Justice News

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Justice Department Signs Agreement with the Village of Midlothian, Illinois, to Improve Civic Access for People with Disabilities

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department today announced an agreement with the village of Midlothian, Ill., to improve access to 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 full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This agreement is the 162nd under Project Civic Access.

"Access to public programs and services is a basic civil right, and I commend the village of Midlothian for committing to improving access to its programs and facilities for all of its citizens," said Loretta King, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. "As a result of today’s agreement, individuals with disabilities will be able to participate more fully in the civic life of Midlothian and to enjoy the access to services that so many of us take for granted."

More than 16 percent of the people living in the village of Midlothian have disabilities and will benefit from the agreement, which outlines several key steps the village of Midlothian will take to improve access for persons with disabilities, including:

  • Making physical modifications to its facilities so that parking, routes into the buildings, entrances, public telephones, restrooms, service counters and drinking fountains are accessible to persons with disabilities;
  • Ensuring that the village’s official Web site is accessible to persons with disabilities;
  • Ensuring that all appropriate village employees are trained and practiced in using the Illinois Relay Service to make and receive calls;
  • Maintaining the village’s database that tracks and aids the village in prioritizing repairs needed to eliminate sidewalk barriers to accessibility; and
  • Ensuring equal access to its emergency management program and services for persons with disabilities.

Project Civic Access was initiated to ensure that persons 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 facilities and programs across the country, and work to identify ways to improve a community’s compliance with ADA requirements. Each Project Civic Access agreement outlines a plan with specific steps that a local government will take to improve access for individuals with disabilities, while also acknowledging the steps already taken.

People interested in finding out more about the ADA, today’s agreement with the village of Midlothian or the Department’s Project Civic Access initiative may access the ADA Web site at http://www.ada.gov or call the toll-free ADA Information Line at (800) 514-0301 or (800) 514-0383 (TTY).

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