FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                          CR
WEDNESDAY, MAY 15, 1996                            (202) 616-2765
                                               TDD (202) 514-1888


     WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Calling it "the most accessible stadium
in the world," Assistant Attorney General Deval L. Patrick today
toured the Olympic Stadium, home to the 1996 Summer Olympics in
Atlanta.  The site will also host the 10th Paralympiad, which
begins on August 15.  
     "The eyes of the world will be upon us," said Patrick.
"Everyone will be able to see world class events in a world class
stadium providing world class access to athletes and spectators."
     The Justice Department began working together with
organizers of the summer Olympics three years ago to ensure that
the sports venues were built to be accessible to people with
disabilities.  The Department's efforts focused on the Olympic
Stadium, as well as other venues including the Olympic aquatic
center, the Stone Mountain Memorial tennis center, and the Morris
Brown College and Clark Atlanta University field hockey stadiums. 
     Patrick announced that the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic
Games (ACOG) has agreed to ensure that the construction of these
five newly-built venues are completed in compliance with the
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  The agreements set out
the way in which the stadium and other venues will be accessible
during the Olympics as well as when they are converted for future
use after the Paralympics.
     The Olympic Stadium, which has a seating capacity of 85,000,
    designate 1% of its seats for wheelchair users and disperse
     the spaces throughout the stadium, including in suites and
     on the Club level;

    ensure that each wheelchair space is next to a conventional
     seat so that spectators with disabilities can sit next to
     family and friends;

    ensure that virtually all wheelchair seats have a comparable
     "line of sight," so that wheelchair users can still see the
     playing surface even when spectators in front of them stand
     up during the event;

    make concession stands, restrooms, parking areas, bank
     machines, locker rooms, and employee work areas accessible. 

     "This agreement sets a new standard for stadium access,"
added Patrick.  "The Olympic Stadium will serve as a model for
all future stadiums."
     Following the summer games, the Olympic Stadium will be
converted for use by the Atlanta Braves, and the other venues
will continue to be used as sporting facilities.
     The ADA, passed in July 1990, prohibits discrimination
against persons with disabilities.  Title III of the Act requires
public accommodations built prior to January 26, 1993, including
stadiums, to remove physical barriers to access when it is
readily achievable to do so.  Buildings constructed after that
date must be built in accordance with architectural standards
known as the ADA's Standards for Accessible Design.  Under Title
II of the Act, new state and local government buildings must also
be accessible.  Metropolitan Atlanta Olympic Games Authority, a
state entity created to stage the Olympics with ACOG, also signed
today's stadium agreement.
     "We have been working closely for some time with the Olympic
organizers and are pleased with their efforts to make their
facilities accessible for all people with disabilities," said
Patrick.  "We also appreciate the assistance of members of the
disability rights community during the past few years."
     The Olympics, scheduled to begin on July 19, will host over
12,000 athletes.  The Paralympics, scheduled to begin on August
15, will host more than 3,500 athletes with disabilities from
more than 120 nations.
     In 1994, Attorney General Janet Reno launched a national
campaign to educate Americans about their rights and obligations
under the ADA.  She is committed to reaching out to businesses to
urge voluntary compliance with the law.  The campaign, which
included television and radio public service announcements,
promotes a toll-free ADA Information Line.  The number is 800-
514-0301 or 800-514-0383 (TDD).
                              # # #