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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of December 4, 2019

Title 28Chapter IPart 36 → Subpart C


Title 28: Judicial Administration
PART 36—NONDISCRIMINATION ON THE BASIS OF DISABILITY BY PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS AND IN COMMERCIAL FACILITIES


Subpart C—Specific Requirements


Contents
§36.301   Eligibility criteria.
§36.302   Modifications in policies, practices, or procedures.
§36.303   Auxiliary aids and services.
§36.304   Removal of barriers.
§36.305   Alternatives to barrier removal.
§36.306   Personal devices and services.
§36.307   Accessible or special goods.
§36.308   Seating in assembly areas.
§36.309   Examinations and courses.
§36.310   Transportation provided by public accommodations.
§36.311   Mobility devices.
§§36.312-36.399   [Reserved]

§36.301   Eligibility criteria.

(a) General. A public accommodation shall not impose or apply eligibility criteria that screen out or tend to screen out an individual with a disability or any class of individuals with disabilities from fully and equally enjoying any goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations, unless such criteria can be shown to be necessary for the provision of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations being offered.

(b) Safety. A public accommodation may impose legitimate safety requirements that are necessary for safe operation. Safety requirements must be based on actual risks and not on mere speculation, stereotypes, or generalizations about individuals with disabilities.

(c) Charges. A public accommodation may not impose a surcharge on a particular individual with a disability or any group of individuals with disabilities to cover the costs of measures, such as the provision of auxiliary aids, barrier removal, alternatives to barrier removal, and reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or procedures, that are required to provide that individual or group with the nondiscriminatory treatment required by the Act or this part.

§36.302   Modifications in policies, practices, or procedures.

(a) General. A public accommodation shall make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or procedures, when the modifications are necessary to afford goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations to individuals with disabilities, unless the public accommodation can demonstrate that making the modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations.

(b) Specialties—(1) General. A public accommodation may refer an individual with a disability to another public accommodation, if that individual is seeking, or requires, treatment or services outside of the referring public accommodation's area of specialization, and if, in the normal course of its operations, the referring public accommodation would make a similar referral for an individual without a disability who seeks or requires the same treatment or services.

(2) Illustration—medical specialties. A health care provider may refer an individual with a disability to another provider, if that individual is seeking, or requires, treatment or services outside of the referring provider's area of specialization, and if the referring provider would make a similar referral for an individual without a disability who seeks or requires the same treatment or services. A physician who specializes in treating only a particular condition cannot refuse to treat an individual with a disability for that condition, but is not required to treat the individual for a different condition.

(c) Service animals—(1) General. Generally, a public accommodation shall modify policies, practices, or procedures to permit the use of a service animal by an individual with a disability.

(2) Exceptions. A public accommodation may ask an individual with a disability to remove a service animal from the premises if:

(i) The animal is out of control and the animal's handler does not take effective action to control it; or

(ii) The animal is not housebroken.

(3) If an animal is properly excluded. If a public accommodation properly excludes a service animal under §36.302(c)(2), it shall give the individual with a disability the opportunity to obtain goods, services, and accommodations without having the service animal on the premises.

(4) Animal under handler's control. A service animal shall be under the control of its handler. A service animal shall have a harness, leash, or other tether, unless either the handler is unable because of a disability to use a harness, leash, or other tether, or the use of a harness, leash, or other tether would interfere with the service animal's safe, effective performance of work or tasks, in which case the service animal must be otherwise under the handler's control (e.g., voice control, signals, or other effective means).

(5) Care or supervision. A public accommodation is not responsible for the care or supervision of a service animal.

(6) Inquiries. A public accommodation shall not ask about the nature or extent of a person's disability, but may make two inquiries to determine whether an animal qualifies as a service animal. A public accommodation may ask if the animal is required because of a disability and what work or task the animal has been trained to perform. A public accommodation shall not require documentation, such as proof that the animal has been certified, trained, or licensed as a service animal. Generally, a public accommodation may not make these inquiries about a service animal when it is readily apparent that an animal is trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability (e.g., the dog is observed guiding an individual who is blind or has low vision, pulling a person's wheelchair, or providing assistance with stability or balance to an individual with an observable mobility disability).

(7) Access to areas of a public accommodation. Individuals with disabilities shall be permitted to be accompanied by their service animals in all areas of a place of public accommodation where members of the public, program participants, clients, customers, patrons, or invitees, as relevant, are allowed to go.

(8) Surcharges. A public accommodation shall not ask or require an individual with a disability to pay a surcharge, even if people accompanied by pets are required to pay fees, or to comply with other requirements generally not applicable to people without pets. If a public accommodation normally charges individuals for the damage they cause, an individual with a disability may be charged for damage caused by his or her service animal.

(9) Miniature horses. (i) A public accommodation shall make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or procedures to permit the use of a miniature horse by an individual with a disability if the miniature horse has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of the individual with a disability.

(ii) Assessment factors. In determining whether reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or procedures can be made to allow a miniature horse into a specific facility, a public accommodation shall consider—

(A) The type, size, and weight of the miniature horse and whether the facility can accommodate these features;

(B) Whether the handler has sufficient control of the miniature horse;

(C) Whether the miniature horse is housebroken; and

(D) Whether the miniature horse's presence in a specific facility compromises legitimate safety requirements that are necessary for safe operation.

(iii) Other requirements. Sections 36.302(c)(3) through (c)(8), which apply to service animals, shall also apply to miniature horses.

(d) Check-out aisles. A store with check-out aisles shall ensure that an adequate number of accessible check-out aisles are kept open during store hours, or shall otherwise modify its policies and practices, in order to ensure that an equivalent level of convenient service is provided to individuals with disabilities as is provided to others. If only one check-out aisle is accessible, and it is generally used for express service, one way of providing equivalent service is to allow persons with mobility impairments to make all their purchases at that aisle.

(e)(1) Reservations made by places of lodging. A public accommodation that owns, leases (or leases to), or operates a place of lodging shall, with respect to reservations made by any means, including by telephone, in-person, or through a third party—

(i) Modify its policies, practices, or procedures to ensure that individuals with disabilities can make reservations for accessible guest rooms during the same hours and in the same manner as individuals who do not need accessible rooms;

(ii) Identify and describe accessible features in the hotels and guest rooms offered through its reservations service in enough detail to reasonably permit individuals with disabilities to assess independently whether a given hotel or guest room meets his or her accessibility needs;

(iii) Ensure that accessible guest rooms are held for use by individuals with disabilities until all other guest rooms of that type have been rented and the accessible room requested is the only remaining room of that type;

(iv) Reserve, upon request, accessible guest rooms or specific types of guest rooms and ensure that the guest rooms requested are blocked and removed from all reservations systems; and

(v) Guarantee that the specific accessible guest room reserved through its reservations service is held for the reserving customer, regardless of whether a specific room is held in response to reservations made by others.

(2) Exception. The requirements in paragraphs (iii), (iv), and (v) of this section do not apply to reservations for individual guest rooms or other units not owned or substantially controlled by the entity that owns, leases, or operates the overall facility.

(3) Compliance date. The requirements in this section will apply to reservations made on or after March 15, 2012.

(f) Ticketing. (1)(i) For the purposes of this section, “accessible seating” is defined as wheelchair spaces and companion seats that comply with sections 221 and 802 of the 2010 Standards along with any other seats required to be offered for sale to the individual with a disability pursuant to paragraph (4) of this section.

(ii) Ticket sales. A public accommodation that sells tickets for a single event or series of events shall modify its policies, practices, or procedures to ensure that individuals with disabilities have an equal opportunity to purchase tickets for accessible seating—

(A) During the same hours;

(B) During the same stages of ticket sales, including, but not limited to, pre-sales, promotions, lotteries, wait-lists, and general sales;

(C) Through the same methods of distribution;

(D) In the same types and numbers of ticketing sales outlets, including telephone service, in-person ticket sales at the facility, or third-party ticketing services, as other patrons; and

(E) Under the same terms and conditions as other tickets sold for the same event or series of events.

(2) Identification of available accessible seating. A public accommodation that sells or distributes tickets for a single event or series of events shall, upon inquiry—

(i) Inform individuals with disabilities, their companions, and third parties purchasing tickets for accessible seating on behalf of individuals with disabilities of the locations of all unsold or otherwise available accessible seating for any ticketed event or events at the facility;

(ii) Identify and describe the features of available accessible seating in enough detail to reasonably permit an individual with a disability to assess independently whether a given accessible seating location meets his or her accessibility needs; and

(iii) Provide materials, such as seating maps, plans, brochures, pricing charts, or other information, that identify accessible seating and information relevant thereto with the same text or visual representations as other seats, if such materials are provided to the general public.

(3) Ticket prices. The price of tickets for accessible seating for a single event or series of events shall not be set higher than the price for other tickets in the same seating section for the same event or series of events. Tickets for accessible seating must be made available at all price levels for every event or series of events. If tickets for accessible seating at a particular price level cannot be provided because barrier removal in an existing facility is not readily achievable, then the percentage of tickets for accessible seating that should have been available at that price level but for the barriers (determined by the ratio of the total number of tickets at that price level to the total number of tickets in the assembly area) shall be offered for purchase, at that price level, in a nearby or similar accessible location.

(4) Purchasing multiple tickets. (i) General. For each ticket for a wheelchair space purchased by an individual with a disability or a third-party purchasing such a ticket at his or her request, a public accommodation shall make available for purchase three additional tickets for seats in the same row that are contiguous with the wheelchair space, provided that at the time of purchase there are three such seats available. A public accommodation is not required to provide more than three contiguous seats for each wheelchair space. Such seats may include wheelchair spaces.

(ii) Insufficient additional contiguous seats available. If patrons are allowed to purchase at least four tickets, and there are fewer than three such additional contiguous seat tickets available for purchase, a public accommodation shall offer the next highest number of such seat tickets available for purchase and shall make up the difference by offering tickets for sale for seats that are as close as possible to the accessible seats.

(iii) Sales limited to fewer than four tickets. If a public accommodation limits sales of tickets to fewer than four seats per patron, then the public accommodation is only obligated to offer as many seats to patrons with disabilities, including the ticket for the wheelchair space, as it would offer to patrons without disabilities.

(iv) Maximum number of tickets patrons may purchase exceeds four. If patrons are allowed to purchase more than four tickets, a public accommodation shall allow patrons with disabilities to purchase up to the same number of tickets, including the ticket for the wheelchair space.

(v) Group sales. If a group includes one or more individuals who need to use accessible seating because of a mobility disability or because their disability requires the use of the accessible features that are provided in accessible seating, the group shall be placed in a seating area with accessible seating so that, if possible, the group can sit together. If it is necessary to divide the group, it should be divided so that the individuals in the group who use wheelchairs are not isolated from their group.

(5) Hold and release of tickets for accessible seating. (i) Tickets for accessible seating may be released for sale in certain limited circumstances. A public accommodation may release unsold tickets for accessible seating for sale to individuals without disabilities for their own use for a single event or series of events only under the following circumstances—

(A) When all non-accessible tickets (excluding luxury boxes, club boxes, or suites) have been sold;

(B) When all non-accessible tickets in a designated seating area have been sold and the tickets for accessible seating are being released in the same designated area; or

(C) When all non-accessible tickets in a designated price category have been sold and the tickets for accessible seating are being released within the same designated price category.

(ii) No requirement to release accessible tickets. Nothing in this paragraph requires a facility to release tickets for accessible seating to individuals without disabilities for their own use.

(iii) Release of series-of-events tickets on a series-of-events basis. (A) Series-of-events tickets sell-out when no ownership rights are attached. When series-of-events tickets are sold out and a public accommodation releases and sells accessible seating to individuals without disabilities for a series of events, the public accommodation shall establish a process that prevents the automatic reassignment of the accessible seating to such ticket holders for future seasons, future years, or future series, so that individuals with disabilities who require the features of accessible seating and who become newly eligible to purchase tickets when these series-of-events tickets are available for purchase have an opportunity to do so.

(B) Series-of-events tickets when ownership rights are attached. When series-of-events tickets with an ownership right in accessible seating areas are forfeited or otherwise returned to a public accommodation, the public accommodation shall make reasonable modifications in its policies, practices, or procedures to afford individuals with mobility disabilities or individuals with disabilities that require the features of accessible seating an opportunity to purchase such tickets in accessible seating areas.

(6) Ticket transfer. Individuals with disabilities who hold tickets for accessible seating shall be permitted to transfer tickets to third parties under the same terms and conditions and to the same extent as other spectators holding the same type of tickets, whether they are for a single event or series of events.

(7) Secondary ticket market. (i) A public accommodation shall modify its policies, practices, or procedures to ensure that an individual with a disability may use a ticket acquired in the secondary ticket market under the same terms and conditions as other individuals who hold a ticket acquired in the secondary ticket market for the same event or series of events.

(ii) If an individual with a disability acquires a ticket or series of tickets to an inaccessible seat through the secondary market, a public accommodation shall make reasonable modifications to its policies, practices, or procedures to allow the individual to exchange his ticket for one to an accessible seat in a comparable location if accessible seating is vacant at the time the individual presents the ticket to the public accommodation.

(8) Prevention of fraud in purchase of tickets for accessible seating. A public accommodation may not require proof of disability, including, for example, a doctor's note, before selling tickets for accessible seating.

(i) Single-event tickets. For the sale of single-event tickets, it is permissible to inquire whether the individual purchasing the tickets for accessible seating has a mobility disability or a disability that requires the use of the accessible features that are provided in accessible seating, or is purchasing the tickets for an individual who has a mobility disability or a disability that requires the use of the accessible features that are provided in the accessible seating.

(ii) Series-of-events tickets. For series-of-events tickets, it is permissible to ask the individual purchasing the tickets for accessible seating to attest in writing that the accessible seating is for a person who has a mobility disability or a disability that requires the use of the accessible features that are provided in the accessible seating.

(iii) Investigation of fraud. A public accommodation may investigate the potential misuse of accessible seating where there is good cause to believe that such seating has been purchased fraudulently.

(g) Reasonable modifications for individuals “regarded as” having a disability. A public accommodation is not required to provide a reasonable modification to an individual who meets the definition of “disability” solely under the “regarded as” prong of the definition of “disability” at §36.105(a)(1)(iii).

[Order No. 1513-91, 56 FR 35592, July 26, 1991, as amended by AG Order No. 3181-2010, 75 FR 56251, Sept. 15, 2010; 76 FR 13287, Mar. 11, 2011; AG Order 3702-2016, 81 FR 53243, Aug. 11, 2016]

§36.303   Auxiliary aids and services.

(a) General. A public accommodation shall take those steps that may be necessary to ensure that no individual with a disability is excluded, denied services, segregated or otherwise treated differently than other individuals because of the absence of auxiliary aids and services, unless the public accommodation can demonstrate that taking those steps would fundamentally alter the nature of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations being offered or would result in an undue burden, i.e., significant difficulty or expense.

(b) Examples. The term “auxiliary aids and services” includes—

(1) Qualified interpreters on-site or through video remote interpreting (VRI) services; notetakers; real-time computer-aided transcription services; written materials; exchange of written notes; telephone handset amplifiers; assistive listening devices; assistive listening systems; telephones compatible with hearing aids; closed caption decoders; open and closed captioning, including real-time captioning; voice, text, and video-based telecommunications products and systems, including text telephones (TTYs), videophones, and captioned telephones, or equally effective telecommunications devices; videotext displays; accessible electronic and information technology; or other effective methods of making aurally delivered information available to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing;

(2) Qualified readers; taped texts; audio recordings; Brailled materials and displays; screen reader software; magnification software; optical readers; secondary auditory programs (SAP); large print materials; accessible electronic and information technology; or other effective methods of making visually delivered materials available to individuals who are blind or have low vision;

(3) Acquisition or modification of equipment or devices; and

(4) Other similar services and actions.

(c) Effective communication. (1) A public accommodation shall furnish appropriate auxiliary aids and services where necessary to ensure effective communication with individuals with disabilities. This includes an obligation to provide effective communication to companions who are individuals with disabilities.

(i) For purposes of this section, “companion” means a family member, friend, or associate of an individual seeking access to, or participating in, the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of a public accommodation, who, along with such individual, is an appropriate person with whom the public accommodation should communicate.

(ii) The type of auxiliary aid or service necessary to ensure effective communication will vary in accordance with the method of communication used by the individual; the nature, length, and complexity of the communication involved; and the context in which the communication is taking place. A public accommodation should consult with individuals with disabilities whenever possible to determine what type of auxiliary aid is needed to ensure effective communication, but the ultimate decision as to what measures to take rests with the public accommodation, provided that the method chosen results in effective communication. In order to be effective, auxiliary aids and services must be provided in accessible formats, in a timely manner, and in such a way as to protect the privacy and independence of the individual with a disability.

(2) A public accommodation shall not require an individual with a disability to bring another individual to interpret for him or her.

(3) A public accommodation shall not rely on an adult accompanying an individual with a disability to interpret or facilitate communication, except—

(i) In an emergency involving an imminent threat to the safety or welfare of an individual or the public where there is no interpreter available; or

(ii) Where the individual with a disability specifically requests that the accompanying adult interpret or facilitate communication, the accompanying adult agrees to provide such assistance, and reliance on that adult for such assistance is appropriate under the circumstances.

(4) A public accommodation shall not rely on a minor child to interpret or facilitate communication, except in an emergency involving an imminent threat to the safety or welfare of an individual or the public where there is no interpreter available.

(d) Telecommunications. (1) When a public accommodation uses an automated-attendant system, including, but not limited to, voicemail and messaging, or an interactive voice response system, for receiving and directing incoming telephone calls, that system must provide effective real-time communication with individuals using auxiliary aids and services, including text telephones (TTYs) and all forms of FCC-approved telecommunications relay systems, including Internet-based relay systems.

(2) A public accommodation that offers a customer, client, patient, or participant the opportunity to make outgoing telephone calls using the public accommodation's equipment on more than an incidental convenience basis shall make available accessible public telephones, TTYs, or other telecommunications products and systems for use by an individual who is deaf or hard of hearing, or has a speech impairment.

(3) A public accommodation may use relay services in place of direct telephone communication for receiving or making telephone calls incident to its operations.

(4) A public accommodation shall respond to telephone calls from a telecommunications relay service established under title IV of the ADA in the same manner that it responds to other telephone calls.

(5) This part does not require a public accommodation to use a TTY for receiving or making telephone calls incident to its operations.

(e) Closed caption decoders. Places of lodging that provide televisions in five or more guest rooms and hospitals that provide televisions for patient use shall provide, upon request, a means for decoding captions for use by an individual with impaired hearing.

(f) Video remote interpreting (VRI) services. A public accommodation that chooses to provide qualified interpreters via VRI service shall ensure that it provides—

(1) Real-time, full-motion video and audio over a dedicated high-speed, wide-bandwidth video connection or wireless connection that delivers high-quality video images that do not produce lags, choppy, blurry, or grainy images, or irregular pauses in communication;

(2) A sharply delineated image that is large enough to display the interpreter's face, arms, hands, and fingers, and the participating individual's face, arms, hands, and fingers, regardless of his or her body position;

(3) A clear, audible transmission of voices; and

(4) Adequate training to users of the technology and other involved individuals so that they may quickly and efficiently set up and operate the VRI.

(g) Movie theater captioning and audio description—(1) Definitions. For the purposes of this paragraph (g)—

(i) Analog movie means a movie exhibited in analog film format.

(ii) Audio description means the spoken narration of a movie's key visual elements, such as the action, settings, facial expressions, costumes, and scene changes. Audio description generally requires the use of an audio description device for delivery to a patron.

(iii) Audio description device means the individual device that a patron may use at any seat to hear audio description.

(iv) Captioning device means the individual device that a patron may use at any seat to view closed movie captioning.

(v) Closed movie captioning means the written display of a movie's dialogue and non-speech information, such as music, the identity of the character who is speaking, and other sounds or sound effects. Closed movie captioning generally requires the use of a captioning device for delivery of the captions to the patron.

(vi) Digital movie means a movie exhibited in digital cinema format.

(vii) Movie theater means a facility, other than a drive-in theater, that is owned, leased by, leased to, or operated by a public accommodation and that contains one or more auditoriums that are used primarily for the purpose of showing movies to the public for a fee.

(viii) Open movie captioning means the written on-screen display of a movie's dialogue and non-speech information, such as music, the identity of the character who is speaking, and other sounds and sound effects.

(2) General. A public accommodation shall ensure that its movie theater auditoriums provide closed movie captioning and audio description whenever they exhibit a digital movie that is distributed with such features. Application of the requirements of paragraph (g) of this section is deferred for any movie theater auditorium that exhibits analog movies exclusively, but may be addressed in a future rulemaking.

(3) Minimum requirements for captioning devices. A public accommodation shall provide a minimum number of fully operational captioning devices at its movie theaters in accordance with the following Table:

Number of movie theater auditoriums exhibiting
digital movies
Minimum
required
number of
captioning
devices
14
2-76
8-158
16 +12

(4) Minimum requirements for audio description devices. (i) A public accommodation shall provide at its movie theaters a minimum of one fully operational audio description device for every two movie theater auditoriums exhibiting digital movies and no less than two devices per movie theater. When calculation of the required number of devices results in a fraction, the next greater whole number of devices shall be provided.

(ii) A public accommodation may comply with the requirements in paragraph (g)(4)(i) of this section by using the existing assistive listening receivers that the public accommodation is already required to provide at its movie theaters in accordance with Table 219.3 of the 2010 Standards, if those receivers have a minimum of two channels available for sound transmission to patrons.

(5) Performance requirements for captioning devices and audio description devices. Each captioning device and each audio description device must be properly maintained by the movie theater to ensure that each device is fully operational, available to patrons in a timely manner, and easily usable by patrons. Captioning devices must be adjustable so that the captions can be viewed as if they are on or near the movie screen, and must provide clear, sharp images in order to ensure readability of captions.

(6) Alternative technologies. (i) A public accommodation may meet its obligation to provide captioning and audio description in its movie theaters to persons with disabilities through any technology so long as that technology provides communication as effective as that provided to movie patrons without disabilities.

(ii) A public accommodation may use open movie captioning as an alternative to complying with the requirements specified in paragraph (g)(3) of this section, either by providing open movie captioning at all showings of all movies available with captioning, or whenever requested by or for an individual who is deaf or hard of hearing prior to the start of the movie.

(7) Compliance date for providing captioning and audio description. (i) A public accommodation must comply with the requirements in paragraphs (g)(2)-(6) of this section in its movie theaters that exhibit digital movies by June 2, 2018.

(ii) If a public accommodation converts a movie theater auditorium from an analog projection system to a system that allows it to exhibit digital movies after December 2, 2016, then that auditorium must comply with the requirements in paragraph (g) of this section by December 2, 2018, or within 6 months of that auditorium's complete installation of a digital projection system, whichever is later.

(8) Notice. On or after January 17, 2017, whenever a public accommodation provides captioning and audio description in a movie theater auditorium exhibiting digital movies, it shall ensure that all notices of movie showings and times at the box office and other ticketing locations, on Web sites and mobile apps, in newspapers, and over the telephone, inform potential patrons of the movies or showings that are available with captioning and audio description. This paragraph does not impose any obligation on third parties that provide information about movie theater showings and times, so long as the third party is not part of or subject to the control of the public accommodation.

(9) Operational requirements. On or after January 17, 2017, whenever a public accommodation provides captioning and audio description in a movie theater auditorium exhibiting digital movies, it shall ensure that at least one employee is available at the movie theater to assist patrons seeking or using captioning or audio description whenever a digital movie is exhibited with these features. Such assistance includes the ability to—

(i) Locate all necessary equipment that is stored and quickly activate the equipment and any other ancillary systems required for the use of the captioning devices and audio description devices;

(ii) Operate and address problems with all captioning and audio description equipment prior to and during the movie;

(iii) Turn on open movie captions if the movie theater is relying on open movie captioning to meet the requirements of paragraph (g)(3) of this section; and

(iv) Communicate effectively with individuals with disabilities, including those who are deaf or hard of hearing or who are blind or have low vision, about how to use, operate, and resolve problems with captioning devices and audio description devices.

(10) This section does not require the use of open movie captioning as a means of compliance with paragraph (g) of this section, even if providing closed movie captioning for digital movies would be an undue burden.

(h) Alternatives. If provision of a particular auxiliary aid or service by a public accommodation would result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations being offered or in an undue burden, i.e., significant difficulty or expense, the public accommodation shall provide an alternative auxiliary aid or service, if one exists, that would not result in an alteration or such burden but would nevertheless ensure that, to the maximum extent possible, individuals with disabilities receive the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations offered by the public accommodation.

[Order No. 1513-91, 56 FR 35592, July 26, 1991, as amended by AG Order No. 3181-2010, 75 FR 56253, Sept. 15, 2010; AG Order 3779-2016, 81 FR 87378, Dec. 2, 2016]

§36.304   Removal of barriers.

(a) General. A public accommodation shall remove architectural barriers in existing facilities, including communication barriers that are structural in nature, where such removal is readily achievable, i.e., easily accomplishable and able to be carried out without much difficulty or expense.

(b) Examples. Examples of steps to remove barriers include, but are not limited to, the following actions—

(1) Installing ramps;

(2) Making curb cuts in sidewalks and entrances;

(3) Repositioning shelves;

(4) Rearranging tables, chairs, vending machines, display racks, and other furniture;

(5) Repositioning telephones;

(6) Adding raised markings on elevator control buttons;

(7) Installing flashing alarm lights;

(8) Widening doors;

(9) Installing offset hinges to widen doorways;

(10) Eliminating a turnstile or providing an alternative accessible path;

(11) Installing accessible door hardware;

(12) Installing grab bars in toilet stalls;

(13) Rearranging toilet partitions to increase maneuvering space;

(14) Insulating lavatory pipes under sinks to prevent burns;

(15) Installing a raised toilet seat;

(16) Installing a full-length bathroom mirror;

(17) Repositioning the paper towel dispenser in a bathroom;

(18) Creating designated accessible parking spaces;

(19) Installing an accessible paper cup dispenser at an existing inaccessible water fountain;

(20) Removing high pile, low density carpeting; or

(21) Installing vehicle hand controls.

(c) Priorities. A public accommodation is urged to take measures to comply with the barrier removal requirements of this section in accordance with the following order of priorities.

(1) First, a public accommodation should take measures to provide access to a place of public accommodation from public sidewalks, parking, or public transportation. These measures include, for example, installing an entrance ramp, widening entrances, and providing accessible parking spaces.

(2) Second, a public accommodation should take measures to provide access to those areas of a place of public accommodation where goods and services are made available to the public. These measures include, for example, adjusting the layout of display racks, rearranging tables, providing Brailled and raised character signage, widening doors, providing visual alarms, and installing ramps.

(3) Third, a public accommodation should take measures to provide access to restroom facilities. These measures include, for example, removal of obstructing furniture or vending machines, widening of doors, installation of ramps, providing accessible signage, widening of toilet stalls, and installation of grab bars.

(4) Fourth, a public accommodation should take any other measures necessary to provide access to the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of a place of public accommodation.

(d) Relationship to alterations requirements of subpart D of this part. (1) Except as provided in paragraph (d)(3) of this section, measures taken to comply with the barrier removal requirements of this section shall comply with the applicable requirements for alterations in §36.402 and §§36.404 through 36.406 of this part for the element being altered. The path of travel requirements of §36.403 shall not apply to measures taken solely to comply with the barrier removal requirements of this section.

(d)(2)(i) Safe harbor. Elements that have not been altered in existing facilities on or after March 15, 2012 and that comply with the corresponding technical and scoping specifications for those elements in the 1991 Standards are not required to be modified in order to comply with the requirements set forth in the 2010 Standards.

(ii)(A) Before March 15, 2012, elements in existing facilities that do not comply with the corresponding technical and scoping specifications for those elements in the 1991 Standards must be modified to the extent readily achievable to comply with either the 1991 Standards or the 2010 Standards. Noncomplying newly constructed and altered elements may also be subject to the requirements of §36.406(a)(5).

(B) On or after March 15, 2012, elements in existing facilities that do not comply with the corresponding technical and scoping specifications for those elements in the 1991 Standards must be modified to the extent readily achievable to comply with the requirements set forth in the 2010 Standards. Noncomplying newly constructed and altered elements may also be subject to the requirements of §36.406(a)(5).

(iii) The safe harbor provided in §36.304(d)(2)(i) does not apply to those elements in existing facilities that are subject to supplemental requirements (i.e., elements for which there are neither technical nor scoping specifications in the 1991 Standards), and therefore those elements must be modified to the extent readily achievable to comply with the 2010 Standards. Noncomplying newly constructed and altered elements may also be subject to the requirements of §36.406(a)(5). Elements in the 2010 Standards not eligible for the element-by-element safe harbor are identified as follows—

(A) Residential facilities and dwelling units, sections 233 and 809.

(B) Amusement rides, sections 234 and 1002; 206.2.9; 216.12.

(C) Recreational boating facilities, sections 235 and 1003; 206.2.10.

(D) Exercise machines and equipment, sections 236 and 1004; 206.2.13.

(E) Fishing piers and platforms, sections 237 and 1005; 206.2.14.

(F) Golf facilities, sections 238 and 1006; 206.2.15.

(G) Miniature golf facilities, sections 239 and 1007; 206.2.16.

(H) Play areas, sections 240 and 1008; 206.2.17.

(I) Saunas and steam rooms, sections 241 and 612.

(J) Swimming pools, wading pools, and spas, sections 242 and 1009.

(K) Shooting facilities with firing positions, sections 243 and 1010.

(L) Miscellaneous. (1) Team or player seating, section 221.2.1.4.

(2) Accessible route to bowling lanes, section 206.2.11.

(3) Accessible route in court sports facilities, section 206.2.12.

(3) If, as a result of compliance with the alterations requirements specified in paragraph (d)(1) and (d)(2) of this section, the measures required to remove a barrier would not be readily achievable, a public accommodation may take other readily achievable measures to remove the barrier that do not fully comply with the specified requirements. Such measures include, for example, providing a ramp with a steeper slope or widening a doorway to a narrower width than that mandated by the alterations requirements. No measure shall be taken, however, that poses a significant risk to the health or safety of individuals with disabilities or others.

Appendix to §36.304(d)

Compliance Dates and Applicable Standards for Barrier Removal and Safe Harbor

DateRequirementApplicable standards
Before March 15, 2012Elements that do not comply with the requirements for those elements in the 1991 Standards must be modified to the extent readily achievable
Note: Noncomplying newly constructed and altered elements may also be subject to the requirements of §36.406(a)(5).
1991 Standards or 2010 Standards.
On or after March 15, 2012Elements that do not comply with the requirements for those elements in the 1991 Standards or that do not comply with the supplemental requirements (i.e., elements for which there are neither technical nor scoping specifications in the 1991 Standards), must be modified to the extent readily achievable. There is an exception for existing pools, wading pools, and spas built before March 15, 2012 [See §36.304(g)(5)]
Note: Noncomplying newly constructed and altered elements may also be subject to the requirements of §36.406(a)(5).
2010 Standards.
On or after January 31, 2013For existing pools, wading pools, and spas built before March 15, 2012, elements that do not comply with the supplemental requirements for entry to pools, wading pools, and spas must be modified to the extent readily achievable [See §36.304(g)(5)]Sections 242 and 1009 of the 2010 Standards.
Elements not altered after March 15, 2012Elements that comply with the requirements for those elements in the 1991 Standards do not need to be modifiedSafe Harbor.

(e) Portable ramps. Portable ramps should be used to comply with this section only when installation of a permanent ramp is not readily achievable. In order to avoid any significant risk to the health or safety of individuals with disabilities or others in using portable ramps, due consideration shall be given to safety features such as nonslip surfaces, railings, anchoring, and strength of materials.

(f) Selling or serving space. The rearrangement of temporary or movable structures, such as furniture, equipment, and display racks is not readily achievable to the extent that it results in a significant loss of selling or serving space.

(g) Limitation on barrier removal obligations. (1) The requirements for barrier removal under §36.304 shall not be interpreted to exceed the standards for alterations in subpart D of this part.

(2) To the extent that relevant standards for alterations are not provided in subpart D of this part, then the requirements of §36.304 shall not be interpreted to exceed the standards for new construction in subpart D of this part.

(3) This section does not apply to rolling stock and other conveyances to the extent that §36.310 applies to rolling stock and other conveyances.

(4) This requirement does not apply to guest rooms in existing facilities that are places of lodging where the guest rooms are not owned by the entity that owns, leases, or operates the overall facility and the physical features of the guest room interiors are controlled by their individual owners.

(5) With respect to facilities built before March 15, 2012, the requirements in this section for accessible means of entry for swimming pools, wading pools, and spas, as set forth in sections 242 and 1009 of the 2010 Standards, shall not apply until January 31, 2013.

[Order No. 1513-91, 56 FR 35592, July 26, 1991, as amended by AG Order No. 3181-2010, 75 FR 56254, Sept. 15, 2010; AG Order No. 3332-2012, 77 FR 30179, May 21, 2012]

§36.305   Alternatives to barrier removal.

(a) General. Where a public accommodation can demonstrate that barrier removal is not readily achievable, the public accommodation shall not fail to make its goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations available through alternative methods, if those methods are readily achievable.

(b) Examples. Examples of alternatives to barrier removal include, but are not limited to, the following actions—

(1) Providing curb service or home delivery;

(2) Retrieving merchandise from inaccessible shelves or racks;

(3) Relocating activities to accessible locations;

(c) Multiscreen cinemas. If it is not readily achievable to remove barriers to provide access by persons with mobility impairments to all of the theaters of a multiscreen cinema, the cinema shall establish a film rotation schedule that provides reasonable access for individuals who use wheelchairs to all films. Reasonable notice shall be provided to the public as to the location and time of accessible showings.

§36.306   Personal devices and services.

This part does not require a public accommodation to provide its customers, clients, or participants with personal devices, such as wheelchairs; individually prescribed devices, such as prescription eyeglasses or hearing aids; or services of a personal nature including assistance in eating, toileting, or dressing.

§36.307   Accessible or special goods.

(a) This part does not require a public accommodation to alter its inventory to include accessible or special goods that are designed for, or facilitate use by, individuals with disabilities.

(b) A public accommodation shall order accessible or special goods at the request of an individual with disabilities, if, in the normal course of its operation, it makes special orders on request for unstocked goods, and if the accessible or special goods can be obtained from a supplier with whom the public accommodation customarily does business.

(c) Examples of accessible or special goods include items such as Brailled versions of books, books on audio cassettes, closed-captioned video tapes, special sizes or lines of clothing, and special foods to meet particular dietary needs.

§36.308   Seating in assembly areas.

A public accommodation shall ensure that wheelchair spaces and companion seats are provided in each specialty seating area that provides spectators with distinct services or amenities that generally are not available to other spectators. If it is not readily achievable for a public accommodation to place wheelchair spaces and companion seats in each such specialty seating area, it shall provide those services or amenities to individuals with disabilities and their companions at other designated accessible locations at no additional cost. The number of wheelchair spaces and companion seats provided in specialty seating areas shall be included in, rather than in addition to, wheelchair space requirements set forth in table 221.2.1.1 in the 2010 Standards.

[AG Order No. 3181-2010, 75 FR 56255, Sept. 15, 2010]

§36.309   Examinations and courses.

(a) General. Any private entity that offers examinations or courses related to applications, licensing, certification, or credentialing for secondary or postsecondary education, professional, or trade purposes shall offer such examinations or courses in a place and manner accessible to persons with disabilities or offer alternative accessible arrangements for such individuals.

(b) Examinations. (1) Any private entity offering an examination covered by this section must assure that—

(i) The examination is selected and administered so as to best ensure that, when the examination is administered to an individual with a disability that impairs sensory, manual, or speaking skills, the examination results accurately reflect the individual's aptitude or achievement level or whatever other factor the examination purports to measure, rather than reflecting the individual's impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills (except where those skills are the factors that the examination purports to measure);

(ii) An examination that is designed for individuals with impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills is offered at equally convenient locations, as often, and in as timely a manner as are other examinations; and

(iii) The examination is administered in facilities that are accessible to individuals with disabilities or alternative accessible arrangements are made.

(iv) Any request for documentation, if such documentation is required, is reasonable and limited to the need for the modification, accommodation, or auxiliary aid or service requested.

(v) When considering requests for modifications, accommodations, or auxiliary aids or services, the entity gives considerable weight to documentation of past modifications, accommodations, or auxiliary aids or services received in similar testing situations, as well as such modifications, accommodations, or related aids and services provided in response to an Individualized Education Program (IEP) provided under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or a plan describing services provided pursuant to section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (often referred to as a Section 504 Plan).

(vi) The entity responds in a timely manner to requests for modifications, accommodations, or aids to ensure equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities.

(2) Required modifications to an examination may include changes in the length of time permitted for completion of the examination and adaptation of the manner in which the examination is given.

(3) A private entity offering an examination covered by this section shall provide appropriate auxiliary aids for persons with impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills, unless that private entity can demonstrate that offering a particular auxiliary aid would fundamentally alter the measurement of the skills or knowledge the examination is intended to test or would result in an undue burden. Auxiliary aids and services required by this section may include taped examinations, interpreters or other effective methods of making orally delivered materials available to individuals with hearing impairments, Brailled or large print examinations and answer sheets or qualified readers for individuals with visual impairments or learning disabilities, transcribers for individuals with manual impairments, and other similar services and actions.

(4) Alternative accessible arrangements may include, for example, provision of an examination at an individual's home with a proctor if accessible facilities or equipment are unavailable. Alternative arrangements must provide comparable conditions to those provided for nondisabled individuals.

(c) Courses. (1) Any private entity that offers a course covered by this section must make such modifications to that course as are necessary to ensure that the place and manner in which the course is given are accessible to individuals with disabilities.

(2) Required modifications may include changes in the length of time permitted for the completion of the course, substitution of specific requirements, or adaptation of the manner in which the course is conducted or course materials are distributed.

(3) A private entity that offers a course covered by this section shall provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services for persons with impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills, unless the private entity can demonstrate that offering a particular auxiliary aid or service would fundamentally alter the course or would result in an undue burden. Auxiliary aids and services required by this section may include taped texts, interpreters or other effective methods of making orally delivered materials available to individuals with hearing impairments, Brailled or large print texts or qualified readers for individuals with visual impairments and learning disabilities, classroom equipment adapted for use by individuals with manual impairments, and other similar services and actions.

(4) Courses must be administered in facilities that are accessible to individuals with disabilities or alternative accessible arrangements must be made.

(5) Alternative accessible arrangements may include, for example, provision of the course through videotape, cassettes, or prepared notes. Alternative arrangements must provide comparable conditions to those provided for nondisabled individuals.

[Order No. 1513-91, 56 FR 35592, July 26, 1991, as amended by AG Order No. 3181-2010, 75 FR 56255, Sept. 15, 2010]

§36.310   Transportation provided by public accommodations.

(a) General. (1) A public accommodation that provides transportation services, but that is not primarily engaged in the business of transporting people, is subject to the general and specific provisions in subparts B, C, and D of this part for its transportation operations, except as provided in this section.

(2) Examples. Transportation services subject to this section include, but are not limited to, shuttle services operated between transportation terminals and places of public accommodation, customer shuttle bus services operated by private companies and shopping centers, student transportation systems, and transportation provided within recreational facilities such as stadiums, zoos, amusement parks, and ski resorts.

(b) Barrier removal. A public accommodation subject to this section shall remove transportation barriers in existing vehicles and rail passenger cars used for transporting individuals (not including barriers that can only be removed through the retrofitting of vehicles or rail passenger cars by the installation of a hydraulic or other lift) where such removal is readily achievable.

(c) Requirements for vehicles and systems. A public accommodation subject to this section shall comply with the requirements pertaining to vehicles and transportation systems in the regulations issued by the Secretary of Transportation pursuant to section 306 of the Act.

§36.311   Mobility devices.

(a) Use of wheelchairs and manually-powered mobility aids. A public accommodation shall permit individuals with mobility disabilities to use wheelchairs and manually-powered mobility aids, such as walkers, crutches, canes, braces, or other similar devices designed for use by individuals with mobility disabilities in any areas open to pedestrian use.

(b)(1) Use of other power-driven mobility devices. A public accommodation shall make reasonable modifications in its policies, practices, or procedures to permit the use of other power-driven mobility devices by individuals with mobility disabilities, unless the public accommodation can demonstrate that the class of other power-driven mobility devices cannot be operated in accordance with legitimate safety requirements that the public accommodation has adopted pursuant to §36.301(b).

(2) Assessment factors. In determining whether a particular other power-driven mobility device can be allowed in a specific facility as a reasonable modification under paragraph (b)(1) of this section, a public accommodation shall consider—

(i) The type, size, weight, dimensions, and speed of the device;

(ii) The facility's volume of pedestrian traffic (which may vary at different times of the day, week, month, or year);

(iii) The facility's design and operational characteristics (e.g., whether its business is conducted indoors, its square footage, the density and placement of stationary devices, and the availability of storage for the device, if requested by the user);

(iv) Whether legitimate safety requirements can be established to permit the safe operation of the other power-driven mobility device in the specific facility; and

(v) Whether the use of the other power-driven mobility device creates a substantial risk of serious harm to the immediate environment or natural or cultural resources, or poses a conflict with Federal land management laws and regulations.

(c)(1) Inquiry about disability. A public accommodation shall not ask an individual using a wheelchair or other power-driven mobility device questions about the nature and extent of the individual's disability.

(2) Inquiry into use of other power-driven mobility device. A public accommodation may ask a person using an other power-driven mobility device to provide a credible assurance that the mobility device is required because of the person's disability. A public accommodation that permits the use of an other power-driven mobility device by an individual with a mobility disability shall accept the presentation of a valid, State-issued disability parking placard or card, or State-issued proof of disability, as a credible assurance that the use of the other power-driven mobility device is for the individual's mobility disability. In lieu of a valid, State-issued disability parking placard or card, or State-issued proof of disability, a public accommodation shall accept as a credible assurance a verbal representation, not contradicted by observable fact, that the other power-driven mobility device is being used for a mobility disability. A “valid” disability placard or card is one that is presented by the individual to whom it was issued and is otherwise in compliance with the State of issuance's requirements for disability placards or cards.

[AG Order No. 3181-2010, 75 FR 56255, Sept. 15, 2010]

§§36.312-36.399   [Reserved]

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