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(2) failure to make aocostary reasonabl. modifications in rulos, policiu, practicos, procedures, protocols, or services, unless to do so would savolvo a fundanontal alteration of the nature of the privileges, advantagos, or accommodations being provided; (3) failure to ensure the provision of auxiliary aids and
services, unless doing so would involve a fundanental alteration
or would rosult in an undu. burdon;
(4) failure to conovo architectural, transportation, and communication barriers in existing facilities and vehicles where such barrier conoval is readily achievable; (5) whore such barrior removal is not readily achievable, failure to tako alternative readily achievable steps to provide access; and (6) failure to incorporate, to the maximus extent feasible, accessibility into altorations of facilities or parts of facilities (with an exception regarding olovators la certain small buildings).
Subsectioas 302(b) (2) (B) and (C) ostablish specific prohibitions of discrimination la regard to (rospectively) fixed route transportation systems and donand responsive transportation systons.
Section 303 deals with new construction requirements in public accommodations and potential places of unploynont. It provides that it is discrimination for such establishments to fail to make new facilities constructed for first occupancy more than 30 months after the date of enactavat of the Act accossible, except where it is structurally impracticable to do so.
The forms of discrimination listed in sections 302 and 303 are generally based upon existing concepts of nondiscrimination in law and regulations, particularly under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Thus, the requirements of reasonable modifications, of providing auxiliary aids and services, and of removing architectural, transportation, and communication barriers to make facilities and vehicles readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, are well-established principles of disability nondiscrimination law. Likewise, limits
upon nondiscrimination requirements, such as "fundamental
alteration in the nature," "undue burden," "to the maximum extent
feasible,' and 'structurally impracticable,' are all drawn from
existing regulatory language under Section 504, the Architectural
Barriers Act of 1968, and UFAS. In applying new construction accessibility requirements to "potential places of employment,' in addition to places of public accommodation, the bill adopts an approach that had previously been applied in the Architectural
An important distinction is made between providing an auxiliary aid or service and removing an architectural or
Removal of architectural and communication barriers are
structural solutions, for example:
audio loops (assistive listening systems in places of assembly like auditoriums to assist hearing-impaired people)
signage (with Braille, raised letter, and/or color-contrasting features to assist visually-impaired people)
emergency flashing lights or alarms (to assist hearing or visually-impaired people)
permanently-installed ramps to assist mobility-impaired people
A permanently-installed public telephone which is equipped with a T.D.D. could be classified as structural, and therefore as the removal of a communication barrier.
Auxiliary aids and services are features of a program or service provided to an individual with a disability to enhance or
permit participation; they address methods in which the program or service is operated, rather than how the building housing the
services is erected. Providing sign language interpreters is an auxiliary service. Providing a portable T.D.D. can be an auxiliary service. Generally, a feature is a structural item (and therefore constitutes removal of an architectural or communication barrier) 1f it can be found in commonly-accepted accessibility standards such as ANSI and UFAS (to be described
ACCESSIBILITY STANDARDS UNDER THE ADA
The bill gives the Attorney General the authority to issue regulations and the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (ATBCB) the obligation to establish minimum guidelines regarding accessibility. ATBCB has already established such minimum guidelines for accessibility under
section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Guidelines and Requirements for Accessible Design (MGRAD), and these guidelines, along with similar, existing, widely accepted standards, such as the ANSI standards (promulgated by the
American National Standards Institute) and the UFAS (Uniform
Federal Accessibility standards) will be used as models, with
necessary modification to establish standards that apply to
particular types of facilities.
ANSI is a well-recognized standards-setting organization which
has promulgated codes covering many aspects of the built
environment which are used in most parts of the country.
large majority of states already have some form of accessibility requirements, and ANSI's accessibility standards are the
standards most-often referenced by existing local and state
UFAS are a set of standards similar in many respects to ANSI, but
which have been carefully reworked by the four principal standard-setting federal departments (HUD, GSA, DOT, and the
Postal Service) for use in enforcing existing federal rules
requiring non-discrimination on the basis of handicap. UFAS is particularly pertinent for standards pursuant to the ADA, because
UFAS includes thorough scoping requirements which make clear
exactly what standards apply in what situations. UFAS affords designers a great deal of clarity by specifying exactly what is required, and eliminates potential confusion that might be engendered by a less specific set of standards.
The ADA provides that the Department of Justice will issue standards, consistent with minimum guidelines developed by the ATBCB, to extrapolate upon existing UFAS requirements (including scoping) and apply them to the various types of facilities and places of public accommodation covered by the
Industry familiarity with standards
It is not foreseen that local establishments will have any difficulty in learning about the standards established pursuant to the ADA. Such accessibility requirements as those in UFAS and
ANSI are already widely known and recognized by planners,
architects, and builders. The building industry's organizations and associations have disseninated information and conducted training on standards affecting their menbers in the past and can be expected to continue to do so. Also, as a part of their rulemaking authority, appropriate federal agencies can undertake training for private entities affected by the ADA.
Limits upon accessibility requirements
Provisions in sections 302 and 303 of the ADA explicitly set linits upon the obligation of achieving full accessibility.