The NPRMs addressed the issues raised in the public's comments to the ANPRM and sought additional comment, generally and in specific areas, such as the Department's adoption of the 2004 ADAAG, the Department's regulatory assessment of the costs and benefits of the rule, its updates and amendments of certain provisions of the existing title II and III regulations, and areas that were in need of additional clarification or specificity.A public hearing was held on July 15, 2008, in Washington, D. Forty-five individuals testified in person or by phone. By the end of the 60- day comment period, the Department had received 4,435 comments addressing a broad range of issues many of which were common to the title II and title III NPRMs, from representatives of businesses and industries, State and local government agencies, disability advocacy organizations, and private individuals, many of which addressed issues common to both NPRMs. In 1998, the Access Board added specific guidelines on State and local government facilities, 63 FR 2000 (Jan. In 2000, the Access Board added specific guidelines on play areas. In September of 2002, the Access Board set forth specific guidelines on recreational facilities. The Access Board received more than 2,500 comments from individuals with disabilities, affected industries, State and local governments, and others.
The passage of the ADA expanded the Access Board's responsibilities. For the purposes of title II, the Department's revised standards are entitled ‘‘The 2010 Standards for Accessible Design'' and consist of the 2004 ADAAG and the requirements in § 35.151.They also asked for clarification on some issues in the 1991 regulations, such as the requirements regarding service animals.Other commenters dealt with specific requirements in the 2004 ADAAG or responded to questions regarding elements scoped for the first time in the 2004 ADAAG, including recreation facilities and play areas.As a result, where comments could be read to apply to both titles II and III, the Department included them in the comments and responses for each final rule. Public entities that operate housing facilities must ensure that they apply the reasonable accommodation requirements of the FHAct in determining whether to allow a particular animal needed by a person with a disability into housing and may not use the ADA definition as a justification for reducing their FHAct obligations.Most of the commenters responded to questions posed specifically by the Department, including what were the most appropriate definitions for terms such as ‘‘wheelchair,'' ‘‘mobility device,'' and ‘‘service animal''; how to quantify various benefits that are difficult to monetize; what requirements to adopt for ticketing and assembly areas; whether to adopt safe harbors for small businesses; and how best to regulate captioning. In addition, nothing in the ADA prevents a covered entity subject to one statute from modifying its policies and providing greater access in order to assist individuals with disabilities in achieving access to entities subject to other Federal statutes.