The Justice Department announced today that it reached a settlement with Apple Tree Children’s Center of Norwalk, Iowa, to remedy alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The agreement resolves allegations that Apple Tree Children’s Center failed to ensure that children with disabilities, including children with Down syndrome, have a full and equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from its private pre-school programs.
Under the settlement agreement, Apple Tree Children’s Center will pay $2,500 to the child’s parents and will make reasonable modifications in policies, practices and procedures to ensure that its programs and services are accessible to children with disabilities. Apple Tree will also provide training on its obligations under Title III of the ADA to all staff who participate in the admissions process, enrollment decisions and consideration of requests for reasonable modifications of any of its policies, practices or procedures. In addition, Apple Tree will designate a staff member as its ADA compliance officer to ensure its compliance with Title III of the ADA and to review proposed decisions to exclude children with disabilities from enrollment or proposed denials of any requested reasonable modifications.
“Children with disabilities, including those with Down syndrome, have the right to full and equal participation in pre-school educational programs. The department is committed to upholding civil rights for all people with disabilities,” said Eve Hill, Senior Counselor to the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.
The ADA requires that public accommodations, including pre-school programs, provide children with disabilities, including those with Down syndrome, full and equal enjoyment of the public accommodation’s goods, services and facilities.
The Department of Justice provides a webpage specifically dedicated to information about the ADA at www.ada.gov. Those interested in finding out more about these settlements or the obligations of public accommodations under the ADA may call the Justice Department’s toll-free ADA information line at 800-514-0301 or 800-514-0383 (TTY), or access its ADA website at www.ada.gov. ADA complaints may be filed by email to email@example.com.