COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
P. O. BOX 2120
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120
SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 112
June 20, 1997

INFORMATIONAL

TO: Division Superintendents
FROM:
 
Richard T. La Pointe
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT:
 
Monitoring Facility Compliance with Respect to 
the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 

 
     Five years have passed since the Americans with
  Disabilities Act became a matter of civil rights for a large
  segment of our nation's population.  While the Title II
  section of the Act which covers public schools remains
  unchanged, I wanted to remind you of your continued
  obligations under this law.

     Broadly stated, the ADA requires that public school
  entities may not deny the benefits of its programs,
  activities, and services to individuals with disabilities
  because its facilities are inaccessible.  A public entity's
  services, programs, or activities, when viewed in their
  entirety, must be readily accessible to and usable by
  individuals with disabilities.  This standard, known as
  "program accessibility," applies to all existing facilities
  of a public entity.  Public entities, however, are not
  necessarily required to make each of their existing
  facilities accessible, if programs and activities are deemed
  accessible.

     It is advisable, therefore, to conduct periodic reviews
  of all programs, activities, and services offered by your
  division, in order to verify accessibility to persons with
  disabilities.  Such a self-evaluation plan was part of the
  original requirements under Title II.  A previous
  Superintendent's Memorandum discussed how to develop such
  plans.  The deadlines for the self evaluation plan,
  transition plan, and required structural changes to achieve
  program accessibility have all passed.  You are urged by our
  Department and the U.S. Department of Justice to complete
  these plans if you have not already done so.

     Facilities Services is continuing to monitor proposed
  changes to the ADA Accessibility Guidelines expected to be
  adopted some time next year.  We will advise you of any
  changes once finalized.   Please contact Hunter Barnes,
  Architectural Consultant, at (804) 225-2035 if you have any
  questions with regard to site or facility program
  accessibility issues.

  RTL:cle