WASHINGTON - The Justice Department today announced an agreement with Pearl River County, Miss., to improve access to all aspects of civic life for persons with disabilities. The agreement was reached under Project Civic Access (PCA), the department’s wide-ranging initiative to ensure that cities, towns, and counties throughout the country comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
“As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act this month, we applaud Pearl River County for its commitment to bring its facilities and programs into full compliance with the ADA,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “Individuals with disabilities will now have improved access to the programs and services offered by the county.”
More than 24 percent of the residents of Pearl River County have disabilities and will benefit from the agreement announced today. Under the agreement, Pearl River County will take several important steps to improve access for individuals with disabilities, such as:
Today’s agreement was reached under Title II of the ADA, which prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities by state and local governments. The department will actively monitor the county’s compliance with the agreement, which will remain in effect for three years or until the department has confirmed that all required actions have been completed, whichever is later.
Following an influx of new residents after Hurricane Katrina, Pearl River County, located in southern Mississippi, was recognized by the Census Bureau as the seventh fastest growing county in the United States. Pearl River County is the fourth largest county in Mississippi.
PCA was initiated to ensure that persons with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate in civic life, a fundamental part of American society. As part of the PCA initiative, Justice Department investigators, attorneys and architects survey state and local government facilities, services and programs in communities across the country to identify the modifications needed for compliance with the ADA. The agreements are tailored to address the steps each community must take to improve access. This agreement is the 182nd under the PCA initiative.
More information about the Civil Rights Division and the laws it enforces is available at the website www.justice.gov/crt . More information about the ADA, today’s agreement with Pearl River County, the Project Civic Access initiative, and the ADA Best Practices Tool Kit for State and Local Governments can be accessed at the ADA Web page at www.ada.gov or by calling the toll-free ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 or 800-514-0383 (TTY).