32 CFR 56.8 - Guidelines for determining discriminatory practices.
(a) General prohibitions against discrimination.
(1) No qualified handicapped person shall, on the basis of handicap, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefit of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity that is conducted by the Department of Defense or that receives or benefits from Federal financial assistance disbursed by the Department of Defense.
(2) A recipient or DoD Component may not, directly or through contractual, licensing, or other arrangements, on the basis of handicap:
(i) Provide different or separate aid, benefits, or services to handicapped persons than is provided to others unless such action is necessary to provide qualified handicapped persons with aid, benefits, or services that are equal to those provided to others;
(ii) Deny a qualified handicapped person the opportunity to participate in or benefit from the aid, benefit, or service;
(iii) Afford a qualified handicapped person an opportunity to participate in or benefit from the aid, benefit, or service that is not equal to that afforded others;
(iv) Provide a qualified handicapped person with an aid, benefit, or service that is not as effective as that afforded to others; or
(v) Otherwise limit a qualified handicapped person in the enjoyment of any right, privilege, advantage, or opportunity granted to others receiving the aid, benefit, or service.
(3) A recipient or DoD Component may not deny a qualified handicapped person the opportunity to participate in programs or activities that are not separate or different from regular programs or activities, even if such separate or different programs and activities are permissible under paragraph (a)(2)(i) of this section.
(4) A recipient or DoD Component may not provide assistance to an agency, organization, or person that discriminates on the basis of handicap in providing any aid, benefit, or service to beneficiaries of the recipient's program or activity.
(6) A recipient or DoD Component may not use, directly or through contractual or other arrangements, criteria or methods of administration that:
(i) Subject qualified handicapped persons to discrimination on the basis of handicap;
(ii) Defeat or substantially impair accomplishment of the objectives of the recipient's or DoD Component's program or activity with respect to handicapped persons; or
(i) Exclude handicapped persons from, deny them the benefits of, or otherwise subject them to discrimination under any program or activity that receives or benefits from Federal financial assistance; or
(ii) Defeat or substantially impair, with respect to handicapped persons, the accomplishment of the objectives of the program or activity.
(8) Recipients and DoD Components shall administer programs and activities in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of qualified handicapped persons.
(9) Recipients and DoD Components shall take appropriate steps to make communications with their applicants, employees, and beneficiaries available to persons with impaired vision and hearing.
(10) This section may not be interpreted to prohibit the exclusion of:
(i) Persons who are not handicapped from benefits, programs, and activities limited by Federal statute or Executive order to handicapped persons; or
(11) Recipients and DoD Components shall take appropriate steps to ensure that no handicapped individual is denied the benefits of, excluded from participation in, or otherwise subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving or benefiting from Federal financial assistance disbursed by the Department of Defense or under any program or activity conducted by the Department of Defense because of the absence of auxiliary aids, such as certified sign-language interpreters, telecommunication devises (TDDs), or other telephonic devices for individuals with impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills.
(b) Prohibitions against employment discrimination by recipients.
(1) No qualified handicapped person shall, on the basis of handicap, be subjected to discrimination in employment under any program or activity that receives or benefits from Federal financial assistance disbursed by the Department of Defense.
(2) The prohibition against discrimination in employment applies to the following:
(i) Recruitment, advertising, and processing of applications for employment.
(ii) Hiring, upgrading, promotion, award of tenure, demotion, transfer, layoff, termination, right of return from layoff, and rehiring.
(iii) Rates of pay or any other form of compensation and changes in compensation.
(iv) Job assignments, job classifications, organizational structures, position descriptions, lines of progression, and seniority lists.
(v) Leaves of absence, sick leave, or any other leave.
(vii) Selection and financial support for training, including apprenticeship, professional meetings, conferences and other related activities, and selection for leaves of absence for training.
(viii) Programs and activities sponsored by the employer, including social and recreational programs.
(ix) Any other term, condition, or privilege of employment.
(3) A recipient may not participate in a contractual or other relationship that subjects qualified handicapped applicants or employees to discrimination prohibited by this section, including relationships with employment and referral agencies, labor unions, organizations providing or administering fringe benefits to employees of the recipient, and organizations providing training and apprenticeship programs.
(4) A recipient shall make reasonable accommodation to the known physical or mental limitations of an otherwise qualified handicapped applicant or employee unless the recipient can demonstrate that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation of its program. Reasonable accommodation includes providing ramps, accessible restrooms, drinking fountains, interpreters for deaf employees, readers for blind employees, amplified telephones, TDDs such as Teletypewriters or Telephone Writers (TTYs), and tactile signs on elevators.
(5) A recipient may not use employment tests or criteria that discriminate against handicapped persons, and shall ensure that employment tests are adapted for use by persons who have handicaps that impair sensory, manual, or speaking skills.
(6) A recipient may not conduct a preemployment medical examination or make a preemployment inquiry about whether an applicant is a handicapped person or about the nature or severity of a handicap. A recipient may make, however, a preemployment inquiry into an applicant's ability to perform job-related functions.
(7) When a recipient is taking remedial action to correct the effects of past discrimination or is taking voluntary action to overcome the effects of conditions that have resulted in limited participation by handicapped persons in its federally assisted program or activity, the recipient may invite applicants for employment to indicate whether and to what extent they are handicapped if:
(i) The recipient makes clear to the applicants that the information is intended for use solely in connection with its remedial action obligations or its voluntary affirmative action efforts.
(ii) The recipient makes clear to the applicants that the information is being requested on a voluntary basis, that it will be kept confidential as provided in paragraph (b)(9) in this section, that refusal to provide it will not subject the applicants to any adverse treatment, and that it will be used only in accordance with this part.
(i) All entering employees are subjected to such an examination, regardless of handicap.
(ii) The results of such an examination are used only in accordance with this part which prohibits discrimination against a qualified handicapped person on the basis of handicap.
(9) Information obtained under this section concerning the medical condition or history of applicants shall be collected and maintained on separate forms that shall be accorded confidentiality as medical records, except that:
(i) Supervisors and managers may be informed about restrictions on the work or duties of handicapped persons and about necessary accommodations.
(ii) First aid and safety personnel may be informed, when appropriate, if a handicapping condition might require emergency treatment.
(iii) Government officials investigating compliance with section 504, Pub. L. 93-112, and this part shall be provided relevant information upon request.
(c) Program accessibility -
(1) General requirements. No qualified handicapped person shall, because a recipient's or DoD Component's facilities are inaccessible to or not usable by handicapped persons, be denied the benefits of, be excluded from participation in, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity that receives or benefits from Federal financial assistance disbursed by the Department of Defense or under any program or activity conducted by the Department of Defense.
(2) Existing facilities.
(i) A recipient or DoD Component shall operate each program or activity so that the program or activity, when viewed in its entirety, is readily accessible to and usable by handicapped persons. This does not necessarily require a recipient or DoD Component to make each of its existing facilities or every part of an existing facility accessible to and usable by handicapped persons. For guidance in determining the accessibility of facilities, see chapter 18 of DoD 4270.1-M, “Department of Defense Construction Criteria Manual,” June 1, 1978, and Department of the Army, Office of the Chief of Engineers, Manual EM 1110-1-103, “Design for the Physically Handicapped,” October 15, 1976. Inquiries on specific accessibility design problems may be addressed to the ASD (MRA&L), or designee.
(A) Such changes shall be made as soon as practicable, but not later than 3 years after the effective date of this part however, if the program or activity is a particular mode of transportation (such as a subway station) that can be made accessible only through extraordinarily expensive structural changes to, or replacement of, existing facilities and if other accessible modes of transportation are available, the DoD Component concerned may extend this period of time. This extension shall be for a reasonable and definite period, which shall be determined after consultation with the ASD(MRA&L), or designee.
(B) The recipient or DoD Component shall develop, with the assistance of interested persons or organizations and within a period to be established in each DoD Component's guidelines, a transition plan setting forth the steps necessary to complete such changes.
(C) The recipient or DoD Component shall make a copy of the transition plan available for public inspection. At a minimum, the plan shall:
(1) Identify physical obstacles in the recipient's or DoD Component's facilities that limit the accessibility of its program or activity to handicapped persons.
(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 program accessibility 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.
(4) Indicate the person (last name, first, and middle initial) responsible for implementation of the transition plan.
(iii) A recipient or DoD Component may comply with paragraphs (c)(2)(i) and (c)(2)(ii) of this section, through such means as the acquisition or redesign of equipment, such as telecommunication or other telephonic devices; relocation of classes or other services to accessible buildings; assignment of aides to beneficiaries, such as readers or certified sign-language interpreters; home visits; delivery of health, welfare, or other services at accessible alternate sites; alteration of existing facilities and construction of new facilities in conformance with paragraph (c)(3) in this section; or any other method that results in making the program or activity of the recipient or DoD Component accessible to handicapped persons.
(v) In choosing among available methods for meeting the requirements of this section, a recipient or DoD Component shall give priority to those methods that offer programs and activities to handicapped persons in the most integrated setting appropriate with nonhandicapped persons.
(3) New Construction. New facilities shall be designed and constructed to be readily accessible to and usable by handicapped persons. Alterations to existing facilities shall be designed and constructed, to the maximum extent feasible, to be readily accessible to and usable by handicapped persons. For guidance in determining the accessibility of facilities, see chapter 18 of DoD 4270.1-M and Department of the Army, Office of the Chief of Engineers, Manual EM 1110-1-103. Inquiries about specific accessibility design problems may be addressed to the ASD(MRA&L), or designee.
(4) Historic properties.
(i) In the case of historic properties, program accessibility shall mean that, when viewed in their entirety, programs are readily accessible to and usable by handicapped persons. Because the primary benefit of historic properties is the experience of the property itself, DoD Components and recipients shall give priority to those methods of achieving program accessibility that make the historic property, or portions thereof, physically accessible to handicapped persons.
(ii) Methods of achieving program accessibility include:
(B) Using audiovisual materials and devices to depict otherwise inaccessible areas or features of historic properties.
(D) Adopting other innovative methods.
(iii) When program accessibility cannot be achieved without causing a substantial impairment of significant historic features, the DoD Component or recipient may seek a modification or waiver of access standards from the ASD (MRA&L), or designee.
(A) A decision to grant a modification or waiver shall be based on consideration of the following:
(1) Scale of the property, reflecting its ability to absorb alterations.
(2) Use of the property, whether primarily for public or private purposes.
(3) Importance of the historic features of the property to the conduct of the program.
(4) Costs of alterations in comparison to the increase in accessibility.
(B) The ASD(MRA&L), or designee, shall review periodically any waiver granted under this paragraph and may withdraw it if technological advances or other changes warrant.
(iv) The decision by the ASD(MRA&L), or designee, to grant a modification or waiver of access standards is subject to section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, as amended, and shall be made in accordance with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation regulation on “Protection of Historic and Cultural Properties” (36 CFR part 800). When the property is federally owned or when Federal funds may be used for alterations, the ASD(MRA&L), or designee, shall obtain the comments of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation when required by section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation regulation on “Protection of Historic and Cultural Properties” (36 CFR part 800) prior to effectuation of structural alterations.
(v) DoD Component guidelines prepared in accordance with § 56.10 shall include a listing of all historic properties, including historic ships, subject to this part and a plan for compliance with paragraph (c)(4) of this section.
(5) Military museums.
(i) In the case of military museums, program accessibility shall mean that exhibits, displays, tours, lectures, circulating or traveling exhibits, and other programs of military museums are accessible to and usable by handicapped persons. Methods of meeting this requirement include the following:
(A) Museum programs may be made accessible to deaf and hearing-impaired persons by means such as training museum staff, such as docents, in sign language; providing qualified sign-language interpreters to accompany deaf or hearing-impaired visitors; ensuring that clear, concise language is used on all museum signs and display labels; providing amplification devices; or providing printed scripts for films, videotapes, lectures, or tours. DoD Components are encouraged to use “Museums and Handicapped Students: Guidelines for Educators,” published by the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20560.
(B) Museum programs may be made accessible to blind and visually-impaired persons by means such as providing museum catalogues in a large-print edition printed over braille; providing cassette tapes, records, or discs for museum tours or exhibits; providing readers to accompany blind or visually impaired visitors; using large-print and braille display cards at exhibits; providing raised-line maps of the museum building; using raised-line drawings, reproductions, or models of large exhibits to facilitate tactile experiences when touching exhibits is prohibited; placing large-print and braille signs to identify galleries, elevators, restrooms, and other service areas; and permitting guide dogs in all museum facilities.
(C) Museum programs may be made accessible to other physically impaired persons by means such as lowering display cases; spacing exhibits to facilitate movement; using ramps in galleries; increasing lighting in exhibit areas to facilitate viewing from a distance; providing places to sit in exhibit areas; making restrooms accessible; using large-print exhibit display cards to facilitate reading from a distance; and sensitizing museum staff to consider the needs of handicapped visitors when organizing exhibits.
(ii) DoD Component guidelines developed in accordance with paragraph (c)(5) of this section shall identify military museums subject to paragraph (c) of this section and shall contain a plan for making museum programs accessible to handicapped persons. Technical assistance in the preparation and content of these plans may be obtained from the National Access Center, 1419 27th Street, NW., Washington, DC 20007 ((202) 333-1712 or TTY (202) 333-1339). In addition, community organizations that serve handicapped persons and handicapped persons themselves shall be consulted in the preparation of these plans.
(d) Reasonable accommodation.
(1) A recipient or DoD Component shall make reasonable accommodation to the known physical or mental limitations of an otherwise qualified handicapped applicant or employee unless the recipient or DoD Component demonstrates to the ASD(MRA&L), or designee, that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation of its program.
(2) Reasonable accommodation includes the following:
(i) Making facilities used by employees readily accessible to and usable by handicapped persons.
(ii) Job restructuring; part-time or modified work schedules; acquisition or modification of equipment or devices, such as telecommunication or other telephonic instruments; the provision of readers or certified sign-language interpreters; and similar actions.
(3) In determining whether an accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation of a recipient's or DoD Component's program, the ASD(MRA&L), or designee, shall consider the following factors, at a minimum:
(i) The overall size of the recipient's or DoD Component's program or activity, such as the number of employees, number and type of facilities, and size of budget.
(iii) The nature and cost of the accommodation needed.
(4) A recipient or DoD Component may not deny any employment opportunity to a qualified handicapped employee or applicant for employment if the basis for the denial is the need to make reasonable accommodation to the physical or mental limitations of the employee or applicant.