43 CFR § 17.217 - Existing facilities.

§ 17.217 Existing facilities.

(a) Accessibility. A recipient shall operate each program or activity 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.

(b) Methods. A recipient may comply with the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section through such means as redesigning of equipment, reassignment of classes or other services to accessible buildings, assignment of aides to beneficiaries, delivery of services at alternate accessible sites, alterations of existing facilities and construction of new facilities in conformance with the requirements of § 17.218, 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.

(c) Small recipients. If a recipient with fewer than fifteen employees that provides services finds, after consultation with a handicapped person seeking its services, that there is no 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 whose facilities are accessible.

(d) Time period. A recipient shall comply with the requirement of paragraph (a) of this section within sixty days of the effective date of this subpart except that where structural changes in facilities are necessary, such changes shall be made as expeditiously as possible, but in no event later than three years after the effective date of this subpart. New recipients receiving Federal financial assistance shall comply with the requirement of paragraph (a) of this section, except that where structural changes in facilities are necessary, such changes shall be made as expeditiously as possible, but in no event later than three years after the date of approval of the application.

(e) Transition plan. In the event that structural changes to facilities are necessary to meet the requirement of paragraph (a) of this section a recipient shall develop, within one year of the effective date of this subpart, a transition plan setting forth the steps necessary to complete such changes. New recipients, receiving financial assistance after the effective date of this regulation, shall develop a transition plan within one year of receipt of the financial assistance. The plan shall be developed with the assistance of interested persons, including handicapped persons or organizations representing handicapped persons. 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 recipient'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 and usable;

(3) Specify the schedule for taking the steps necessary to achieve full accessibility under paragraph (a) of 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 person responsible for implementation of the plan.

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

[47 FR 29546, July 7, 1982, as amended at 68 FR 51377, Aug. 26, 2003]

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