Department of Justice Complaint Number 204-25-26
This matter was initiated by a complaint filed under title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), 42 U.S.C. ï½§ï½§ 12131 - 12134, with the United States Department of Justice ("Department") against the City of Alton, Illinois ("City"). The complaint alleges that the City denies individuals with disabilities from participating fully in the programs and activities conducted in Lincoln-Douglas Square. Specifically, there is no access to the platform on which statues of Lincoln and Douglas are placed. Individuals who use wheelchairs and those with mobility impairments are unable to participate in activities conducted on the statue platform because there is no ramp or other physical access. The parties have engaged in extensive discussion concerning the issues and determined that this voluntary Settlement Agreement ("Agreement") will resolve this complaint.
The parties hereby agree as follows:
- The City is a public entity as defined in 42 U.S.C. ï½§ 12131 and 28 C.F.R. ï½§ 35.104.
- Under title II, the City is responsible for ensuring that qualified individuals with disabilities are not, because its facilities are inaccessible to or unusable by such individuals, excluded from receiving the benefits of the services, programs, and activities conducted therein, or otherwise subjected to discrimination by the City. 42 U.S.C. ï½§ 12131 and 28 C.F.R. ï½§ 35.149.
- Title II requires a public entity to operate each service, program, or activity so that the service, program, or activity, when viewed in its entirety, is readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. See 28 C.F.R. ï½§ 35.150
- The City maintains that the statue platform is not for use by the public. Within 30 days of the date of this Agreement, the City will publicize this official policy and prominently display this information in the Square to make the public aware that the platform is off-limits.
- The City agrees that any public activities held on the platform of the Lincoln-Douglas statues will be accessible to individuals with disabilities. In the event that the platform is used for civic events, the City will install a temporary ramp adjoining the platform or make other effective modifications permitting participation by individuals with mobility impairments.
- The City agrees that any new construction or alteration projects will comply fully with the new construction standards of title II. See 28 C.F.R. ï½§ 35.151.
- The City agrees to consult with individuals with disabilities and organizations representing individuals with disabilities when planning for new construction or alteration of any public facilities in Alton.
- Within 30 days of the date of this Agreement, the City will publish a notice of this Agreement. The notice will be available in alternate formats designed to ensure effective communication with individuals with hearing or vision impairments and will be published in a newspaper of general circulation serving the City of Alton. The notice will also be prominently posted at all City facilities that are open to the public. See 28 C.F.R. ï½§ï½§ 35.106 and 35.107.
- The Department of Justice may review compliance with this Agreement at any time. If it believes that this Agreement or any requirement thereof has been violated, the Department of Justice may institute a civil action seeking specific performance of the provisions of this Agreement in an appropriate United States district court.
- The effective date of this Agreement is the date of the last signature below.
- This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties on the matters addressed herein. No other statement, promise or agreement, either written or oral, made by either party or agents of either party, that is not contained in the written Agreement, shall be enforceable. This Agreement does not purport to remedy any other potential violations of the ADA or any other Federal laws. This Agreement does not affect the City's continuing responsibility to comply with all aspects of the ADA.
- This Agreement is a public document. A copy of this document may be made available to any person upon request.
For the City of Alton, Illinois
For the United States of America:
John Wodatch, Chief
L. Irene Bowen, Deputy Chief
Eve L. Hill,Supervisory Attorney
Thomas Esbrook, Equal Opportuity Specialist
Disability Rights Section
U.S. Department of Justice
P.O. Box 66738
Washington, D.C. 20035-6738