September 14, 2001
The Honorable C. W. Bill Young
Member, U.S. House of Representatives
801 West Bay Drive, Suite 606
Largo, Florida 33770
Dear Congressman Young:
This letter is in response to your inquiry on behalf of your constituent, xxxx xxxxxxx xx xxxxxxxx, concerning an alleged violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). Please excuse the delay in responding.
The ADA authorizes the Attorney General to investigate alleged violations of title II and title III of the ADA, which prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability by state and local government entities, public accommodations, and commercial facilities. In addition, the Attorney General is responsible for enforcing title I of the ADA when a public employer has engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination on the basis of disability, or when the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has referred an individual complaint for enforcement.
The ADA enforcement responsibilities are assigned to the Attorney General as the nation's chief law enforcement officer and head of the Department of Justice. Within the Department, ADA enforcement has been delegated to the Civil Rights Division's Disability Rights Section, which is also responsible for enforcing section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and other federal statutes that prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability. In enforcing the ADA, the Department of Justice represents the law enforcement interest of the United States. The Department does not act as an attorney for, or representative of, any individual complainant.
We have carefully reviewed xxxx xxxxxxxx's complaint alleging that a retail store violated the ADA by neglecting to main an electric scooter that it provides as a courtesy to customers with disabilities. The law does not require a public accommodation, such as a aretail store, to provide scooters for its customers. Therefore, the store's failure to maintain this equipment does not violate the ADA. This determination does not affect your constituent's right to pursue her allegations in some other manner. Xxxx xxxxxxxx may with to consult a private attorney to discuss other options.
Other avenues may be effective in resolving this complaint, including consulting with organizations that provide alternative dispute resolution services. We have enclosed a list of organizations serving her area. These offices may be able to identify resource groups available to provide assistance. A state or local bar association may also be able to provide the names of private attorneys or mediation services that handle consumer disputes.
To assist members of the public to understand their rights and responsibilities under the ADA, the Department of Justice has published technical assistance manuals that explain the ADA regulations. In addition, the Department operates an ADA information line (800-514-0301 (voice) or 800-514-0383 (TDD)). Members of the Disability Rights Section staff are available to answer questions on the information line on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Eastern time. On Thursday, the information line is staffed from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
For your information I am enclosing a copy of the Division's ADA Status Report that summarizes our ADA enforcement activity. I hope this information is helpful to you in responding to your constituent. Please do not hesitate to contact the Department if we can be of assistance in other matters.
Ralph F. Boyd, Jr.
Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division