WASHINGTON - The Justice Department today announced agreements with Norfolk County, Mass.; Daviess County, Ky.; and the city of Madison, Indiana, to improve access to all aspects of civic life for individuals with disabilities. The agreements were 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). The department has now reached 193 agreements under the PCA initiative.
“More than twenty years after the ADA became law, the Justice Department continues its vigilant efforts to ensure nationwide compliance with the ADA, which guarantees equal access for individuals with disabilities in our 21st century society,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “I commend the officials in Norfolk County, Daviess County and the city of Madison for making this commitment to provide equal access to their residents and visitors with disabilities. These agreements, signed on the 21st anniversary of the ADA, represent another significant step towards the Justice Department’s goal of nationwide compliance with the ADA.”
PCA was initiated to ensure that persons 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 investigators, attorneys and architects survey state and local government facilities, services and programs in communities across the country to identify the modifications needed for compliance with ADA requirements.
The agreements are tailored to address the steps each community must take to improve access. PCA agreements typically include requirements to make physical modifications to public facilities so that, among other elements, parking, routes into the buildings, entrances, assembly areas, restrooms, service counters and drinking fountains are accessible to people with disabilities. Other common provisions address effective communication (e.g., website and telephone communications), grievance procedures, polling places, emergency management procedures and policies, sidewalks, and domestic violence programs. For specific information about the provisions included in each of the agreements reached today, see the fact sheets accompanying this release.
According to census data, more than 89,000 residents in Norfolk County, or 15 percent of residents, have a disability. More than 21 percent of residents in Daviess County, or 18,166, have a disability, and more than 21 percent of residents of the city of Madison, or 2,297, have a disability.
Today’s agreements were reached under Title II of the ADA, which prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities by state and local governments. The agreements will remain in effect for three years from July 26, 2011. The department will actively monitor compliance with the agreements until it has confirmed that all required actions have been completed.
People interested in finding out more about the ADA, today’s agreements, the Project Civic Access initiative, or the ADA Best Practices Tool Kit for State and Local Governments can access the ADA webstite www.ada.gov or call the toll-free ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 or 800-514-0383 (TTY).
The agreement with Norfolk County is available at www.ada.gov/norfolk_pca/norfolk_sa.htm; the agreement with Daviess County is available at www.ada.gov/daviess_co_pca/daviess_sa.htm; and the agreement with Madison is available at www.ada.gov/madison_pca/madison.htm.