Access Board of your constituent's concerns. You should know that we have heard separately on this issue from the Safety and Building Division of the Wisconsin Department of Commerce. In addition, we are also in consultation with the United States Department of Education regarding this issue. If Mr. Hottmann wants to address the situation described in

his letter to you with the Access Board on his own, he may write to: -3Thurman M. Davis Chair U.S. Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board 1331 F Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20004-1111 Copies of the Department's regulations implementing title II and title III of the ADA are enclosed for your reference. The ADA Standards for Accessible Design are published as Appendix A to the title III regulation. We have also enclosed a copy of the Department's response to the Wisconsin Department of Commerce that discusses the applicable requirements in detail. I hope that this information is helpful to you in responding to your constituent. Sincerely, Bill Lann Lee Acting Assistant Attorney General Civil Rights Division Enclosures