20 CFR 365.150 - Program accessibility: Existing facilities.

§ 365.150 Program accessibility: Existing facilities.

(a)General. The agency shall operate each program or activity so that the program or activity when viewed in its entirety is readily accessible to and usable by individuals with handicaps. Although all facilities in which the agency operates, except for the headquarters building, are either owned or leased by and under the general control of the General Services Administration (GSA), the agency recognizes its obligation to request the GSA to make space reassignments or any structural changes which the agency determines are necessary to ensure program accessibility. This paragraph does not -

(1) Necessarily require the agency to make each of its existing facilities accessible to and usable by individuals with handicaps; or

(2) Require the agency to take or to recommend to the GSA any action that the agency can demonstrate would result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of a program or activity or result 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 § 365.150(a) would result in such alteration or burdens. The decision that compliance would result in such alteration or burdens must be made by the Chief Executive Officer 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 that would nevertheless ensure that individuals with handicaps receive the benefits and services of the program or activity.

(b)Methods. In general the agency will comply with this section by making home visits. The agency may also comply with the requirements of this section through such means as redesign of equipment, reassignment of services to accessible buildings, assignment of aids to beneficiaries, delivery of services at alternate accessible sites, alteration of existing facilities and construction of new facilities, use of accessible rolling stock, or any other methods that result in making its programs or activities readily accessible to and usable by individuals with handicaps. The agency is not required to make or request the GSA to make structural changes in existing facilities where other methods are effective in achieving compliance with this section. The agency, in making or requesting space reassignments or alterations to existing buildings, shall ensure that accessibility requirements, to the extent compelled by the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968, as amended ( 42 U.S.C. 4151- 4157), and any regulations implementing it are met. 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 handicaps in the most integrated setting appropriate.

(c)Time period for compliance. The agency shall comply with the obligations established under this section by February 27, 1989, except that where structural changes in facilities are undertaken, the agency will make such changes or, where applicable, request the GSA to make such changes by December 27, 1991, but in any event as expeditiously as possible.

(d)Transition plan. In the event that structural changes to facilities will be undertaken to achieve program accessibility, the agency shall develop or, where applicable, request the GSA to develop, by June 27, 1989, a transition plan setting forth the steps necessary to complete such changes. The agency shall provide an opportunity to interested persons, including individuals with handicaps or organizations representing individuals with handicaps, 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 -

(1) Identify physical obstacles in the agency's facilities that limit the accessibility of its programs or activities to individuals with handicaps;

(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 compliance with this section and, if the time period of the transition plan is longer than one year, identify steps that will be taken during each year of the transition period; and

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

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