- This matter was initiated by a compliance review of the City of Davenport, Iowa's Public Safety Communications Center under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. ï½§ï½§ 12131-12134, by the United States Attorney's Office, Southern District of Iowa in March, 1998.
- The parties to this Settlement Agreement ("Agreement") are the United States of America (the "United States") and the City of Davenport, Iowa (the "City"). The parties have determined that their respective interests can be met by securing compliance by voluntary means and have therefore voluntarily entered into this Agreement.
The parties hereby agree as follows:
- The ADA applies to the City because it is a public entity within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. ï½§ 12115.
- The City denies that any action it has taken constitutes a violation of the ADA. This Agreement shall not be construed as an admission of liability by the City. The City also agrees that it will abide by all of the requirements of the ADA.
- The subject of this Settlement Agreement is the provision of direct access to the City's 9-1-1 services for individuals with disabilities who use telecommunications devices for the deaf (TDD's), and the development and/or continuation of policies and procedures to ensure that the 9-1-1 services provided to individuals who use TDD's are as effective as those provided to other telephone users. 28 C.F.R. ï½§ï½§ 35.162, 35.130(b)(iii), and 35.130(b)(7).
- In order to provide individuals who use TDD's with direct access to the City's 9-1-1 services, the City agrees that it will, within 90 days of the date of this agreement:
- Install one TDD per each answering position, dispatch position and auxiliary position, so that each such position has the capability to respond directly to callers on a TDD, make call-backs, and query the lines for possible TDD calls on each silent, open-line call.
- Acquire additional TDD equipment, or equivalent, to ensure that backup equipment will be provided in case of an emergency or TDD malfunction.
- Include TDD equipment in power failure contingency plans.
- Maintain and record TDD calls electronically and will retain those records for the same period of time as recordings of voice telephone calls are maintained.
- Establish a separate line for non-emergency TDD calls.
POLICIES, PRACTICES, AND PROCEDURES
- In order to ensure effective processing of TDD calls, the City shall, within 90 days of this agreement, establish and implement policies, practices and procedures to ensure that:
- All 9-1-1 call-takers recognize incoming TDD tones and respond appropriately via TDD; and that
- All 9-1-1 call-takers consider "silent" open lines as potential TDD calls and query the line on each such call and respond accordingly.
- These policies, practices and procedures in 7. a. and b. shall be incorporated into the Standard Operating Procedures.
- Establish a working relationship with individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or who have speech impairments in order to continue to evaluate the services, practices and procedures as they relate to the City's 9-1-1 services.
- In order to ensure the proper operation of TDD's and related equipment, as well as the effective processing of TDD calls by 9-1-1 call-takers, the City shall provide comprehensive training for every 9-1-1 call-taker, including newly hired call-takers. The training must include:
- General information about Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
- General information about communication issues regarding individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, or who have speech impairments, including information about American Sign Language.
- Practical instruction on identification and processing of TDD calls, including the importance of using proper syntax and protocol when responding to TDD calls and relayed calls.
For current employees, training shall take place as soon as possible, but no later than 90 days after the effective date of this Agreement. For new employees, the training required pursuant to this agreement shall be included as part of the regular training or instruction program and shall be conducted no later than 10 days after beginning employment. The City agrees to instruct its employees who are responsible for providing 9-1-1 services, including dispatchers and others, to comply with the applicable provisions of this Agreement.
- To ensure the effectiveness of its training, the City shall:
- Establish criteria and test each trainee's competency at the conclusion of the training described in paragraph 10 a-c, above.
- Develop and implement a supplemental training plan for any 9-1-1 call- taker who does not satisfactorily complete the required training.
- Provide a refresher training course, no less than every six months over a period of two years to maintain skill level and provide information on changing technologies.
- Document all training provided, including each 9-1-1 call-taker's title and the date each received training, and provide a copy of the documentation to the Department of Justice upon request.
- Commence the actions specified in paragraphs 11. a. through 11. d. on the effective date of this Agreement and continue these actions for two years following the date of this Agreement.
- In order to inform members of the public regarding the provisions of Title II and their applicability to the City's telephone emergency services, the City shall publish, within 120 days of the effective date of this Agreement, the following notice or equivalent on two separate occasions in a newspaper of general circulation serving Davenport, Iowa.
In accordance with the requirements of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the City of Davenport will not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities on the basis of disability in the City's services, programs, or activities. Individuals who use telecommunications devices for the deaf (TDD/TTY's) will be provided direct access to the City's telephone emergency services, including 9-1-1 services. The City will provide telephone emergency services to individuals who use TDD/TTY's that are as effective as those provided to others.
- The City will provide a copy of the notice to any person upon request.
- Withing 120 days of the effective date of this Agreement, the City agrees to initiate the development and implementation of a public education program to promote the use of 9-1-1 by individuals who use TDD's. This program includes the following: developing and distributing written materials, brochures, and open-captioned videotapes; publishing information in telephone directories regarding direct access to 9-1-1 by individuals who use TDD's; making presentations before deaf and hard of hearing groups; and broadcasting open-captioned Public Service Announcements.
TESTING AND AUDIT
- Within 120 days of the effective date of this Agreement, the City agrees to:
- . Submit draft protocols for testing procedures for conducting routine TDD test calls; also, maintain documentation of TDD test calls and provide a copy to the Department of Justice upon request. Documentation shall include the position of the test caller; date; time; and zone of the test call; identification of the call as "silent" or transmitting tones; time required to establish communication with 9-1-1 personnel; total time required to hand-off call to EMS or Fire personnel; terminology used; and any other pertinent information, such as a printout or transcript of the TDD communication. The testing procedures will be implemented after review by the Department of Justice.
- Audit, on a semi-annual basis, the quality of service provided to TDD users and the adequacy of the maintenance of TDD's and related equipment. Such semi-annual audits will continue for two years after the effective date of this Agreement. The audits will document the time elapsed from initiation of the TDD call at the Center until the Center responds; and the number and status of TDD calls (e.g., disconnected, hung-up, or answered); and the percentage of TDD calls answered within ten seconds.
- Within 150 days of the effective date of this agreement, the City will submit a report to the Department of Justice detailing the actions it has taken to comply with the preceding provisions. This report will include copies of notices published in the newspapers. The City will use terminology in the report that is consistent with terminology used by the City regarding its functions and positions. The City will send similar reports to the Department of Justice semi-annually for two years.
IMPLEMENTATION AND ENFORCEMENT OF THE SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT
- This agreement is a public document. A copy of this document or any information contained in it may be made available to any person. The City will provide a copy of this Agreement to any person upon request.
- The Department of Justice may review compliance with this Agreement at any time. If the Department of Justice believes that this Agreement or any requirement thereof has been violated and has not been able to resolve the dispute through reasonable attempts at conciliation, it may institute civil action seeking specific performance of the provisions of this Agreement in an appropriate Federal Court.
- Failure by the Department of Justice to enforce this entire Agreement or any provision thereof with respect to any deadline or any other provision herein, will not be construed as a waiver of its right to enforce other deadlines and provisions of this Agreement.
- 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 raised herein, and no other statement, promise, or agreement, either written or oral, made by either party or agents of either party, that is not contained in this written Agreement, will be enforceable under its provisions. This Agreement does not affect the City's continuing responsibility to comply with all aspects of Title II of the ADA.
For the City of Davenport:
___________________ By _____________________________
___________________ By _____________________________
(CORPORATE SEAL) ATTEST:
Approved as to form:
For the United States:
DON C. NICKERSON
United States Attorney
Southern District of Iowa
Inga Bumbary-Langston, Executive
Assistant United States Attorney
2nd Floor, U.S. Courthouse Annex
110 E. Court Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50309-2043