View all text of Part 28 [§ 28.101 - § 28.999]

§ 28.150 - Program accessibility: Existing facilities.

(a) General. The Department 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. This paragraph does not -

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

(2) [Reserved]

(3) Require the Department to take any action that it can demonstrate would result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of a program or activity or in undue financial and administrative burdens. In those circumstances where personnel of a DOT element believe that the proposed action would fundamentally alter the program or activity or would result in undue financial and administrative burdens, the DOT element has the burden of proving that compliance with § 28.150(a) would result in such alteration or burdens. The decision that compliance would result in such alteration or burdens must be made by the Secretary or his or her designee, after considering all resources available for use in the funding and operation of the 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 Department shall take any other action that would not result in such an alteration or such burdens but would nevertheless ensure that individuals with handicaps receive the benefits and services of the program or activity.

(b) Methods. The Department may comply with the requirements of this section through such means as redesign of equipment, reassignment of services to accessible buildings, assignment of aides to beneficiaries, home visits, 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 Department is not required to make structural changes in existing facilities where other methods are effective in achieving compliance with this section. The Department, in making alterations to existing buildings, shall meet 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. In choosing among available methods for meeting the requirements of this section, the Department 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 Department shall comply with the obligations established under this section within sixty days of the effective date of this part except that where structural changes in facilities are undertaken, such changes shall be made within three years of the effective date of this part, but in any event as expeditiously as possible. Provided that, where major restructuring of fixed facilities to accommodate technological changes is planned to occur within five years from the effective date of this part, changes needed to comply with this section are not required to be made until the planned restructuring takes place. However, alternative means for participation by individuals with handicaps in DOT programs and activities in the most integrated setting possible during this interim waiting period shall be available.

(d) Transition plan. In the event that structural changes to facilities will be undertaken to achieve program accessibility, the Department shall develop, within six months of the effective date of this part, 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, agency employees 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 Department'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.