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years, that the disabled population is segregated from the rest

of society, and that "discrimination against individuals with

disabilities continues to be a serious and pervasive social


(See section 2 "Findings and Purposes," (a) (2).)


disagree totally with this premise.

It has been my experience that with determination and hard

word--and with the support of family, church, friends, and

voluntary associations--disabled individuals can succeed and have succeeded in today's society in such areas as education, protes

sional achievement, emotional fulfillment, etc.

Attitudes have

changed and sensitivity has been developed toward the disabled. There are more opportunities than there have ever been and

disabled individuals are enjoying the mainstream of society to a

great degree.

I believe that the supporters of the ADA are sincere in their desire to afford disabled individuals the opportunity to participate in all aspects of society. Supporters believe that to ensure the disabled their "rights," the Federal government must implement sweeping reforms and legislate change. Instead, the bill will create administrative and regulatory burdens on the private sector, will encroach on free enterprise, and will expand an already swollen Federal bureaucracy.

Sure, it's not easy for me sometimes.

And sometimes I have

to wait patiently for the doors of opportunity to open. But the doors are opening and they are opening without such a broad

sweeping Pederal law.

Private businesses should not be required to make my life

easier at their own expense.

Even though advances have been

made, the needs of the disabled in assimilating with an able

bodied society are still great. And the ADA is a response to this need. However, it is still wrong to sacrifice the legiti

mate rights of others to meet this apparent need.

The ends do

not justify the means.

Moreover, with time, much of the need

will be addressed by businesses choosing to provide accommoda


This "quick fix" may provide a surface cure for the problem, but it could result in a discriminatory attitude--and more

importantly, it will undernine the constitutional rights of many.

I would love to wave a magic wand and make my life and the

lives of fellow disabled individuals easier.

But not if it means

requiring others to sacrifice their constitutional freedom.


the one tie that binds both disabled and able-bodied alike in

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Desr Roprosentative Edvards:
On behalf of the American Institute of Architects, the professional
association representing the nation's architects, I would like to suggest
Laprovements to the Americans with Disabilities Act, 8.933/0.2.2273 (the ADA
mil), specifically to the alterations section of Titl. II concerning public
services, and to tiedo III, the public sccommodations citl..
The ALA supports the legislation's lateat, and belleves that Congress should
act to accomplish It. We are concerned, bovever, that it needs clarification
and revision to facilitate compliance and to reduce unnecessary ilability for

1. Readily Achienbl. Renovel of Architectural Barrier

The legislation requires alsting buildings and facilities to renov.
urehitectural barriers, upon enactaent, li che removals are readily
achievable" which woons that they would not cost very much and would not be
difficult to do. The AIA is concerned that wherus meny barriers singly are
easy and inexpensive to renova, may facilities wy have a combination of
barriers or multiple barriors of the sun type, for which removal could lapose
• significant cost. The legislation could clar up this proble by requiring
that removals of conbinations of barriors or of multiple barriers of the sea.
type vithia • single facility could be phased over time or handled us in
2. Alterations vs. Me for Structural Alterations
The ADA bill requires that 12 months oftar enactment, alterations to a
building or facility must make the altered aru rudily accessible sad usable,
and that major structural alterations la addition must Loclude an accessible
pech of travel to the altered aru. The ruson for setting forth the
differences in types of alterations vs so that a sull renovation vould not
by itself trissur • ruch more costly project to uke the path of travel
accessible. Unfortunately, the legislation fills to accomplish Its purpose.
The legislation provides no vy of deconining when an alteration becoues
major structural alteration, although the report language accepts to make •
distinction by describing the structural elements that would be considered to
tall under the provisions for major structural alterations. The ADA fails to
distinguish between structural olenents (loud-bearing walls, beans, etc. ) and
architecturii elements (doors and vindows), and thus it is possible that a
mall scale, inexpensive alteration that consists of dropping • ceiling or
replacing vindovs, could triagor o much more complex and costly project to
nake the route to the alterid arus accessible.

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Pago Ivo
October 26, 1989

The legislation should refer to "ujor altorations" not "major structuıl alteracions" and base the difference betv.on • ulnor and a major alteration on the cost and scope of the alteration, and the degrue to which it effects • facility's usability and accossibility.

Blstoric humtion The ADA bill ukos no provision for historic properties. The Onifon Todoral Accessibility Standards (UTAS) provides that when an alteration is undertaken for an historic property. corta la accessibility futurus should be lacorporated, unless to do 30 vould threaten or destroy its historical Integrity. Other accessibility alternatives must then be substituted. ADA bill should apply such a standard for historic propertiu it covers. If they are listed on or oligible for the National Register of Historic Places, or designated historic pursuant to state or local lav. A reference to UTAS or sa •quivalent standard should suffice.

Transition Rule

When the ADA bacones lav, It vill apply to many projects already under design. but not yet constructed. Those projects may be required to comply, and thus undergo costly and complicated redesign. Because the regulations will not yet be promulgated, the projects' architects vill be unclar as to what must be done to uke the projects comply. The AIA proposes that all projects currently under design should be exempt frou requirenents of the sct, but those receiving « design contract after the date of enactment should comply by the effective dates utablished in the bill for nav construction and alteration. In addition, to provide a ufo harbor for architects designing projects after onectaent of the bill but before issuance of final regulations, the bill should provide that conformance to the standards of the American National Standards Institute A112.1 1986 or the Onifon federal Accessibility Standard (UTAS) should be denned sufficient, though not necessary, for compliance with the logislation. These standards for handicapped access design are voll-understood and accepted within the design profession.

Enforcerent Liability

The ADA bill passed by the Sonate ponits courts to consider good faith efforts to comply vith the logislation. In heuring complaints brought against Individuals under the auasur.. This is not enough. Architects should have son. official detenination that they have compiled with the legislation, and this detenination should constitute i defense against charges of discrlaination. This protection can be easily accomplished. The Departaent of Justice, on the application of state or locality, could certify that the stato or local ordinance roots the rinim standards of the legislation.

Pag. Taroo
October 26, 1909

The legislation should also provide that architects and others who recolve state or local certification that their projects have compiled vith • DOJ-certified state or local handicapped sccus lar should have a strong defonso agolast complalats of discrlaination.

The AIA bolleves that the above rovisions are Laportant to the succussful achievincat of the ADA's objectives. I appreciate your consideration of our suggestioas.

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