Title 41

SECTION 101-8.309

101-8.309 Accessibility.

§ 101-8.309 Accessibility.

(a) General. No handicapped person shall, because a recipient's facilities are inaccessible to or unusable by handicapped persons, be denied the benefits of, be excluded from participation in, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity that receives Federal assistance from GSA.

(b) Accessibility. A recipient shall operate any program or activity to which this subpart applies so that when each part is viewed in its entirety it is readily accessible to and usable by handicapped persons. This paragraph does not require a recipient to make each of its existing facilities or every part of a facility accessible to and usable by handicapped persons.

(c) Methods. A recipient may comply with the requirement of paragraph (a) of this section through such means as acquisition or redesign of equipment, such as telecommunications devices or other telephonic devices for the hearing impaired; reassignment of classes or other services to alternate sites which have accessible buildings; assignment of aides to beneficiaries, such as readers for the blind or qualified sign language interpreters for the hearing impaired when appropriate; home visits; delivery of health, welfare, or other social services at alternate accessible sites; alterations of existing facilities and construction of new facilities in conformance with the requirements of § 101-8.310; or any other methods that result in making its program or activity accessible to handicapped persons. A recipient is not required to make structural changes in existing facilities where other methods are effective in achieving compliance with paragraph (a) of this section. In choosing among available methods for meeting the requirement of paragraph (a) of this section, a recipient shall give priority to those methods that serve handicapped persons in the most integrated setting appropriate.

(d) Small service providers. If a recipient with fewer than 15 employees finds, after consultation with a handicapped person seeking its services, that there is no available method of complying with paragraph (a) of this section other than making a significant alteration in its existing facilities, the recipient may, as an alternative, refer the handicapped person to other providers of those services that are accessible at no additional cost to the handicapped person.

(e) Time period. A recipient shall comply with the requirement of paragraph (a) of this section within 60 days of the effective date of this subpart, except that where structural changes in facilities are necessary, the changes are to be made as expeditiously as possible, but in no event later than 3 years after the effective date of this subpart.

(f) Transition plan. In the event that structural changes to facilities are necessary to meet the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section, a recipient shall develop, within 6 months of the effective date of this subpart, a transition plan setting forth the steps necessary to complete the changes. The plan shall be developed with the assistance of interested persons, including handicapped persons or organizations representing handicapped persons, and the plan must meet with the approval of the Director of Civil Rights, GSA. A copy of the transition plan shall be made available for public inspection. At a minimum, the plan shall:

(1) Identify physical obstacles in the recipient's facilities that limit the accessibility to and usability by handicapped persons of its program or activity;

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

(3) Specify the schedule for taking the steps necessary to achieve full accessibility under paragraph (a) of this section and, if the time period or the transition plan is longer than 1 year, identify steps that will be taken during each year of the transition period; and

(4) Indicate the person responsible for implementation of the plan.

(g) Notice. The recipient shall adopt and implement procedures to ensure that interested persons, including persons with impaired vision or hearing, can obtain information concerning the existence and location of services, activities, and facilities that are accessible to, and usable by, handicapped persons.