Justice News

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Justice Department Signs Agreement with Fayette County, Pennsylvania, to Ensure Civic Access for People with Disabilities

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department today announced an agreement with Fayette County, Pa., to improve access to all aspects of civic life for persons with disabilities. The agreement was reached under the Department’s Project Civic Access initiative, which aims to bring state and local governments into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This agreement is the 167th under Project Civic Access.

The Project Civic Access initiative was created to ensure that people with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate in civic life. As part of the project, Department investigators, attorneys, and architects conduct on-site surveys of state and local government programs and facilities throughout the country to identify modifications needed for compliance with ADA requirements. The agreements contain a plan setting out the specific steps a community will take to improve access for persons with disabilities.

"Civic access is a basic civil right guaranteed to all, and today’s agreement illustrate’s Fayette County’s commitment to improving access for its residents and visitors with disabilities," said Acting Assistant Attorney General Loretta King of the Civil Rights Division. "County officials are to be commended for working to ensure equal access to its programs, services and facilities for all residents, including persons with disabilities."

Fayette County is located in western Pennsylvania, close to Virginia. According to census data, approximately 145,651 residents make it their home and more than 23 percent of those individuals have a disability. Founded in 1783, Fayette County’s seat is Uniontown.

Under its agreement, the county will:

  • Make physical modifications to facilities so that parking, routes into and inside buildings, restrooms and drinking fountains are accessible to people with disabilities;
  • Ensure effective communication in its programs and services for persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind or have low vision;
  • Provide accessible polling places;
  • Provide access to sidewalks for persons with mobility disabilities by installing curb ramps;
  • Provide equal access to its emergency management program and services;
  • Officially recognize the Pennsylvania relay service and train staff in using the relay service and a TTY;
  • Ensure that the county’s official website is accessible to people with disabilities, including individuals who are blind or have low vision;
  • Post, publish and distribute a notice to inform members of the public of the provisions of title II of the ADA and their applicability to the county’s programs, services, and activities;
  • Provide information to the public concerning the existence and location of the county’s accessible services, activities and programs; and
  • Install signs at any inaccessible entrance to a facility directing persons with disabilities to an accessible entrance or to information about other accessible facilities.

People interested in finding out more about the ADA, today’s agreement with Fayette County, Pa., or the Department’s Project Civic Access initiative can find this information on the ADA Web site at http://www.ada.gov or may call the toll-free ADA Information Line at (800) 514-0301 or (800) 514-0383 (TTY).

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