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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 9, 2013
Justice Department Signs Agreement with Stewart County, Georgia, to Ensure Civic Access for People with Disabilities

The Justice Department today announced an agreement with Stewart County, Ga., 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).

 

“Access to your county’s programs, services and activities is a basic civil right, and the doors to government must be open for people with disabilities,” said Eve L. Hill, Senior Counselor to the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “I applaud Stewart County for its dedication to ensuring that all people have full access to the county’s public resources.”

 

PCA ensures that persons with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate in civic life.  As part of the PCA initiative, Justice Department staff, including investigators and architects, survey government facilities, services and programs in communities across the country.   The survey identifies modifications needed for compliance with the ADA.   The agreements set out steps each community must take to improve access.   PCA agreements require physical modifications to facilities to make them accessible to people with disabilities.

 

Stewart County, established in 1830, is located in southwest Georgia approximately 37 miles from Columbus, Ga. During the compliance review, the department reviewed 11 county facilities, including the sheriff’s department, health department, senior center, municipal center and RV park, as well as several polling places.   The agreement requires the county to correct accessibility barriers identified at the 11 facilities, and to conduct accessibility surveys at additional polling places and voter registration sites, as well as to survey any potential new polling places.   The county will also make provisions for individuals with disabilities in its emergency management plans and procedures and will increase the accessibility of its website.   Other provisions address effective communication, grievance procedures, sidewalks, and domestic violence programs.   The agreement will remain in effect for three years and the department will monitor the county’s compliance with the agreement.

 

People interested in finding out more about the ADA, today’s agreement with Stewart County, the PCA initiative or the ADA Best Practices Tool Kit for state and local governments can access the ADA webpage at www.ada.gov or call the toll-free ADA Information Line at (800) 514-0301 (TDD 800-514-0383).

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