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DJ 202-PL-304

MAY 14 1993

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Dear Mr. XXXX,

This letter responds to your inquiry regarding the


applicability of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to
amusement parks.

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 of Justice.

Your letter inquires into the intent of the ADA and its
application to lines for attractions at amusement parks. You
state that you witnessed individuals with disabilities being
permitted to avoid attraction lines and inquire as to whether
this policy is consistent with the ADA.

The intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act is to set


a national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against
individuals with disabilities. To further this goal, the Act
contains specific provisions designed to assure that individuals
with disabilities may enjoy the full range of goods, services,
privileges and advantages offered by public accommodations.

Title III of the ADA imposes certain obligations on places


of public accommodation to ensure that their services are
provided to individuals with disabilities. The Act specifically
includes amusement parks and other places of recreation in its
definition of a public accommodation. See section 36.104 of the
enclosed title III regulation at page 35594.

cc: Records, Chrono, Wodatch, Breen, Foran, FOIA


Udd:Foran:Disney.XXXX

-2-

The ADA does not require affirmative action or preferential


treatment of individuals with disabilities. Public
accommodations, however, are required in certain cases to make
reasonable modifications to their policies, practices, or
procedures when modifications are necessary to afford goods,
services, facilities, privileges or advantages to individuals
with disabilities. See section 36.302 of the title III
regulation at page 35596-97, and preamble at 35564-65. In light
of this requirement, an amusement park may be required to modify
its policies to allow an individual with a disability to be
admitted to an attraction without waiting in line, if delay would
prevent the individual from participating in the service because
of the nature of the disability.

I hope this information is useful to you in understanding


the requirements of the ADA.

Sincerely,

John L. Wodatch
Chief
Public Access Section
Enclosures (2)

Title III Technical Assistance Manual


Title III Regulation

August 21, 1992

John L. Wodatch, Director


Office of Americans With
Disabilities Act
Department of Justice
PO Box 66738
Washington, DC 20035
Dear Mr. Wodatch:

In my daily job with an occupational licensing board I have


bumped into the Americans With Disabilities Act more than once.
While it has many positive features, this measure may also have
some unexpected consequences.

During a recent visit to a theme park in Orlando I observed


several instances of one kind of conduct that is worthy of inquiry.
we were standing in line for over 30 minutes at an attraction as a
person in a wheelchair was pushed past several hundred pedestrians
to the front of the line and admitted to the show, along with 6
fully able people in the party, without delay. Two such groups
were seated within five minutes while hundreds watched. Among the
comments from observers were several that I doubt were part of the
legislative history of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

The reason for this letter is to inquire of you or your staff


as to the intent of the statute in this situation. Apart from
preferential parking places, did Congress really intend for
citizen with disabilities, and their companions, to receive this
kind of treatment? Or did Congress mean that the disabled should
be free of artificial barriers and have the same access and
opportunity as all other citizens to experience the August Orlando
sun?

Very truly yours,

XXXXXXXXXXXX

copy: Michael Eisner, Walt Disney Company