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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Justice Department Signs Agreement with Gregg County, Texas, to Improve Civic Access for People with Disabilities

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department today announced an agreement with Gregg County, Texas, to improve access for persons with disabilities to its programs, services, activities and facilities. The agreement was reached under the Department’s Project Civic Access initiative, which helps bring localities into full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This agreement is the 163rd entered into under Project Civic Access.

"Because of Gregg County’s willingness to work cooperatively toward this agreement, individuals with disabilities will now have greater access to those programs, services and facilities that so many of us take for granted," said Loretta King, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. "Civic access is a civil right, and I applaud county officials for their commitment to improving access."

The Department’s Agreement with Gregg County provides that the county will:

  • Make physical modifications to specified facilities so that parking, routes into the buildings, entrances, public telephones, restrooms, service counters and drinking fountains are accessible to persons with disabilities;
  • Post, publish and distribute a notice to inform members of the public of the provisions of title II of the ADA and their applicability to the county’s programs, services and activities;
  • Ensure that the county’s official Web site is accessible to persons with disabilities;
  • Take steps to ensure that all appropriate employees are trained and practiced in using the Texas Relay Service to make and receive calls;
  • Maintain the database that tracks and assists the county in prioritizing repairs necessary to eliminate barriers to accessibility in the county’s sidewalks;
  • Develop a method for providing emergency management policies and procedures for persons with disabilities, including preparation, notification, response and clean up;
  • Develop a method for providing information for interested persons with disabilities concerning the existence and location of the county’s accessible services, activities and programs;
  • 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 individuals with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate in civic life in their communities. As part of the project, Department investigators, attorneys and architects conduct on-site surveys of state and local government facilities and programs to identify modifications needed for compliance with ADA requirements. The agreements are tailored for each community to address specific areas where access to a government’s programs or facilities can be improved.

People interested in finding out more about the ADA, today’s agreement with Gregg County or the Department’s Project Civic Access initiative may obtain this information on the ADA Web site at http://www.ada.gov or by calling the toll-free ADA Information Line at (800) 514-0301 or (800) 514-0383 (TDD).

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