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who has a handicap that impairs sensory, manual, or speaking skills, the test results accurately reflect the applicant's or employee's job skills, aptitude, or whatever other factor the test purports to measure, rather than reflecting the applicant's or employee's impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills (except where those skills are the factors that the test purports to measure).

medical examination conducted prior to the employee's entrance on duty: Provided, That (1) all entering employees are subjected to such an examination regardless of handicap; and (2) the results of such an examination are used only in accordance with the requirements of this part.

(d) Information obtained in accordance with this section as to the medical condition or history of the applicant shall be collected and maintained on separate forms that shall be accorded the same confidentiality as medical records except that:

(1) Supervisors and managers may be informed regarding restrictions on the work or duties of handicapped persons and regarding necessary accommodations;

(2) First aid and safety personnel may be informed, where appropriate, if the condition might require emergency treatment; and

(3) Governement officials investigating compliance with the Act shall be provided relevant information upon request.

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Subpart C-Program Accessibility

8 156.15 Preemployment inquiries.

(a) Except as provided in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, a recipient may not conduct a preemployment medical examination or may not make preemployment inquiry of an applicant as to whether the applicant is a handicapped person

to the nature or severity of a handicap. A recipient may, however, make preemployment inquiry into an applicant's ability to perform job-related functions.

(b) When a recipient is taking remedial action to correct the effects of past discrimination pursuant to § 15b.8(a), when a recipient is taking voluntary action to overcome the effects of conditions that resulted in limited participation in its federally assisted program or activity pursuant to $ 15b.8(b), or when a recipient is taking affirmative action pursuant to section 503 of the Act, the recipient may invite applicants for employment to indicate whether and to what extent they are handicapped: Provided, That (1) the recipient states clearly on any written questionnaire used for this purpose or makes clear orally if no written questionnaire is used that the information requested is intended for use solely in connection with its remedial action obligations or its voluntary affirmative action efforts; and (2) the recipient states clearly that the information is being requested on a voluntary basis, that it will be kept confi. dential as provided in paragraph (d) of this section, that refusal to provide it will not subject the applicant or employee to any adverse treatment, and that it will be used only in accordance with this part.

(c) Nothing in this section shall prohibit a recipient for conditioning an offer of employment on the results of

§ 15b.16 Applicability.

This subpart applies to all programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance provided by the Department of Agriculture after the effective date of this part. (47 FR 25470, June 11, 1982, as amended at 55 FR 52139, Dec. 19, 1990)

EFFECTIVE DATE NOTE: At 55 FR 52139, Dec. 19, 1990, $ 15b.16 was amended by removing the words “or benefit from" from the text, effective January 18, 1991.

8 15b.17 Discrimination prohibited.

No qualified handicapped person shall, because a recipient's facilities are inaccessible to or unusuable by handicapped persons, be denied the benefits of, be excluded from participation in, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving assistance from this Department. & 156.18 Existing facilities.

(a) Program accessibility. A recipi. ent shall operate each assisted pro

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gram or activity so that the program or activity, when viewed in its entirety, is readily accessible to and usable by qualified handicapped persons. This paragraph does not necessarily require a recipient to make each of its existing facilities or every part of an existing facility accessible to and usable by qualified handicapped persons.

(b) Method. A recipient may comply with the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section through such means as redesign of equipment, reassignment of classes or other services to accessible buildings, assignment of aides to beneficiaries, home visits, delivery of services at alternate accessible sites, alteration of exiting facilities and construction of new facilities in conform

with the requirements of $ 15b.19, or any other method that results in making its program or activity accessible to qualified 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 offer programs and activities to qualified handicapped persons in the most intergrated setting appropriate to obtain the full benefits of the program.

(c) Small providers. If a recipient with fewer than fifteen employees 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 by making a significant alteration in its existing facilities, the recipient may, as an alternative, refer the handicapped person to other providers of those services that are accessible at no additional cost to handicapped persons.

(d) Application for modification of requirements. Recipients that determine after a self-evaluation conducted according to the requirements of

15b.8(c), that program accessibility can only be accomplished through substantial modifications which would result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of the program, may apply

to the Secretary for a modification of the requirements of this section.

(e) Historic preservation programs. Application for waiver of program accessibility requirements. (1) In the case of historic preservation programs, program accessibility means that, when viewed in its entirety, a program is readily accessible to and usable by handicapped persons. This paragraph does not necessarily require a recipient to make each of its existing historic properties or every part of an historic property accessible to and usable by handicapped persons. Methods of achieving program accessibility include:

(i) Making physical alterations which enable handicapped persons to have access to otherwise inaccessible areas or features of historic properties;

(ii) Using audio-visual materials and devices to depict otherwise inaccessible areas or features of historic properties;

(iii) Assigning persons to guide handicapped persons into or through otherwise inaccessible portions of historic properties;

(iv) Adopting other innovative methods to achieve program accessibility. Because the primary benefit of an historic preservation program is the experience of the historic property itself, in taking steps to achieve program accessibility, recipients shall give priority to those means which make the historic property, or portions thereof physicially accessible to handicapped individuals.

(2) Where program accessibility cannot be achieved without causing a substantial impairment of significant historic features, the Secretary may grant a waiver of the program accessibility requirement. In determining whether program accessibility can be achieved without causing a substantial impairment, the Secretary shall consider the following factors:

(i) Scale of property, reflecting its ability to absorb alterations;

(ii) Use of the property, whether primarily for public or private purpose;

(iii) Importance of the historic features of the property to the conduct of the program; and,

(iv) Cost of alterations in comparison to the increase in accessibility. The Secretary shall periodically review any waiver granted under this section and may withdraw it if technological advances or other changes so warrant.

(3) Where the property is federally owned or where Federal funds may be used for alterations, the comments of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation shall be obtained when required by section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended (16 U.S.C. 470), and 36 CFR Part 800, prior to effectuation of structural alterations.

(f) Time period. A recipient shall comply with the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section within sixty days of the effective date of this part except that where structural changes in facilities are necessary, such changes shall be made within three years of the effective date of this part and as expeditiously as possible.

(g) 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 part, a transition plan setting forth the steps necessary to complete such changes. 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;

(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 one year, identify steps that will be taken during each year of the transition period; and

(4) Identify the person responsible for implementation of the plan.

$ 15b.19 New construction.

(a) Design and construction. Each facility or part of a facility constructed by, on behalf of, or for the use of a recipient shall be designed and constructed in such manner that the facility or part of the facility is readily accessible to and usable by handicapped persons, if the construction is commenced after the effective date of this part.

(b) Alteration. Each facility or part of a facility which is altered by, on behalf of, or for the use of a recipient after the effective date of this part in a manner that affects or could affect the usability of the facility or part of the facility shall to the maximum extent feasible, be altered in such manner that the altered portion of the facility is readily accessible to and usable by handicapped persons.

(c) Conformance with Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards. (1) Effective as of January 18, 1991, design, construction, or alteration of buildings in conformance with sections 3-8 of the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (USAF) (appendix A to 41 CFR subpart 101-19.6) shall be deemed to comply with the requirements of this section with respect to those buildings. Departures from particular technical and scoping requirements of UFAS by the use of other methods are permitted where substantially equivalent or greater access to and usability of the building is provided.

(2) For purposes of this section, section 4.1.6(1)(g) of UFAS shall be interpreted to exempt from the requirements of UFAS only mechanical rooms and other spaces that, because of their intended use, will not require accessibility to the public or beneficiaries or result in the employment or residence therein of persons with physical handicaps.

(3) This section does not requi cipients to make building alterations that have little likelihood of being accomplished without removing or altering a load-bearing structural member.

(d) Compliance with the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968. Nothing in this section of $ 15b.18 relieves recipients, whose facilities are covered by the Ar

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siding in the recipient's jurisdiction who is not receiving a public education; and

(b) Take appropriate steps to notify handicapped persons and their parents or guardians of the recipient's duty under this subpart.

chitectural Barriers Act of 1968, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4151-4157) from their responsibility of complying with the requirements of that Act and any implementing regulations. (47 FR 25470, June 11, 1982, as amended at 55 FR 52138, 52139, Dec. 19, 1990)

EFFECTIVE DATE NOTE: At 55 FR 52138, 52139, Dec. 19, 1990, $ 156.19 was amended by revising paragraph (c), effective January 18, 1991. For the convenience of the user, the superseded text is set forth as follows.

(c) American National Standards Institute accessibility standards. Design, construction, or alteration of facilities in conformance with the “American National Standard Specifications for “Making Buildings and Facilities Accessible to, and Usable by, the Physically Handicapped," published by the American National Standards Institute Inc. (ANSI A117.1-1980), 1430 Broadway, New York, NY 10018, which is incorporated by reference into this part, shall constitute compliance with paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section. Departures from particular requirements of those standards by the use of other methods shall be permitted when it is clearly evident that equivalent access to the facility or part of the facility is thereby provided.

Subpart D-Preschool, Elementary,

Secondary, Adult, and Extension
Education

8 15b.20 Applicability.

Except as otherwise noted, this subpart applies to public and private schools, elementary, secondary, adult, and extension education programs and activities that receive Federal finan. cial assistance provided by the Department of Agriculture after the effective date of this part and to recipients that operate, or that receive Federal financial assistance for the operation of, such programs or activities. (47 FR 25470, June 11, 1982, as amended at 55 FR 52139, Dec. 19, 1990)

EFFECTIVE DATE NOTE: At 55 FR 52139, Dec. 19, 1990, § 15b.20 was amended by removing the words “or benefit from” from the text, effective January 18, 1991.

8 156.22 Free appropriate public educa.

tion. (a) General. A recipient that operates a public elementary or secondary education program shall provide a free appropriate public education to each qualified handicapped person who is in the recipient's jurisdiction, regardless of the nature or severity of the person's handicap.

(b) Appropriate education. (1) For the purpose of this subpart, the provision of an appropriate education is the provision of regular or special education and related aids and services that (i) are designed to meet individual educational needs of handicapped persons as adequately as the needs of nonhandicapped persons are met and (ii) are based upon adherence to procedures that satisfy the requirements of $15b.23, $15b.24, and $15b.25.

(2) Implementation of an individualized education program developed in accordance with the Education of the Handicapped Act is one means of meeting the standard established in paragraph (b)(1)(i) of this section.

(3) A recipient may place a handicapped person in or refer such person to a program other than the one that it operates as its means of carrying out the requirements of this subpart. If so, the recipient remains responsible for ensuring that the requirements of this subpart are met with respect to any handicapped person so placed or referred.

(c) Free education (1) General. For the purpose of this section, the provi. sion of a free education is the provision of educational and related services without cost to handicapped per

or their parents or guardians, except for those fees that are imposed on nonhandicapped persons or their parents or guardians. It may consist either of the provision of free services or, if a recipient places a handicapped person in or refers such person to a

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8 156.21 Location and notification.

A recipient that operates a public elementary or secondary education program shall annually:

(a) Undertake to identify and locate every qualified handicapped person re

preceding paragraphs of this section shall meet such requirements at the earliest practicable time but in no event later than September 1, 1982.

program not operated by the recipient as its means of carrying out the requirements of this subpart, payment for the costs of the program. Funds available from any public or private agency may be used to meet the requirements of this subpart. Nothing in this section shall be construed to relieve an insurer or similar third party from an otherwise valid obligation to provide or pay for services provided to a handicapped person.

(2) Transportation. If a recipient places a handicapped person in or refers such person to a program not operated by the recipient as its means of carrying out the requirements of this subpart, the recipient shall ensure that adequate transportation to and from the program is provided at no greater cost than would be incurred by the person or his or her parents or guardian if the person were placed in the program operated by the recipient.

(3) Residential placement. If placement in a public or private residential program is necessary to provide a free appropriate public education to a handicapped person because of their handicap, the program, including nonmedical care and room and board, shall be provided at no cost to the person or his or her parents or guardian.

(4) Placement of handicapped persons by parents. If a recipient has made available in conformance with the requirements of this section and § 15b.23, a free appropriate public education to a handicapped person and the person's parents guardian choose to place the person in a private school, the recipient is not required to pay for the person's education in the private school. Disagreements between a parent or guardian and a recipient regarding whether the recipient has made such a program available or otherwise regarding the question of financial responsibility are subject to the due process procedures of § 15b.25.

(d) Compliance. A recipient may not exclude any qualified handicapped person from a public elementary or secondary education after the effective date of this regulation. A recipient that is not, on the effective date of this regulation, in full compliance with the other requirements of the

8 15b.23 Educational setting.

(a) Academic setting. A recipient to which this subpart applies shall educate, or shall provide for the education of each qualified handicapped person in its jurisdiction with persons who are not handicapped to the maximum extent appropriate to the needs of the handicapped person. A recipient shall place a handicapped person in the regular educational environment operated by the recipient unless it is demonstrated by the recipient that the education of the person in the regular environment with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily. Whenever a recipient places a person in a setting other than the regular educational environment pursuant to this paragraph, it shall take into account the proximity of the alternate setting to the person's home.

(b) Nonacademic setting. In providing or arranging for the provision of nonacademic and extracurricular services and activities, including meals, recess periods, and the services and activities set forth in § 15b.26(a)(2), a recipient shall ensure that handicapped persons participate with nonhandicapped persons in such activities and services to the maximum extent appropriate to the needs of the handicapped person in question.

(c) Comparable facilities. If a recipient, in compliance with paragraph (a) of this section, operates a facility that is identifiable as being for handicapped persons, the recipient shall ensure that the facility and the serv. ices and activities provided therein are comparable to the other facilities, services, and activities of the recipient.

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8 15b.24 Evaluation and placement.

(a) Placement evaluation. A recipient that operates a public elementary or secondary education program shall conduct an evaluation in accordance with the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section of any person who, because of handicap, needs or is be

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