WASHINGTON – The Department of Justice today announced a comprehensive settlement agreement under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with Sylvan Learning Centers L.L.C., which owns and operates over 200 Sylvan Learning Centers in 24 states across the nation. The agreement sets out steps to make Sylvan’s tutoring programs and services accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Sylvan provides tutoring, both in person and online, and personalized instruction to students primarily in grades pre-K through 12.
“Students who are deaf or hard of hearing, like their peers, want opportunities to enhance their learning, and this agreement improves access to the tutoring programs and services at more than 200 Sylvan Learning Centers across the nation,” said Rena J. Comisac, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “I commend Sylvan Learning Centers, L.L.C., for working cooperatively with us to more effectively serve individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. We hope that this agreement will serve as a model for other tutoring programs so that all children, including those who are deaf or hard of hearing, will have an equal opportunity to benefit from these important educational services.”
The settlement focuses on Sylvan’s commitment to maintain policies, practices, and procedures to ensure that individuals with disabilities, including individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, have an equal opportunity to use the services provided by Sylvan. Sylvan will provide auxiliary aids and services, including qualified sign language interpreters, to students who are deaf or hard of hearing when necessary to ensure effective communication. Auxiliary aids and services include, but are not limited to, providing qualified sign language interpreters, notetakers, computer-aided transcription services, written materials, telephone handset amplifiers, assistive listening devices, videotext displays, and other effective methods of making materials that others access by listening and speaking aloud available to students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Sylvan will not charge students for utilizing auxiliary aids and services they need.
More information about the ADA or the settlement agreement can be obtained on the Department of Justice's ADA Home Page at www.ada.gov. Information about the ADA is also available the Department's toll-free ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 or 800-514-0383 (TTY).