The Department of Justice announced today that it has reached a settlement with Newseum Inc., which owns and operates the Newseum, to address alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The settlement agreement resolves allegations that the Newseum, a museum of news and history in Washington, D.C., was operating exhibits and providing facilities that were not accessible to people with disabilities.
Under the settlement, the Newseum must take steps to ensure that all of its programs, exhibits and facilities are accessible to people with disabilities, including:
· Providing additional wheelchair spaces and companion seats in the Walter and Leonore Annenberg Theater;
· Providing assistive listening devices for patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing in the Newseum’s 15 theaters, and providing captioning and other auxiliary aids and services throughout its more than 20 galleries of exhibitions and interactive programs;
· Ensuring that the operating controls of all Newseum interactive programs are within the reach-range of people who use wheelchairs;
· Providing museum tours that are audio described and include tactile experiences for individuals who are blind or have impaired vision ; and
· Providing printed materials and maps in alternate formats (e.g., audio, large print and Braille).
“This agreement ensures that people with disabilities will have an equal opportunity to enjoy the Newseum as other visitors,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels for the Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department is committed to knocking down these types of barriers, and we commend the Newseum for its innovative efforts to improve accessibility for all visitors.”
The agreement resolves a compliance review under the ADA. People interested in finding out more about the ADA, the Standards for Accessible Design or this agreement can call the department’s toll-free ADA Information Line at 1-800-514-0301 or 1-800-514-0383 (TTY) or visit its ADA website at www.ada.gov.