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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of September 18, 2014

Title 45Subtitle BChapter VII → Part 707


Title 45: Public Welfare


PART 707—ENFORCEMENT OF NONDISCRIMINATION ON THE BASIS OF DISABILITY IN PROGRAMS OR ACTIVITIES CONDUCTED BY U.S. COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS


Contents
§707.1   Purpose.
§707.2   Application.
§707.3   Definitions.
§707.4   Self-evaluation and remedial measures.
§707.5   Notice.
§707.6   General prohibitions against discrimination.
§707.7   Employment.
§707.8   Physical access.
§707.9   Access to communications.
§707.10   Auxiliary aids.
§707.11   Eliminating discriminatory qualifications and selection criteria.
§707.12   Compliance procedures.

Authority: 29 U.S.C. 791 et seq.

Source: 67 FR 70482, Nov. 22, 2002, unless otherwise noted.

§707.1   Purpose.

The purpose of this part is to effectuate section 119 of the Rehabilitation, Comprehensive Services, and Developmental Disabilities Amendments of 1978, which amended section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, to prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability in programs or activities conducted by Executive agencies or the United States Postal Service.

§707.2   Application.

This part applies to all programs and activities, including employment, conducted by the Agency.

§707.3   Definitions.

For the purposes of this part, the term—

(a) Agency means the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and its State Advisory Committees.

(b) Auxiliary aids means services or devices that enable persons with impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills to have an equal opportunity to participate in, and enjoy the benefits of, programs or activities conducted by the Agency. For example, auxiliary aids useful for persons with impaired vision include readers, Braille materials, audio recordings, and other similar services and devices. Auxiliary aids useful for persons with impaired hearing include telephone handset amplifiers, telephones compatible with hearing aids, telecommunication devices for deaf persons (TDD's), interpreters, note takers, written materials, and other similar services and devices.

(c) Complete complaint means a written statement that contains the complainant's name and address and describes the Agency's alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Agency of the nature and date of the alleged violation of section 504. It shall be signed by the complainant or by someone authorized to do so on his or her behalf. Complaints filed on behalf of classes or third parties shall describe or identify (by name, if possible) the alleged victims of discrimination.

(d) Facility means all or any portion of buildings, structures, equipment, roads, walks, parking lots, vehicles, or other real or personal property.

(e) Individual with disabilities means any person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment. As used in this definition, the phrase:

(1) Physical or mental impairment includes—

(i) Any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: Neurological, musculoskeletal; special sense organs; respiratory, including speech organs; cardiovascular; reproductive; digestive; genitourinary; hemic and lymphatic; skin; and endocrine; or

(ii) Any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities. The term physical or mental impairment includes, but is not limited to, such diseases and conditions as orthopedic, visual, speech and hearing impairments, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, mental retardation, emotional illness, drug addiction, and alcoholism.

(2) Major life activities includes functions such as caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.

(3) Has a record of such an impairment means has a history of, or has been misclassified as having, a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

(4) Is regarded as having an impairment means—

(i) Has a physical or mental impairment that does not substantially limit major life activities but is treated by the Agency as constituting such a limitation;

(ii) Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits major life activities only as a result of the attitudes of others toward such impairment; or

(iii) Has none of the impairments defined in paragraph (e)(1) of this definition but is treated by the Agency as having such an impairment.

(f) Qualified individual with disabilities means—

(1) With respect to any Agency program or activity under which a person is required to perform services or to achieve a level of accomplishment, an individual with disabilities who meets the essential eligibility requirements and who can achieve the purpose of the program or activity without modifications in the program or activity that the Agency can demonstrate would result in a fundamental alteration in its nature; and

(2) With respect to employment, an individual with disabilities who meets the definition set forth in 29 CFR 1614.203, which is made applicable to this part by §707.7.

(3) With respect to any other Agency program or activity, an individual with disabilities who meets the essential eligibility requirements for participation in, or receipt of benefits from, that program or activity.

(g) Section 504 means section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Public Law 93-112, 87 Stat. 394 (29 U.S.C. 794), as amended through 1998. As used in this part, section 504 applies only to programs or activities conducted by the Agency. The Agency does not operate any programs of Federal financial assistance to other entities.

§707.4   Self-evaluation and remedial measures.

(a) The Agency shall, before February 16, 1991 evaluate its current policies and practices, and the effects thereof, that do not or may not meet the requirements of this part, and, to the extent modification of any such policies and practices is required, the Agency shall proceed to make the necessary modifications.

(b) The Agency shall provide an opportunity to interested persons, including individuals with disabilities and organizations representing individuals with disabilities, to participate in the self-evaluation process by submitting comments (both oral and written).

(c) The Agency shall, for at least three years following completion of the evaluation required under paragraph (a) of this section, maintain on file and make available for public inspection:

(1) A description of areas examined and any problems identified; and

(2) A description of any modifications made.

§707.5   Notice.

(a) The Agency shall make available to all employees, applicants, and other interested persons, as appropriate, information regarding the provisions of this part and its applicability to the programs or activities conducted by the Agency, and such information shall be made available to the extent the Staff Director finds necessary to apprise such persons of the protections against discrimination assured them by section 504 and this part.

(b) The Agency shall ensure that interested persons, including persons with impaired vision or hearing, can obtain information as to the existence and location of accessible services, activities, and facilities.

(c) The Agency shall take appropriate steps to provide individuals with disabilities with information regarding their section 504 rights under the Agency's programs or activities.

§707.6   General prohibitions against discrimination.

(a) No qualified individual with disabilities shall, on the basis of disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity conducted by the Agency.

(b)(1) The Agency, in providing any aid, benefit, or service, shall not, directly or through contractual, licensing, or other arrangements, on the basis of disability—

(i) Deny a qualified individual with disabilities the opportunity to participate in or benefit from the aid, benefit(s), or service(s);

(ii) Afford a qualified individual with disabilities an opportunity to participate in or benefit from the aid, benefit(s), or service(s) that are not equal to that afforded others;

(iii) Provide a qualified individual with disabilities with an aid, benefit(s), or service(s) that are not as effective in affording equal opportunity to obtain the same result, to gain the same benefit, or to reach the same level of achievement as that provided to others;

(iv) Provide different or separate aid, benefits, or services to individuals with disabilities or to any class of individuals with disabilities than are provided to others unless such action is necessary to provide qualified individuals with disabilities with aid, benefits, or services that are as effective as those provided to others:

(v) Deny a qualified individual with disabilities the opportunity to participate as a member of planning or advisory boards or committees; or

(vi) Otherwise limit a qualified individual with disabilities in the enjoyment of any right, privilege, advantage, or opportunity enjoyed by others receiving the aid, benefit(s), or service(s).

(2) The Agency shall not deny a qualified individual with disabilities the opportunity to participate in programs or activities that are not separate or different, despite the existence of permissibly separate or different programs or activities.

(3) The Agency shall not, directly or through contractual or other arrangements, utilize criteria or methods of administration the purpose or effect of which would—

(i) Subject qualified individuals with disabilities to discrimination on the basis of disability; or

(ii) Defeat or substantially impair accomplishment of the objectives of a program or activity with respect to individuals with disabilities.

(4) The Agency shall not in determining the site or location of a facility or activity make selections the purpose or effect of which would—

(i) Exclude individuals with disabilities from, deny them the benefits of, or otherwise subject them to discrimination under any program or activity conducted by the Agency; or

(ii) Defeat or substantially impair the accomplishment of the objectives of a program or activity with respect to individuals with disabilities.

(5) The Agency, in the selection of procurement contractors, shall not use criteria that subject qualified individuals with disabilities to discrimination on the basis of disability.

(c) The exclusion of non-disabled persons from the benefits of a program limited by Federal statute or Executive order to individuals with disabilities or the exclusion of a specific class of individuals with disabilities from a program limited by Federal statute or Executive order to a different class of individuals with disabilities is not prohibited by this part.

(d) The Agency shall administer programs and activities in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of qualified individuals with disabilities.

§707.7   Employment.

No qualified individual with disabilities shall, on the basis of disability, be subjected to discrimination in employment under any program or activity conducted by the Agency. The definitions, requirements, and procedures of section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 791), as established by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 29 CFR 1614.101 through 1614.110, shall apply to employment in programs or activities conducted by the Agency.

§707.8   Physical access.

(a) Discrimination prohibited. Except as otherwise provided in this section, no qualified individual with disabilities shall, because the Agency's facilities are inaccessible to or unusable by individuals with disabilities, be denied the benefits of, be excluded from participation in, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity conducted by the Agency.

(b) Existing facilities-program access—(1) Existing facilities defined. For the purpose of this section, existing facilities means those facilities owned, leased or used through some other arrangement by the Agency on March 28, 1990.

(2) General. The Agency shall operate each program or activity conducted in an existing facility so that the program or activity, when viewed in its entirety, is readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. This paragraph does not—

(i) Necessarily require the Agency to make each of its existing facilities accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities

(ii) Require the Agency to take any action that it can demonstrate would result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of a program or activity or in undue financial and administrative burdens. In those circumstances where Agency personnel believe that the proposed action would fundamentally alter the program or activity or would result in undue financial and administrative burdens, the Agency has the burden of proving that compliance with this paragraph would result in such alteration or burdens. The decision that compliance would result in such alteration or burdens must be made by the Staff Director or his or her designee after considering all Agency resources available for use in the funding and operation of the conducted program or activity, and must be accompanied by a written statement of the reasons for reaching that conclusion. If an action would result in such an alteration or such burdens, the Agency shall take any other action that would not result in such an alteration or such burdens but would nevertheless ensure that individuals with disabilities receive the benefits and services of the program or activity.

(3) Methods. (i) The Agency may comply with the requirements of this section through such means as redesign of equipment, reassignment of services to accessible buildings, assignment of aides to individuals with disabilities, delivery of services at alternative accessible sites, alteration of existing facilities and construction of new facilities, use of accessible vehicles, or any other methods that result in making its program or activities readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities.

(ii) The Agency is not required to make structural changes in existing facilities where other methods are effective in achieving compliance with paragraph (b)(2) of this section. The Agency, in making alterations to existing buildings to achieve program accessibility, shall meet accessibility requirements imposed by the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968, 42 U.S.C. 4151 through 4157,

(iii) In choosing among available methods for meeting the requirements of this section, the Agency shall give priority to those methods that offer programs and activities to qualified individuals with disabilities in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of qualified individuals with disabilities.

(4) Time period for compliance. The Agency shall comply with the obligations established under this section before April 17, 1990, except that where structural changes in facilities are undertaken, such changes shall be made before February 16, 1993, but in any event as expeditiously as possible.

(5) Transition plan. In the event that structural changes to facilities will be undertaken to achieve program accessibility, the Agency shall develop, before August 16, 1990, a transition plan setting forth the steps necessary to complete such changes. The Agency shall provide an opportunity to interested persons, including individuals with disabilities and organizations representing individuals with disabilities, to participate in the development of the transition plan by submitting comments (both oral and written). A copy of the transition plan shall be made available for public inspection. The plan shall, at a minimum—

(i) Identify physical obstacles in the Agency's facilities that limit the accessibility of its programs or activities to individuals with disabilities;

(ii) Describe in detail the methods that will be used to make the facilities accessible;

(iii) Specify the schedule for taking the steps necessary to achieve compliance with this paragraph and, if the time period of the transition plan is longer than 1 year, identify steps that will be taken during each year of the transition period; and

(iv) Indicate the official response for implementation of the plan.

(6) The Agency shall provide signs at a primary entrance to each of its inaccessible facilities, directing users to a location at which they can obtain information about accessible facilities. The international symbol for accessibility shall be used at each primary entrance of an accessible facility.

(c) New purchases, leases, or other arrangements. (1) Any building or facility acquired after March 28, 1990, whether by purchase, lease (other than lease renewal), or any other arrangement, shall be readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities.

(2) Nothing in this paragraph requires the Agency to take any action that it can demonstrate would result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of a program or activity or in undue financial and administrative burdens. In those circumstances where Agency personnel believe that the proposed action would fundamentally alter the program or activity or would result in undue financial and administrative burdens, the Agency has the burden of proving that compliance with this paragraph would result in such alteration or burdens. The decision that compliance would result in such alteration or burdens must be made by the Staff Director or his or her designee after considering all Agency resources available for use in the funding and operation of the conducted program or activity, and must be accompanied by a written statement of the reasons for reaching that conclusion. If an action would result in such an alteration or such burdens, the Agency shall take any other action that would not result in such an alteration or such burdens but would nevertheless ensure that individuals with disabilities receive the benefits and services of the program or activity.

(d) New construction and alterations. Each building or part of a building that is constructed or altered by, on behalf of, or for the use of the Agency shall be designed, constructed, or altered so as to be readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities in accordance with the requirements imposed by the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968, 42 U.S.C. 4151 through 4157.

§707.9   Access to communications.

(a) Discrimination prohibited. Except as otherwise provided in this section, no qualified individual with disabilities shall, because the Agency's communications are inaccessible to or unusable by individuals with disabilities, be denied the benefits of, be excluded from participation in, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity conducted by the Agency.

(b) The Agency shall take appropriate steps to ensure effective communication with applicants, participants, personnel of other Federal entities, and members of the public.

(c) Specific requirements regarding oral communications—(1) Telecommunications devices for deaf persons. (i) The Agency headquarters and each regional office shall maintain and reliably answer at least one telecommunications device for deaf persons (TDD) or equally effective telecommunications device.

(ii) The Agency shall ensure that all Agency letterhead, forms, and other documents listing any Agency telephone number list the appropriate TDD numbers.

(2) Interpreter service. (i) The Agency shall establish a reliable system for the provision of qualified interpreters to individuals with disabilities for Agency programs or activities. This provision does not require the Agency to have an interpreter on staff, but does require the Agency to be able to provide a qualified interpreter on reasonable notice.

(ii) Notice of the availability of interpreter service shall be included in all announcements notifying the public of Agency activities to which the public is invited or which it is permitted to attend, including but not limited to the Commission's meetings, consultations, hearings, press conferences, and State Advisory Committee conferences and meetings. This notice shall designate the Agency official(s) and the address, telephone and TDD number to call to request interpreter services.

(d) Specific requirements for printed communications. (1) The Agency shall establish a system to provide to individuals with disabilities appropriate reader or taping service for all Agency publications that are available to the public. This provision does not require the Agency to have a reader or taper on staff, but does require the Agency to be able to provide appropriate reader or taping service within a reasonable time and on reasonable notice. The Agency shall effectively notify qualified individuals with disabilities of the availability of reader or taping services.

(2) Notice of the availability of reader or taping service shall be included in all publications that are available to the public. This notice shall designate the Agency official(s) and the address, telephone, and TDD number to call to request interpreter services.

(e) Nothing in this section or §707.10 requires the Agency to take any action that it can demonstrate would result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of a program or activity or in undue financial and administrative burdens. In those circumstances where Agency personnel believe that the proposed action would fundamentally alter the program or activity or would result in undue financial and administrative burdens, the Agency has the burden of proving that compliance with this section or §707.10 would result in such alteration or burdens. The decision that compliance would result in such alteration or burdens must be made by the Staff Director or his or her designee after considering all Agency resources available for use in the funding and operation of the conducted program or activity and must be accompanied by a written statement of the reasons for reaching that conclusion. If an action required to comply with this paragraph would result in such an alteration or such burdens, the Agency shall take any other action that would not result in such an alteration or such burdens but would nevertheless ensure that, to the maximum extent possible, individuals with disabilities receive the benefits and services of the program or activity.

§707.10   Auxiliary aids.

(a) The Agency shall furnish appropriate auxiliary aids where necessary to afford an individual with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in, and enjoy the benefits of, a program or activity conducted by the Agency.

(b) In determining what type of auxiliary aid is necessary, the Agency shall give primary consideration to the requests of the individual with disabilities.

(c) The Agency need not provide individually prescribed devices, readers for personal use or study, or other devices of a personal nature.

§707.11   Eliminating discriminatory qualifications and selection criteria.

The Agency shall not make use of any qualification standard, eligibility requirement, or selection criterion that excludes particular classes of individuals with disabilities from an Agency program or activity merely because the persons are disabled, without regard to an individual's actual ability to participate. An irrebuttable presumption of inability to participate based upon a disability shall be permissible only if the condition would, in all instances, prevent an individual from meeting the essential eligibility requirements for participating in, or receiving the benefits of, the particular program or activity.

§707.12   Compliance procedures.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, this section applies to all allegations of discrimination on the basis of disability in programs or activities conducted by the Agency.

(b) The Agency shall process complaints alleging violations of section 504 with respect to employment according to the procedures established in 29 U.S.C. 791 by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 29 CFR part 1613 pursuant to section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 791).

(c) Responsibility for implementation and operation of this section shall be vested in the Office of General Counsel.

(d) The Agency shall accept and investigate all complete complaints for which it has jurisdiction. All complete complaints must be filed within 180 days of the alleged act of discrimination. The Agency may extend this time period for good cause.

(e) If the Agency receives a complaint over which it does not have jurisdiction, it shall promptly notify the complainant and shall make reasonable efforts to refer the complaint to the appropriate Government entity.

(f) The Agency shall notify the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board upon receipt of any complaint alleging that a building or facility that is subject to the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968, 42 U.S.C. 4151 through 4157, is not readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities.

(g) Within 180 days of the receipt of a complete complaint for which it has jurisdiction, the Agency shall notify the complainant of the results of the investigation in a letter containing—

(1) Findings of fact and conclusions of law;

(2) A description of a remedy for each violation found; and

(3) A notice of the right to appeal.

(h) Appeals of the findings of fact and conclusions of law or remedies must be filed by the complainant within 90 days of receipt from the Agency of the letter required by paragraph (g) of this section. The Staff Director may extend this time for good cause.

(i) Timely appeals shall be accepted and processed by the Staff Director or the Staff Director's designee.

(j) The Agency shall notify the complainant in writing of the results of the appeal within 60 days of the receipt of the request. If the head of the Agency determines that additional information is needed from the complainant, it shall have 60 days from the date it receives the additional information to make its determination on the appeal.

(k) The time limits cited in paragraphs (d), (g), (h), and (j) of this section may be extended for an individual case when the Staff Director determines that there is good cause, based on the particular circumstances of that case, for the extension.

(l) The Agency may delegate its authority for conducting complaint investigations to other Federal agencies; however, the authority for making the final determination may not be delegated to another Agency.



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