Settlement Agreement Between The United States Of America And The City Of Mcalester, Oklahoma


  1. This matter was initiated by a compliance review of the McAlester City Police Department in McAlester, Oklahoma, under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. ァァ 12131-12134, by the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Oklahoma.
  2. The parties to this Settlement Agreement ("Agreement") are the United States of America (the "United States") and the City of McAlester, Oklahoma (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:

  1. The ADA applies to the City because it is a public entity as defined in the Department of Justice's regulations implementing Title II. 28 C.F.R. ァ 35.104, 42 U.S.C. ァ 12131(1).
  2. By signing this Agreement, the City does not admit that its current services, policies or practices, including those related to its 9-1-1 services, constitute any violation of the ADA or its implementing regulations.
  3. The subject of this Agreement is the provision of direct access to the City's 9-1-1 services by individuals who use 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. ァァ 35.162, 35.130(b)(iii), and 35.130(b)(7).

TECHNOLOGY

  1. The City agrees that it will, by the end of February 1998, present a workshop before the City Council of McAlester to present to the City Council the necessity for purchasing and acquiring updated TDD equipment for the McAlester City Police Department.
  2. It is agreed between the parties that the City will take the appropriate steps to acquire and purchase the MARRS System or comparable system for installation at the McAlester City Police Department. The City agrees to install and have operational the MARRS System or comparable system as soon as possible, but no later than June 15, 1998. The City further agrees that:
    1. It will install sufficient additional TDD equipment so that each answering position has the capability to respond directly to callers on a TDD and make call-backs.
    2. Acquire additional TDD equipment, or equivalent, to ensure that backup equipment will be provided in case of an emergency or TDD malfunction.
    3. Evaluate its 9-1-1 system and procedures regarding processing of TDD calls that request fire services, and modify the system and procedures in order to ensure effective call handling.
    4. Include TDD equipment in power failure contingency plans.
    5. Maintain and record TDD calls electronically.

POLICIES, PRACTICES, AND PROCEDURES

  1. In order to ensure effective processing of TDD calls, the City shall, within 30 days of the installation of the MARRS System, establish and implement policies, practices and procedures to ensure that:
    1. All 9-1-1 call-takers recognize incoming TDD tones and respond appropriately via TDD; and that
    2. All 9-1-1 call-takers consider "silent" open lines as potential TDD calls and will respond by querying the line with a TDD.

      These policies, practices and procedures shall be incorporated into the Standard Operating Procedures.

TRAINING

  1. 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: a) general information about Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act; b) 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; and c) practical instruction on identifying 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 simultaneously with the procurement and installation of the MARRS System or such comparable system. 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.
  2. To insure the effectiveness of its training, the City shall:
    1. Utilize the Telecommunications for the Deaf, Inc.'s Emergency Access Self-Evaluation program or its equivalent to establish criteria and test each trainee's competency at the conclusion of the training described in paragraph 8, above;

      b. Develop and implement a supplemental training plan for any 9-1-1 call-taker who does not satisfactorily complete the required training.

      c. Provide a refresher training course every six months over a period of two years from the effective date of this Agreement in order to maintain call-takers' skill levels.

      d. Document all training provided, including each 9-1-1 call-taker's employee number, title and the date of training, and provide copies of the documentation to the Department of Justice upon request.

PUBLIC EDUCATION

  1. Within 90 days of the effective date of this Agreement, the City shall initiate a plan to develop and implement a public education program to promote the use of 9-1-1 services by individuals who use TDD's. Such outreach program shall be implemented by the City by June 15, 1998.

TESTING AND AUDIT

  1. Within 30 days of the installation of the MARRS System, the City shall, on a quarterly basis, conduct test TDD calls on each watch to each call-taking position. These tests shall be unannounced and shall be documented to include the date and time of the test, the call-taker position, identification of the call as "silent" or transmitting tones, time elapsed from the initiation of the TDD call until the 9-1-1 call-taker responds, and whether the call was processed properly and efficiently according to departmental policies and training directives. If testing reveals inadequacies in the handling of TDD calls, the City shall take immediate remedial action that may include as appropriate: additional training, equipment changes, additional policy or procedural changes, and disciplinary action. Results from each round of tests shall be summarized and sent to counsel for the United States on a semi-annual basis along with a description of any actions taken to remedy inadequacies uncovered by the tests. The quarterly testing and semi-annual audit reports shall be required for two years from the effective date of this Agreement.

PROGRESS REPORT

  1. Within 30 days of the installation of the MARRS System, the City will submit a report to the United States Attorney, Bruce Green, Attention: Cheryl R. Triplett, Assistant United States Attorney, detailing the actions it has taken to comply with the preceding provisions.

IMPLEMENTATION AND ENFORCEMENT OF THE SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT

  1. Failure by the Department of Justice to enforce this entire Agreement or any provision thereof with respect to any provision herein shall not be construed as a waiver of its right to do so with regard to other provisions of this Agreement.
  2. This Agreement is a public document and constitutes the entire agreement between the parties on the matters raised herein. Copies of the Agreement shall be made available to any person by either party upon request to that party.
  3. The effective date of this Agreement is the date of the last signature below.

For the City of McAlester:

___________________________     Date______________
KEN GILES ssistant City Manager/
Coordinator for the ADA
City of McAlester
McAlester, Oklahoma

For the United States:

___________________________     Date______________
BRUCE GREEN
United States Attorney
CHERYL R. TRIPLETT
Assistant United States Attorney
Eastern District of Oklahoma
1200 West Okmulgee
Muskogee, Oklahoma 74401

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Updated August 6, 2015

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