TDD (202) 514-1888
The Department of Justice Commemorates the 18th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
"Since 1990, the Department has worked vigorously under the Americans with Disabilities Act to protect and create opportunities for persons with disabilities," said Grace Chung Becker, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. "Through a comprehensive program of law enforcement and technical assistance, the Department remains dedicated in its multifaceted and innovative approach to removing barriers to ensure that persons with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of American life."
The following recent ADA Enforcement efforts illustrate the Civil Rights Division’s commitment to the vigorous enforcement of the ADA:
- On July 25, 2008, the Department announced an agreement with the Education Management Corporation (EDMC) to eliminate architectural barriers at 19 Brown Mackie campuses operated by EDMC in Ohio, Kentucky, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Georgia, Florida, Indiana, Arizona, and Oklahoma. This is the Department’s first ADA agreement with a private post-secondary for-profit school, and with an education provider that leases all of its campus facilities from another entity.
- On July 21, 2008, the Department announced a consent decree resolving a lawsuit concerning retaliation by the Colorado Springs Police Department, in Colorado Springs, Colo., against one of its officers. The officer, Lance Lazoff, was denied a promotion in retaliation for support of his wife’s ADA action against the police department. Pursuant to the consent decree, Officer Lazoff will be promoted to the rank of Sergeant.
- On July 10, 2008, the Department announced a settlement agreement with Raynor Country Day School, in Long Island, N.Y., to ensure that children with diabetes are not turned down for enrollment in the school’s day camp. Under the agreement, Raynor School will make reasonable accommodations to permit children with diabetes to attend.
- On July 8, 2008, the Department announced a settlement agreement with the Medical Weight Loss Clinic, headquartered in Southfield, Mich., concerning the refusal by the clinic to serve a prospective client because she was HIV positive. The Clinic has agreed to provide training on the non-discrimination provisions of the ADA and to adopt a nondiscrimination policy and procedure at each of its 34 locations.
- On July 7, 2008, the Department reached a settlement with New Century Travel, Inc., an over-the-road discount bus service that operates in major cities along the East Coast. This is the first decree secured between the Department and a low cost, fixed-route carrier. Among other things, the decree provides that persons who use wheelchairs can schedule rides on buses equipped with wheelchair lifts with 48 hours advance notice to New Century.
- On June 3, 2008, after working together to make the museum’s exhibits accessible for persons who are blind or have low vision and persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, the Department and the International Spy Museum, in Washington, D.C., came to an innovative agreement, under which the museum agrees to work to bring the content of its exhibitions, public programs and other offerings into full compliance with ADA requirements.
- In March, 2008, the Department and the Michigan Paralyzed Veterans of America reached a settlement with the University of Michigan concerning the lack of accessible seating in the University’s football stadium. Under the settlement, the University will add a minimum of 248 pairs of permanent wheelchair and companion seats to the stadium during the next two years.
Project Civic Access:
To achieve increased access to public life for persons with disabilities, the Department implemented Project Civic Access (PCA). Under this project, the Department’s Civil Rights Division carries out reviews of local and state governments to bring communities into full compliance with the requirements of title II of the ADA. The project now includes 158 settlement agreements with 145 localities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
Most recently, on July 23, 2008, the Department announced its PCA settlement agreement with Humboldt County, Cal. to make accessible numerous county programs, services, and facilities, including polling places, emergency management procedures, and websites.
ADA Mediation Program:
In addition to litigation, the Department seeks to further its ADA-related goals under its ADA Mediation Program developed in 1994. The ADA Mediation Program is a Department-sponsored initiative intended to resolve ADA complaints in an efficient, voluntary manner. Mediation cases are initiated upon referral by the Department when both the complainant and the respondent agree to participate. The program uses professional mediators who are trained in the legal requirements of the ADA and has proven effective in resolving complaints at less cost and in less time than traditional investigations or litigation. More than 78 percent of all mediated complaints are resolved successfully. In FY 2007, this success rate was 84%, the highest yearly rate since the inception of the program.
Those interested in finding out more about the ADA can call the Justice Department’s toll-free ADA Information Line at (800) 514-0301 or (800) 514-0383 (TTY), or access to its ADA Web site at http://www.ada.gov.