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The legal aspects of the plight of the handicapped have recently received a great deal of attention resulting in federal legislation forbidding discrimination against the handicapped in federally funded employment, as well as prohibiting the exclusion of the handicapped from federally funded programs and activities. It is Congress' intention that handicapped individuals "prepare for and engage in gainful employment" and "improve their ability to live with greater independence and self-sufficiency.''

This intention has been frustrated in the past by both attitudinal and physical barriers. Even if attitudinal barriers are overcome and jobs and other activities are opened to the handicapped, physical barriers remain for at least the mobility-handicapped segment of our population. Obviously, little is accomplished by hiring a wheelchair-bound person if that person cannot use standard transportation systems to reach that job, cannot get into his place of employment and cannot use the only toilet facilities provided.

This comment, in addressing federal efforts to remove physical barriers, focuses on three federal acts which cover the broad categories of architectural and transportation barriers, and the administrative regulations promulgated pursuant to the statutes. Also discussed are the requirements of the statutes, the interplay among them and the efficacy of the current scheme in removing physical barriers. Of major interest is the impact of section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 on existing federal legislation.

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