DOJ to Hold Public Meetings on ANPRM

The U.S. Department of Justice is holding three upcoming public hearings for comment on its recent Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM). The ANPRM has specific questions on proposed regulations for the provision of movie captions, video description, next generation 9-1-1, furniture and equipment.   Of particular note to recreation professionals, fitness centers and golf courses are DOJ’s questions regarding proposed requirements for accessible fitness equipment and accessible golf cars.
 
The first public hearing is scheduled for November 18 in Chicago. The other two public hearings will be held in Washington D.C. (December 16) and San Francisco (January 10).
 
The National Center on Accessibility encourages people with disabilities, facility operators and recreation practitioners to submit comment either by speaking at the public hearings or submitting input through the period of public comment which ends January 24, 2011. “The rulemaking process and period of public comment is an important opportunity for consumers and the industry to make their voices heard and weigh in on major concerns,” says Dr. Sherrill York, NCA Executive Director.
 
The ANPRM is separated into sections by subject area. Regarding exercise equipment, DOJ is seeking public comment on the following two questions:
 
Question 12. What types of accessible exercise equipment and furniture are available on the commercial market? What types of equipment and furniture are already accessible to individuals with disabilities? Is independently operable equipment and furniture available for individuals who are blind or who have low vision, or who have manual dexterity issues.
 
Question 13. Should the Department require covered entities to provide accessible exercise equipment and furniture? How much of each type of equipment and furniture should be provided? Should the requirements for accessible equipment and furniture be the same for small and large exercise facilities, and if not, how should they differ?
 
Regarding access to golf courses, DOJ has asked:
 
Question 14. What is the most effective means of addressing the needs of golfers with mobility disabilities? Are golf cars currently available that are readily adaptable for the addition of hand controls and swivel seats? If so, are those cars suitable for driving on greens? To what extent are accessible golf cars of all types stable, lightweight, and moderately priced?
 
Question 15. What are appropriate scoping requirements for accessible golf cars? Should the criteria used to determine scoping stem from factors including the number of golf course patrons, the number of golfing holes (e.g. nine, 18, or 27) at the facility, the number of inaccessible golf cars in use, or other criteria? Should each 18-hole course be required to provide a certain number of accessible golf cars?
 
Information on the public hearings and the process to submit public comments is available through the DOJ web site, www.ada.gov