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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, August 3, 2009
Justice Department Signs Agreement with Wendell, Idaho, to Ensure Civic Access for People with Disabilities

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department today announced an agreement with the city of Wendell, Idaho, to improve access to all aspects of civic life for persons with disabilities. The agreement was reached under the Department’s Project Civic Access initiative, which aims to bring state and local governments into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This agreement is the 165th under Project Civic Access.

As part of Project Civil Access, Justice Department investigators, attorneys and architects conduct on-site surveys of state and local government programs and facilities across the country for the purpose of identifying modifications needed for compliance with ADA requirements. The agreements contain a plan setting out the specific steps a community will take to improve access for persons with disabilities.

"Although Wendell is one of our nation’s smaller cities, more than 20 percent of Wendell residents have some type of disability. We are pleased that officials in the city of Wendell recognize the importance of civic access for those individuals," said Acting Assistant Attorney General Loretta King of the Civil Rights Division. "As a result of the city’s efforts, all of its residents will have equal access to city programs and services."

Wendell is a town of just over 2,300 residents located about 100 miles southeast of Boise, Idaho, and one out of every five residents has a disability. The Department’s agreement with the city specifies that Wendell will:

  • Make physical modifications to its facilities so that parking, routes into the buildings, entrances, public telephones, restrooms, service counters and drinking fountains are accessible to people with disabilities;
  • Post, publish and distribute a notice to inform the public of the provisions of Title II of the ADA and their applicability to the City’s programs, services and activities;
  • Ensure that all appropriate employees are trained and practiced in using the Idaho Relay Service to make and receive calls;
  • Develop a method for providing information for interested persons with disabilities concerning the existence and location of the city’s accessible services, activities and programs; and
  • Install signs at any inaccessible entrance to a facility directing users to an accessible entrance or to information about other accessible facilities.

The ADA requires state and local government programs, activities, and services to be accessible to persons with disabilities. It applies to all communities throughout the United States, from the largest cities and counties to the smallest towns and villages.

People interested in finding out more about the ADA, today’s agreement with the city of Wendell or the Department’s Project Civic Access initiative can obtain information on the ADA Web site at http://www.ada.gov or may call the toll-free ADA Information Line at (800) 514-0301 or (800) 514-0383 (TTY).

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