Title: POLICY STATEMENT--Policy Statement Concerning Nondiscrimination in Agency Programs and Activities
Issue Date: 05/16/1995
Agency: FCA
Federal Register Cite: 60 FR 26033
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FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION

Policy Statement Concerning Nondiscrimination in Agency Programs and Activities

ACTION: Policy statement.

SUMMARY: The Farm Credit Administration (FCA) by the Farm Credit Administration Board (Board) adopts a policy statement prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability in the operation of Agency programs and activities. The FCA has issued regulations at 12 CFR part 606 to carry out the nondiscrimination mandate for section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. Each FCA program or activity, when viewed in its entirety, shall be readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities.

EFFECTIVE DATE: April 13, 1995.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Floyd Fithian, Secretary to the Farm Credit Administration Board, Farm Credit Administration, McLean, Virginia 22102-5090, (703) 883-4000, TDD (703) 883-4444.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The text of the Board's policy statement concerning nondiscrimination in Agency programs and activities is set forth below in its entirety:

FCA Board Action on Policy Statement Concerning Nondiscrimination in Agency Programs and Activities,
BM-13-APR-95-05, FCA-PS-67


Effective Date: April 13, 1995.

Effect on Previous Action: Supplements 12 CFR Part 606. Sources of Authority: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. 794); Memorandum from the U.S. Department of Justice, dated June 30, 1993; Resolution of the U.S. Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, dated January 15, 1993.

The FCA Board hereby approves the following policy statement concerning nondiscrimination in agency programs and activities:

WHEREAS, the Farm Credit Administration (FCA) Board finds:

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (section 504) prohibits Executive agencies from discriminating on the basis of disability in the operation of agency programs and activities. Under the provisions of Executive Order 12250, the Attorney General is responsible for coordinating the Federal Government's implementation of section 504 and this responsibility has been assigned to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). The FCA has issued regulations at 12 CFR part 606 to carry out the nondiscrimination mandate of section 504. Because the Federal Government and private entities follow different accessibility standards in connection with the construction and alteration of facilities, the accessibility standards that apply to the Federal Government (known as the ``Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards'' or UFAS) are being revised to conform more closely to the accessibility standards that apply to private entities (known as the ``Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines'' or ADAAG). After the revisions to UFAS are completed, the DOJ plans to direct Executive agencies to amend their nondiscrimination regulations to incorporate the new accessibility standard. In the interim before this rulemaking occurs, the DOJ is urging Executive agencies to circulate the resolution of the U.S. Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board dated January 15, 1993, and to follow ADAAG in connection with the construction and alteration of facilities whenever ADAAG provides equal or greater access to individuals with disabilities than UFAS.

THEREFORE, the FCA Board adopts the following policy statement: The FCA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in the operation of Agency programs and activities. Each FCA program or activity, when viewed in its entirety, shall be readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. Accessibility may be achieved through a variety of methods, including the redesign of equipment, the assignment of aides to beneficiaries, the reassignment of services to alternate accessible sites, the alteration of existing facilities, and the construction of new facilities. The FCA is not required to alter an existing facility when there is another feasible way of providing access to programs and activities. If a building is constructed or altered by, on behalf of, or for the use of the FCA, the design, construction, or alteration is subject to applicable provisions of the ``Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards'' (UFAS). A different set of accessibility standards, known as the ``Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines'' (ADAAG), applies to the design, construction, and alteration of places of public accommodation and commercial facilities owned, operated, or leased by private entities. State and local governments currently have the choice of following UFAS or ADAAG, but the regulations governing these public entities are being amended to require compliance with ADAAG. In an effort to apply one set of standards to all entities, UFAS is being revised to conform more closely to ADAAG. Until FCA regulations are amended to incorporate the new accessibility standard, the FCA Board has decided that the construction or alteration of a facility by, on behalf of, or for the use of the FCA shall comply with applicable provisions of ADAAG, to the extent that ADAAG provides equal or greater access to individuals with disabilities than UFAS. This policy is in conformance with guidance received from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Adopted this 13th day of April, 1995 by order of the Board. [[Page 26034]]


Dated: May 10, 1995.

Floyd Fithian,Secretary,

Farm Credit Administration Board.

[FR Doc. 95-12015 Filed 5-15-95; 8:45 am]


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