WASHINGTON – The Justice Department today announced a settlement agreement with the West End YMCA, headquartered in Ontario, Calif., that resolves an investigation into alleged discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The agreement covers associated YMCA branches in Ontario, Chino, Upland, and Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
The underlying complaint filed with the Justice Department alleged that the West End YMCA terminated a child from its after-school child care program because the child has autism. Under the agreement, the West End YMCA will implement policies and procedures to ensure that children with disabilities are afforded a full and equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from YMCA child care programs. Procedures for requesting reasonable modifications to the child care program will be published in the organization’s parent handbooks, and YMCA staff involved in child care decisions will be trained on ADA obligations in the child care setting. The West End YMCA also agreed to pay monetary damages to the complainant.
“Ensuring that children with disabilities, and their families, have equal access to reliable child care goes to the heart of the ADA’s promises and protections,” said Wan J. Kim, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “I commend the West End YMCA for working with us, and I hope that this agreement will be a model for other child care providers.”
Under Title III of the ADA, private child care providers are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of disability, and must make reasonable modifications to policies, practices and procedures to afford individuals with disabilities the opportunity to participate and benefit from the child care services. Additional information about the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department is available at http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/. Those interested in finding out more about federal disability rights statutes can call the Justice Department’s toll-free ADA Information Line at (800) 514-0301 or (800) 514-0383 (TDD), or access the ADA Web site at http://www.ada.gov.