Settlement Agreement Between The United States Of America And The Department Of Finance And Administration And The Mississippi Fair Commission

Department of Justice Complaint No. 204-41-25

This Settlement Agreement (the "Agreement") is entered into by and between the Department of Finance and Administration (the "DFA") and the Mississippi Fair Commission (the "MFC") and the United States of America, through the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section ("the Department").

This matter was initiated by a complaint filed with the Department under title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. ァァ 12131-12134. The complaint alleged that the Mississippi Coliseum is not accessible to people with mobility impairments.

The Department is authorized under 28 C.F.R. Part 35 to investigate this complaint to determine whether DFA and MFC are in compliance with title II of the ADA. DFA and MFC are public entities for purposes of 42 U.S.C. ァ 12132, as defined by the ADA in 42 U.S.C. ァ 12131, and in the implementing regulations, 28 C.F.R. ァ 35.104. The Department is authorized to investigate the facts, issue findings, and, where appropriate, negotiate and secure voluntary compliance agreements. Furthermore, the Department is authorized to bring a civil action enforcing title II of the ADA should it fail to secure a voluntary compliance agreement.

Because DFA, MFC and the United States desire to settle this matter without resort to litigation, the parties agree to the following voluntary compliance agreement:

  1. In consideration for DFA and MFC's performance of their respective obligations under this Agreement, the Department agrees to refrain from undertaking further investigation of Department of Justice Complaint No. 204-41-25 or from filing a civil suit based upon Department of Justice Complaint No. 204-41-25. The obligations of DFA and MFC are separate and distinct and the breach of any obligation by either party shall not create any liability for the other party.
  2. DFA covenants and agrees to complete the following renovations to the Mississippi Coliseum as required by the Standards for Accessible Design (the "Standards"), 28 C.F.R. Part 36, Appendix A:
    1. Fixed seating areas. DFA agrees to ensure that one percent (1%) of its fixed seating is accessible to and usable by people with disabilities as set forth in the succeeding paragraph.

      DFA agrees to accomplish this objective by removing the first two rows of seats in sections AA, AB, AC, AD, AE, AF, AG, BA, BB, BC, BD, BE, BF, and BG, and replacing them with a seating area that is accessible for people with disabilities and their companions.

    2. Accessible free standing concession stand on the concourse level. DFA agrees to add a counter complying with ァ 7.2 of the Standards to one free standing concession stand being constructed on the concourse level.
    3. Accessible fixed concession stand on the ground level. DFA agrees to renovate a counter at one fixed concession stand on the ground level. The renovated counter must comply with ァ 7.2 of the Standards.
    4. Signage at concession stands. DFA agrees to install directional signs at the concession stands that are not renovated, as described in ァ 7.3(3) of the Standards. DFA also agrees to identify the accessible concession stands by using the international symbol of accessibility, as described in ァ 4.30.7 of the Standards.
    5. Unisex toilet rooms. DFA agrees to install one unisex toilet room on the concourse level and one on the ground level. The unisex toilet rooms must comply with ァァ 4.22, 4.16, 4.19, 4.26, and 4.27 of the Standards.
    6. Renovated toilet stalls. DFA agrees to renovate at least one toilet stall in a men's toilet room on the concourse level, in a women's toilet room on the concourse level, in a men's toilet room on the ground level, and in a women's toilet room on the ground level. The toilet stalls must comply at a minimum with the measurements in Figure 30(b) of the Standards.
    7. Accessible parking spaces. DFA agrees that it will designate for people with disabilities twenty parking spaces in Lot 4 for the first one thousand parking spaces located in Lots 1 and 4, and an additional one percent of all parking spaces in excess of one thousand. The designated parking spaces shall be located in Lot 4. The parking spaces must comply with ァ 4.6 of the Standards. One of every eight designated parking spaces must be specifically for van accessible parking, and must comply with ァァ 4.1.2(5) and 4.6 of the Standards.
    8. Parking signage. DFA agrees to install signage for designated parking spaces as required by ァ 4.6.4 of the Standards.
    9. Accessible route. DFA agrees to clear concrete barriers surrounding the Coliseum's sidewalk so that at least one accessible route is provided from designated parking spaces to the Coliseum or events held on the coliseum's grounds. The accessible route must comply with ァ 4.3 of the Standards.
    10. Thresholds. DFA agrees that thresholds for the accessible entrances and toilet rooms, and other locations, shall comply with ァ 4.13.8 of the Standards.
    11. Building signage. DFA agrees to provide and install the Coliseum with signs complying with ァ 4.1.2(7) of the Standards.
  3. DFA agrees to complete the required renovations within 180 days of the date the Department signs this Agreement.
  4. In the event that DFA fails to comply in a timely manner with any provision of this Agreement, the Department may either:
    1. notify DFA that the Settlement Agreement is no longer operative and may re-open the investigation of Department of Justice Complaint No. 204-41-25; or,
    2. institute a civil action against DFA seeking to have the terms of this Agreement enforced in the appropriate Federal court.
  5. DFA agrees that the Department may review compliance with this Agreement at any time.
  6. DFA agrees that it will not discriminate or retaliate against any person because of his/her participation in this matter.
  7. MFC covenants and agrees to the following:
    1. Additional seat. MFC agrees to provide an additional seat adjacent to each wheelchair space for companions of people who use wheelchairs, as required by ァ 4.33 of the Standards.
    2. Floor seating. MFC agrees that, for those events using temporary seating on the floor of the Mississippi Coliseum, one percent of the temporary seating shall be accessible for people who use wheelchairs and an additional one percent of the seating will be available for companions of people who use wheelchairs, as required by ァ 4.33 of the Standards. The designated seating shall be dispersed so as to provide people with disabilities a choice of admission prices and viewing angles comparable to those for members of the general public. The seating shall provide people with disabilities a clear line of sight over standing spectators.
    3. Temporary parking. MFC agrees that for events held on the Coliseum's grounds that necessitate a modified parking plan, it will continue to provide parking spaces designated for people with disabilities as provided in Paragraphs 2(g) and 2(h).
    4. Concession stands. MFC agrees that people with disabilities must be able to purchase the same goods from the free standing concession stands as from the fixed concession stands.
  8. MFC agrees that people with disabilities, or companions of people with disabilities, seeking accessible seating shall be provided tickets through the same ticket outlets, during the same hours of operation, and at the same locations as tickets are provided to people without disabilities. MFC agrees to sell tickets to the accessible seating areas to people without disabilities only after all other seating is sold. MFC also agrees that it shall permit people with disabilities, or their companions, to purchase tickets for more than one companion to the extent that people without disabilities are permitted to purchase more than two tickets.
  9. MFC agrees to designate one or more employee(s) of the Mississippi Coliseum as ADA Compliance Coordinator(s). The ADA Compliance Coordinator(s) will be available to assist people with disabilities who use the Coliseum's programs and services. The ADA Compliance Coordinator(s)'s identity will be advertised in the notice referred to in Paragraph 10.
  10. MFC agrees to post a copy of the notice contained in Attachment A in all places where notices to the public, employees and job applicants are normally posted. The notice will be posted within ten days after the date that the department signs this Agreement and will remain posted for one year thereafter.
  11. MFC agrees to conduct a training program for all of the paid and volunteer staff of the Mississippi Coliseum.
    1. Scope. The training program will educate the paid and volunteer staff concerning their responsibilities under title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, including but not limited to:
      1. providing assistance in locating parking spaces designated for people with disabilities, and seeking to ensure that only vehicles with appropriate license plates, placards or other State-issued authorization for use of accessible spaces use those designated parking spaces;
      2. responding properly to requests to purchase tickets for seating areas accessible to people with disabilities, including tickets for companions of people with disabilities;
      3. assisting people with disabilities and their companions as they attempt to locate their seats;
      4. arranging the temporary seats on the floor of the Coliseum, when floor seating is utilized, so that the required seating for people with disabilities and their companions is provided; and,
      5. providing priority access to elevators for people with disabilities and their companions.
    2. Materials. As part of the education effort, MFC agrees to distribute a copy of the document contained in Attachment B to all of the paid and volunteer staff of the Mississippi Coliseum.
    3. Educational Videotape. MFC agrees that all paid and volunteer staff of the Mississippi Coliseum will view an educational videotape concerning a public entity's obligations under title II of the ADA. The Department will give the State instructions on how to obtain a copy of the videotape.
    4. Timing. MFC agrees that all paid staff of the Mississippi Coliseum shall complete this training program within thirty days of the date the Department signs this Settlement Agreement. The State further agrees that all volunteer staff of the Mississippi Coliseum shall complete this training program before being allowed to work at a Mississippi Coliseum event.
    5. Certification. MFC will evidence its compliance with this paragraph by producing to the Department a list of paid and volunteer staff who participate in the training program in the 180 days subsequent to the Department signing this Agreement.
  12. In the event that MFC fails to comply in a timely manner with any provision of this Agreement, the Department may either:
    1. notify MFC that the Settlement Agreement is no longer operative and may re-open the investigation of Department of Justice Complaint No. 204-41-25; or,
    2. institute a civil action against MFC seeking to have the terms of this Agreement enforced in the appropriate Federal court.
  13. MFC agrees that the Department may review compliance with this Agreement at any time.
  14. MFC agrees that it will not discriminate or retaliate against any person because of his/her participation in this matter.
  15. Within 180 days of the date the Department signs this Agreement, DFA and MFC will submit a report to the Department dealing with the actions it has taken to comply with the provisions of this Agreement.
  16. This Agreement is a public document. A copy of this Agreement shall be made available to any person on request.
  17. This Agreement does not purport to remedy any other potential violations of the ADA or any other law. This Agreement does not affect DFA and MFC's continuing responsibility to comply with all aspects of the ADA.
  18. The individuals signing this Agreement represent that they are authorized to bind the parties to this Agreement.
  19. Failure by the Department of Justice to enforce the entire Agreement with regard to any deadline or any other provision of the Agreement, shall not be construed as a waiver of its right to enforce other deadlines or provisions of the Agreement.
  20. This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between DFA, MFC and the Department of Justice relating to Department of Justice Complaint No. 204-41-25,

    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 agreement, shall be enforceable.

    For the State of Mississippi:

    ______________________________________      Date:_____________
    BEVERLY A. BOLTON
    Deputy Director
    Department of Finance
    and Administration
    1501 Walter Sillers Building
    Jackson, MS 39201-1198

    ______________________________________      Date:_____________
    BILLY J. ORR
    Executive Director
    Mississippi State Fair
    Commission
    P. O. Box 892
    Jackson, MS 39205-0892

    For the United States:

    ______________________________________      Date:_____________
    JOHN L. WODATCH, Chief
    L. Irene Bowen, Deputy Chief
    Eve L. Hill, Attorney
    Daniel W. Sutherland, Attorney
    Disability Rights Section
    Civil Rights Division
    U. S. Department of Justice
    P. O. Box 66118
    Washington, D.C. 20035-6118











    ATTACHMENT A

    THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT

    WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

    Under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"), the Mississippi Coliseum does not discriminate on the basis of disability in admission to, access to, or operations of its programs, services, or activities. Moreover, the Mississippi Coliseum does not discriminate on the basis of disability in its hiring or employment practices.

    Here are some specific ways the Mississippi Coliseum is implementing the ADA:

    * The Coliseum has designated seating areas for people who use wheelchairs. People with disabilities who want to sit in a designated area need to inform the Coliseum's staff when purchasing tickets, so that they can be sold the appropriate tickets.

    * People who use wheelchairs are also entitled to purchase tickets for and sit along with their companions.

    * The Coliseum has designated parking spaces for people with disabilities. Only vehicles with proper license plates (or other identification) may use those designated parking spaces.

    * There will be a clear accessible route from the designated parking areas to the Coliseum for people with disabilities.

    Questions, concerns, or requests for additional information regarding the ADA may be forwarded to the Mississippi Coliseum's ADA Compliance Coordinator:

    [insert the person's name, title, office address, phone number, both voice and TDD, and days/hours available]

    For further information, you can also call the United States Department of Justice's ADA Information Line at 1-800-514-0301 (voice) or 1-800-514-0383 (TDD).

    ATTACHMENT B ["Commonly asked questions about Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act"] >
Updated August 6, 2015

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