The Justice Department announced today an agreement with the town of Poestenkill, N.Y., 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 a town’s government is the most basic of civil rights. It is the gateway to programs, services and activities that should be afforded to all people in a community, including those with disabilities,” said Eve L. Hill, Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “Today the Town of Poestenkill, N.Y., joins the growing list of cities, towns and counties throughout the United States, committing to the inclusion of people with disabilities in their towns.”
The PCA initiative ensures that people with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate in civic life, a fundamental part of American society. As part of the PCA initiative, Justice Department staff survey state and local government facilities, services and programs in communities across the country to identify what is needed to comply with the ADA. The agreements address the steps a community must take to improve access. This agreement is the 207th entered into under the Department’s PCA initiative.
Under the agreement announced today, the town will remove barriers to accessibility at the town Hall and the Poestenkill Library. The agreement also requires the town to do the following:
∙ Make physical modifications to its facilities so that parking, routes into the buildings, entrances, public telephones, restrooms, service counters and drinking fountains are accessible to people with disabilities; and assembly areas have the required wheelchair and companion seating.
∙ Post, publish and distribute a notice to inform members of the public of the provisions of Title II and their applicability to the town’s programs, services and activities.
∙ Train staff in using the New York state relay service for telephone communications.
∙ Develop a method for providing emergency management policies and procedures for persons with disabilities, including preparation, notification, response and clean-up.
∙ Develop a method for providing information for interested persons with disabilities concerning the existence and location of the town’s accessible services, activities and programs.
∙ Establish, implement and post online a policy that the town’s web pages be accessible, create a process for implementation and ensure that all new and modified web pages are accessible.
∙ Implement a plan for the accessibility of sidewalks and curb cuts throughout the Town.
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 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 town of Poestenkill 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).