FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                    CR
FRIDAY, JANUARY 6, 1994                                      (202) 616-2765
                                                         TDD (202) 514-1888


     WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A Fort Lauderdale beachfront hotel and
resort has agreed to remove barriers throughout its facilities
and to provide accessible guestrooms under an agreement reached
with the Justice Department.  
     The agreement, filed yesterday in U.S. District Court in
Miami, resolves a complaint filed by Brian Kastruba accusing
Villas by the Sea of violating the Americans with Disabilities
Act (ADA).  The complaint alleged that guest rooms and many
common areas were inaccessible and that the resort failed to make
alterations in an accessible manner when it built a restaurant
and outdoor bar. 
     Kastruba, who uses a wheelchair, wanted to vacation in
Florida with his girlfriend.  Upon making reservations with the
hotel, he and his travel agent were assured that the facility was
accessible.  When they arrived at the hotel, they encountered an
inaccessible front desk, a step to the only entrance to the room,
an inaccessible bathroom, and narrow doorways which deterred
movement.  The couple ended up staying elsewhere.
     Under the agreement the 143-room resort will:
    correct inaccessible alterations; 

    provide access to common use areas, including the
     registration desk, the entrance to the registration area;
     parking; and laundry and vending facilities; and

    provide three accessible guest rooms for people with
     mobility impairments and five for people with hearing

     Title III of the ADA prohibits discrimination against
persons with disabilities by public accommodations such as hotels
and resorts.  Under the law, entities must ensure that new
construction and alterations are accessible.  They also must
remove architectural barriers where it is readily achievable, or
where it can be done without much difficulty or expense.  When
making alterations or constructing new buildings, public
accommodations such as hotels are required to follow the ADA
standards, which may be different from local building codes.
     "Today's agreement reflects the Justice Department's
continuing commitment to ensuring access for persons with
disabilities," said Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights
Deval L. Patrick.  "All businesses must do what is reasonably
within their means to ensure access to existing facilities."
     If the hotel, comprised of over a dozen buildings, had been
constructed after January 26, 1993, it would have been required
to have up to twelve accessible rooms.  However, the Justice
Department determined that in this case requiring any more
accessible rooms would not have been "readily achievable."  
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