(a) Accessibility. A recipient shall operate each program or activity to which this part applies so that when each part is viewed in its entirety it is readily accessible to 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 requirement of paragraph (a) of this section through such means as redesign of equipment, reassignment of classes or other services to accessible buildings, alteration of existing facilities, assignment of aids to beneficiaries, and construction of new facilities in conformance with the requirements of §217.23, or any other methods that may 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(s) of this section, a recipient shall give priority to those methods that serve handicapped persons in the most integrated setting appropriate.
(c) Time period. A recipient shall comply with the requirement 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, but in any event as expeditiously as possible.
(d) 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 six months 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 accessibility under §217.22(a) 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.
(e) Notice. The recipient shall adopt and implement procedures to ensure 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.
[45 FR 66415, Oct. 6, 1980, as amended at 68 FR 51362, Aug. 26, 2003]