WASHINGTON - The Justice Department today announced a settlement agreement under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with Chatham University that will make its campus and services more accessible to individuals with disabilities.
Today’s settlement resolves an investigation during which the Department found violations of the ADA Standards for Accessible Design in newly constructed buildings, as well as barriers to existing facilities, including inaccessible entrances to buildings, steps in corridors leading to classrooms and other primary spaces, inaccessible counters, a lack of accessible seating in assembly areas, narrow doorways, the absence of directional signage, and inaccessible circulation paths throughout the campus. The university, located in Pittsburgh, Pa., has agreed to undertake a five year plan to remedy these and other barriers to full accessibility on campus.
The agreement addresses the major facilities on campus and related services, including administration buildings and faculty offices, assembly areas, classrooms, skill labs, cultural facilities, science facilities, dining areas, student housing and lounges, the library, the athletic center and playing fields, and parking.
"Our agreement with Chatham University, an older campus with a challenging terrain, is an important step in our continuing effort to ensure that the nation’s educational facilities are accessible to students and visitors with disabilities," said Grace Chung Becker, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division.
Under the agreement the University will, among other things:
Title III of the ADA requires that privately owned places of public accommodation, including colleges and universities, remove physical barriers to access to existing facilities where is it readily achievable to do so, comply with accessibility standards for new construction and alterations, ensure that transportation services are accessible, and modify policies and practices where necessary to ensure full and equal enjoyment of services and facilities.
For more information about the ADA or the agreement call the Justice Department’s toll-free ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 or 800-514-0383 (TTY), or access its ADA Web site at http://www.ada.gov.