The Justice Department announced today an agreement with the city of Fort Morgan, Colo., 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).
PCA ensures that people with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate in civic life. As part of PCA, Justice Department staff survey state and local government facilities, services and programs in communities across the country to identify changes needed to comply with the ADA. The agreements detail the actions a city must take to improve access to the city. This agreement is the 208th entered into under the department’s PCA initiative.
Under the agreement, which may be viewed at www.ada.gov/fort-morgan-pca/fort-morgan-pca-sa.htm, the city will remove barriers to accessibility at the animal shelter, cemetery, city complex, city hall, library and museum, municipal court, police department and airport, as well as City Park, Fulton Heights Park, Gateway Park, Jaycee Park, Old Fort Park and Optimist Park. The city will also request the school district to remove barriers to access within the areas of the high school and the middle school that are currently used for emergency shelters.
The agreement also requires the city to address emergency management policies and procedures for persons with disabilities, develop a method for providing information for persons with disabilities about the existence and location of the city’s accessible services, establish and implement a policy to make the city’s web pages accessible and i mplement a plan to make sidewalks and curb cuts accessible throughout the city.
“Access to a city government’s programs, services and activities is one of the most basic civil rights guaranteed to community members, including those with disabilities,” said Jocelyn Samuels, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “By signing this agreement, the city of Fort Morgan, Colo. is committing to ensuring its doors are open to people with disabilities.”
“One of the important roles the Department of Justice plays is ensuring that anyone can access their government,” said Walsh, U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado. “With the signing of this agreement with Fort Morgan, those with disabilities will be able to interact with their government, free of any barriers that may have previously blocked their access.”
Today’s agreement was reached under Title II of the ADA, which prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities by state and local governments. The agreement requires the actions to be completed within three years. The department will actively monitor compliance with the agreement throughout this timeframe.
This agreement is among the first to be posted on the department’s newly redesigned PCA web page and may be viewed at www.ada.gov/civicac.htm . The web page allows users to identify PCA agreements in two different ways: by geographic location using a clickable map or a state list and by chronological order, when the agreement became effective.
People interested in finding out more about the ADA, today’s agreement with the city of Fort Morgan, the Project Civic Access initiative or the ADA Best Practices Tool Kit for State and Local Governments may access the ADA web page at www.ada.gov or call the toll-free ADA Information Line at (800) 514-0301 or (800) 514-0383 (TTY).