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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, August 10, 2009
Justice Department Signs Agreement with Port St. Lucie, Florida, to Ensure Civic Access for People with Disabilities

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department today announced an agreement with the city of Port St. Lucie, Fla., 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 to bring state and local governments into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This agreement is the 168th under Project Civic Access and the seventh this year.

"Port St. Lucie officials recognize that civic access is a civil right and I applaud them for committing to ensure that residents and visitors with disabilities have equal access to city programs, services and facilities," said Loretta King, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.

Under today’s agreement, the city will:

  • Make physical modifications to its facilities so that parking, routes into buildings, entrances, assembly areas, public telephones, restrooms, service counters, drinking fountains, elevators, routes within parks, and picnic pavilions are accessible to persons with disabilities;
  • Implement a plan for the accessibility of sidewalks and curb ramps throughout the city;
  • Ensure that the city’s official website is accessible to individuals with disabilities, including persons who are blind or have low vision;
  • Continue to train staff in using telephone relay services to place and receive calls to ensure effective communication with persons who are deaf, are hard of hearing, or have speech impairments;
  • Amend its employment policies, as necessary, to comply with ADA requirements; and
  • Install signs at any inaccessible entrance to a facility directing users to an accessible entrance or to information about other accessible facilities.

Project Civic Access was initiated to ensure that people with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate in civic life. As part of the project, Department investigators, attorneys, and architects conduct on-site surveys of state and local government programs and facilities across the country in order to identify 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.

People interested in finding out more about the ADA, today’s agreement with the city of Port St. Lucie, Fla., or the Department’s Project Civic Access initiative may find this 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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