Settlement Agreement Between The United States Of America And The Town Of Elkin, North Carolina

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE COMPLAINT NUMBER 204-54M-57

BACKGROUND
A. SCOPE OF THE INVESTIGATION

The United States Department of Justice ("Department") initiated this matter as a compliance review of the Town of Elkin, North Carolina ("Town") under title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12131-12134, and the Department's implementing regulation, 28 C.F.R. Part 35.

The review was conducted by the Disability Rights Section (DRS) of the Department's Civil Rights Division and focused on the Town's compliance with the following title II requirements:

  • to conduct a self-evaluation of its services, policies, and practices by July 26, 1992 and make modifications necessary to comply with the Department's title II regulation, 28 C.F.R. § 35.105;

  • to notify applicants, participants, beneficiaries, and other interested persons of their rights and the Town's obligations under title II and the Department's regulation, 28 C.F.R.
    § 35.106;

  • to designate a responsible employee to coordinate its efforts to comply and carry out the Town's ADA responsibilities, 28 C.F.R. § 35.107(a);

  • to establish a grievance procedure for resolving complaints of violations of title II, 28 C.F.R. § 35107(b);

  • to operate each program, service, or activity so that, when viewed in its entirety, it is readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, 28 C.F.R. § 35.150, by:
  • delivery of services, programs, or activities in alternate ways, including, for example, redesign of equipment, reassignment of services, assignment of aides, home visits, or other methods of compliance or, if these methods are not effective in making the programs accessible,

  • physical changes to buildings (required to be made by January 26, 1995), in accordance with the Department's title II regulation, 28 C.F.R. § 35.151, and the ADA Standards for Accessible Design ("Standards") or the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards ("UFAS");

  • to ensure that facilities for which construction or alteration was begun after January 26, 1992 are readily accessible to and usable by people with disabilities, in accordance with 1) the Department's title II regulation and 2) the Standards or UFAS, 28 C.F.R. § 35.151;

  • to ensure that communications with applicants, participants, and members of the public are as effective as communications with others, including furnishing auxiliary aides and services when necessary, 28 C.F.R. § 35.160;

  • where the Town communicates by telephone, to communicate through a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), or other equally effective device, with individuals who have hearing or speech impairments, 28 C.F.R. § 35.161;

  • to provide direct access via TDD or computer to telephone emergency services, including 911 services, for persons who use TDD's and computer modems, 28 C.F.R. § 35.162;

  • to provide information for interested persons with disabilities concerning the existence and location of the City's accessible services, activities, and facilities, 28 C.F.R.
    § 35.163(a);

  • to provide signage at all inaccessible entrances to each of its facilities, directing users to an accessible entrance or to information about accessible facilities, 28 C.F.R. § 35.163(b).

The Department limited its program access review to those of the Town's programs, services, and activities that operate in the following facilities: Town Hall/Police Department, Recreation Center, Fire Station, Library, Municipal Park, Skateboard Rink, Crater Park, and Chatham Park. These facilities existed at the time the ADA was enacted. The Town Hall/Police Department was altered after January 26, 1992. The Department also reviewed the accessibility of Town polling locations.

B. JURISDICTION
  1. The ADA applies to the Town because it is a "public entity" as defined by title II. 42 U.S.C. § 12131(1).
  2. The Department is authorized to conduct this compliance review under 42 U.S.C. § 12133 in order to determine the Town's compliance with title II and the Department's implementing title II regulation, to issue findings and, where appropriate, to negotiate and secure a voluntary compliance agreement. Furthermore, the Attorney General is authorized, under 42 U.S.C. § 12133 to bring a civil action enforcing title II of the ADA should the Department fail to secure voluntary compliance.
C. ACTIONS TAKEN BY THE TOWN
  1. The Town has a designated ADA Coordinator and an ADA Committee comprised of interested citizens. Grievances are brought to the attention of the Coordinator who then assembles the Committee to work towards a resolution of the matter. Recommendations are made through the Town Manager to the Board of Commissioners.
  2. The ADA Committee assisted the Town in 1992 to conduct a self-evaluation and develop a transition plan. In order to ensure that the programs offered at Town facilities are readily accessible to and usable by individuals with mobility impairments, the Town quickly increased the number of designated accessible parking spaces, installed curb ramps, and widened doors at buildings that formerly housed Town Hall and the Police Department.
  3. The parties to this Agreement are the United States of America and the Town of Elkin, North Carolina. In order to avoid the burdens and expenses of possible litigation, the parties hereby agree as follows:

REMEDIAL ACTION
  1. In consideration of the terms of this Agreement as set forth below, the Attorney General agrees to refrain from filing a civil suit in this matter regarding ¶¶ 6-29, except as provided in ¶¶ 32, 34.
  2. The Parties agree that the ADA Standards for Accessible Design ("Standards") and, where appropriate, the scoping requirements of the Standards are used as a guide for determining whether an existing facility in which a program or activity is carried out is "readily accessible to and usable by" persons with disabilities, and for determining what changes are necessary to make this program or activity accessible if it continues to be provided in the existing facility in question. See 28 C.F.R. §§ 35.150(b)(1), 35.151. The Standards appear at 28 C.F.R. Part 36, Appendix A.
A. POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
  1. Within 30 days of the effective date of this Agreement, the Town will identify sources of qualified sign language interpreters and, within 60 days, will identify vendors that Braille documents and will develop written procedures, with time frames, for fulfilling requests from the public for interpreters and documents in alternate formats (Braille, large print, cassette tapes, etc.) .
  2. Within 90 days of the effective date of this Agreement, the Town will distribute the attached Notice (Attachment A) to all agency heads and post copies in conspicuous locations in its public buildings. It will refresh the posted copies, and update the contact information contained on the Notice, as necessary, for the life of the Agreement. Copies will also be provided to any person upon request.
  3. Within 90 days of the effective date of this Agreement, the Town will formalize and reduce to writing its ADA Grievance Procedure by adopting the attached Procedure (Attachment B) , will distribute it to all agency heads, and post copies in conspicuous locations in its public buildings. The procedure will be available for resolving complaints of disability discrimination in the Town's provision of programs, services, activities, or benefits; employment discrimination complaints will continue to be resolved through the Town of Elkin Personnel Policy. The Town will refresh the posted copies, and update the contact information contained on the Procedure, as necessary, for the life of the Agreement. Copies will also be provided to any person upon request.
  4. The Town will report to the Department within 180 days of the effective date of this Agreement the actions it has taken to comply with ¶¶ 8-10.
  5. Within 18 months of the effective date of this Agreement, the Town will develop a method for providing information for interested persons with disabilities concerning the existence and location of the Town's accessible services, activities, and services and submit its proposal to the Department in writing. The proposal, as approved by the Department, will be implemented no later than 2 years from the effective date of the Agreement.
  6. The Town will make pen and ink changes to provisions in the Town of Elkin Personnel Policy relating to individuals with disabilities ( Attachment C ), to more closely reflect the requirements of title I of the ADA and the implementing regulation, 29 C.F.R. Part 1630. The revisions will be made and distributed to agency heads within 90 days of the effective date of this Agreement.
B. TOWN COMMUNICATION
  1. Within 60 days of the effective date of this Agreement, the Town will acquire and install a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) for non-emergency communication with persons who are hearing or speech impaired, officially recognize the North Carolina telephone relay service as the means by which it communicates with such persons, or implement a system that combines both technologies.
  2. Within 90 days of the effective date of this Agreement, the Town will develop and implement written procedures to ensure that appropriate employees are proficient in the use of a TDD and/or relay service through training and test calls, that any TDDs acquired are maintained in working order, and that calls received on any TDD acquired are returned as promptly a those received on voice telephones.
  3. The Town will publicize its TDD number, if any, on the same basis as its voice numbers, through such means as the Notice that appears as Attachment A; the first new printing of its official stationery and business cards that occurs after the effective date of this Agreement; and the first new edition of the public telephone book that occurs after the effective date of this Agreement. If the Town chooses to rely on the North Carolina telephone relay system alone, that number will be publicized in the same manner, in lieu of any TDD numbers.
  4. Within 180 days of the effective date of this Agreement, the Town will report to the Department on the telecommunications system it has chosen and will submit its written procedures, the names of employees who have been trained, and a copy of any public notice that it has provided.
C. 9-1-1 SERVICES
  1. Surry County is the primary Public Service Answering Point for 9-1-1 emergency service calls in and around the Town of Elkin. The County transfers calls from Elkin residents to the Elkin Police Department. The Town shares a telecommunications system with the County called a "Liberty Phone" which has the capacity to make and receive TDD calls. Non-emergency TDD calls made directly to the Elkin Police Department are also handled through the TDD mode of the Liberty Phone.
  2. The Town will amend its written 9-1-1 procedures within 30 days of the effective date of this Agreement to ensure that 9-1-1 call-takers are trained to recognize a "silent" open line as a potential TDD call and respond by TDD mode, that TDD calls are answered as quickly as other calls received, and are monitored for timing and accuracy, if other calls are monitored. The Town will also continue to ensure that employees are trained and practiced in using the Liberty Phone TDD mode to make and receive calls.
  3. The Town will incorporate correct TDD call taking procedures into call takers' performance evaluations, and will amend its personnel policies to include written disciplinary procedures for call takers who fail to perform TDD call taking consistent with the training and procedures.
  4. The Town will submit a copy of its revised performance evaluation and 9-1-1 procedures to the Department within 90 days of the effective date of this Agreement.
D. ALTERNATE METHODS OF PROGRAM ACCESS In order that each of the Town's programs, services, and activities operating at a facility that is the subject of this Agreement, when viewed in its entirety, is readily accessible to and usable by persons with mobility impairments, the Town will take the following actions.
  1. Magistrate's Office in Fire Station
  2. Within 12 months of the effective date of this Agreement, provide the services of the magistrate on a timely basis at an alternate, accessible location (Police Department) upon notice of need by persons with mobility impairments, and continually publicize the availability of the alternate site through, at minimum, communications from the magistrate's office. 28 C.F.R. §§ 35.149, 35.150.

  3. Library
    1. Within 3 months of the effective date of this Agreement, develop a written plan for the provision of library services to persons with mobility impairments who cannot use the inaccessible library facility, and submit a copy of the plan to the Department for review and approval.
    2. Within one month of the Department's written approval (with modifications, if necessary), implement and continually publicize through library communications, at minimum, the approved library program for the provision of services to persons with mobility impairments who cannot use the inaccessible library facility. 28 C.F.R. §§ 35.149, 35.150.
  4. Elkin Municipal Park Band Shell
  5. Within one month of the effective date of this Agreement, upon notice of need, timely relocate performances at the bandshell to an alternate, accessible site when an individual with a mobility impairment is among the performance participants. 28 C.F.R. §§ 35.149, 35.150.

E. PHYSICAL CHANGES In order that each of the Town's programs, services, and activities operating at a facility that is the subject of this Agreement, when viewed in its entirety, is readily accessible to and usable by persons with mobility impairments, the Town will take the following actions.
  1. Town Hall/Police Department
  2. Within 3 months of the effective date of this Agreement:

    1. Establish a total of 2 designated accessible parking spaces (including one van accessible space) on the shortest accessible route to the front entrance. §§ 4.1.2(5), 4.1.2(7)(a), 4.6, 4.3, 4.30.7
    2. Construct a ramp and install a power assisted door that comply with the Standards at the side entrance leading to the Police Department. §§ 4.8, 4.26, 4.13.12.
    3. Provide a public service counter that is at least 36 inches wide and no more than 36 inches high, provide an auxiliary counter with a maximum height of 36 inches, or provide equivalent facilitation (e.g., by offering those services at an accessible location for individuals who use wheelchairs). § 7.2(2).
    4. Timely provide a portable ramp upon notice of need when an individual with a mobility impairment requires access to the Commissioners' bench. See 28 C.F.R. § 36.304(e).

    Within 12 months of the effective date of this Agreement:

    1. Accessible Unisex Toilet Room
    2. Provide an accessible unisex toilet room identified by the International Symbol of Accessibility on an accessible route so that the spaces and elements, including the room identification sign, entry door, clear floor space, turning space, accessible route, water closet, grab bars, lavatory, mirror, and controls and dispensers comply with the Standards. §§ 4.1.6(3)(e)(i), 4.1.2(7)(d), 4.22, 4.2, 4.3, 4.16 and Figs. 28 & 29, 4.19 and Figs. 31 & 32, 4.25, 4.26, 4.27, 4.30. Install signs at the inaccessible men's and women's toilet rooms and in conspicuous places directing users to the location of the accessible toilet room. §§ 4.1.3(16)(b), 4.1.6(3)(e)(iii), 4.30.1, 4.30.2, 4.30.3, 4.30.5.

  3. Elkin Recreation Center
  4. Within 6 months of the effective date of this Agreement:

    1. Alter the two designated accessible parking spaces in front of the Center to provide one 96-inch car space, one 96-inch van space with correct signage, and a shared 96-inch access aisle. §§ 4.1.2(5), 4.1.2(7)(a), 4.6, 4.30.7.
    2. Alter the abrupt change in level where the driveway meets the curb ramp to the front entrance so that transition is flush and free of abrupt changes. §§ 4.1.2(1), 4.3.8, 4.7.2.
    3. Reposition the public telephone so that its coin slot is no more than 54 inches above the finish floor for a side approach. §§ 4.1.3(17), 4.31.3, 4.2.6.
    4. Provide soda and candy vending machines so that their highest operable part is no more than 54 inches above the finish floor for a side approach. §§ 5.8, 4.2.6.
    5. Reposition the coat rack in the multipurpose room so that it is no more than 54 inches from the finish floor for a side approach. §§ 4.25.3, 4.2.6.
    6. Provide a public service counter at the front desk that is at least 36 inches wide and no more than 36 inches high, provide an auxiliary counter with a maximum height of 36 inches, or provide equivalent facilitation (e.g., by offering those services at an accessible location for individuals who use wheelchairs). § 7.2(2).
    7. Reposition the information racks at the front desk so that they usable by persons who use wheel chairs, or provide a programmatic solution to the inaccessible racks. See Standards, § 4.2.5, 4.2.6.

    Within 3 years of the effective date of this Agreement:

    1. Alter the arrangement of the weight room so that it is usable by a person in a wheel chair with respect to adequate clear floor space and the width of the accessible route between stationary equipment. See §§ 4.2, 4.3.
    2. Ladies' and Men's Toilet and Shower Rooms
      1. Adjust the entry doors to each room so that the force required to open the door is not more than 5 pounds and so that it takes at least 3 seconds to move from an open position of 70 degrees to a point 3 inches from the latch, measured to the leading edge of the door. §§ 4.23.2, 4.13.10, 4.13.11.
      2. Provide a "standard" accessible toilet stall in each room that is at least 60 inches wide and 56-59 inches deep on an accessible route such that all of the stall's elements, including water closet, size and arrangement, toe clearances, door, grab bars, controls and dispensers comply with the requirements of the Standards. §§ 4.16, 4.17 and Fig. 30(a), 4.23.4, 4.26, 4.27, 4.3.
      3. Provide or alter at least one lavatory in the men's and women's room so that the top of the rim or counter is no more than 34 inches from the finish floor; install insulation on the hot water and drain pipes beneath the accessible lavatory in each room; replace the faucets on the accessible lavatory in each room with controls that do not require tight grasping, pinching, or twisting to operate. §§ 4.23.6, 4.19, 4.27.4.
      4. Provide a bench in the dressing area of each room that is 24 inches by 48 inches, fixed to the wall along the longer dimension, mounted 17 to 19 inches from the finish floor, and otherwise in compliance with the Standards. §§ 4.1.3(21), 4.35.4.
      5. Provide or alter an accessible shower stall in the women's room so that the seat extends the full depth of the stall, the controls face the seat, and it otherwise comply with the requirements of the Standards. §§ 4.23.8, 4.21.5 & Figs. 35(a), 36, and 37(a).
      6. Provide an accessible shower stall on an accessible route in the men's room that is 36 inches by 36 inches, with no more than a _ inch curb, clear floor space at the entrance, a seat, grab bars, controls, and a hand held shower spray unit that comply with the Standards. §§ 4.23.8, 4.21.
      7. Provide a hair dryer in each room so that its highest operable part is no more than 54 inches from the finish floor for a side approach. §§ 4.23.7, 4.27.3, 4.2.6.
      8. Provide at least one coat hook in the men's room that is no more than 54 inches from the finish floor for a side approach. §§ 4.1.3(12)(a), 4.25.3, 4.2.6.
      9. Move the partition at the side of the accessible urinal in the men's room so that there is a clear floor space of 30 inches by 48 inches for a front approach. §§ 4.23.5, 4.18.3, 4.2.4.
  5. Fire Station
  6. Within 3 months of the effective date of this Agreement:

    1. Alter the abrupt change in level where the driveway meets the tiled landing of the side entrance so that the slope of the change in level is no more than 1:12 and there is no abrupt change of level greater than 1/4 inch. §§ 4.1.2(1), 4.3.8, 4.5.2, 4.8.
    2. Install an accessible drinking fountain with a spout height no higher than 36 inches from the finish floor, or install cups next to the existing fountain so that they dispense from a point no lower than 9 inches and no higher than 54 inches from the finish floor. §§ 4.15.2, 4.27.3, 4.2.6.
  7. Elkin Municipal Park
  8. Within 9 months of the effective date of this Agreement:

    1. Alter the two designated accessible parking spaces in front of the bathhouse to provide one 96-inch car space, one 96-inch van space with correct signage, and a shared 96-inch access aisle. §§ 4.1.2(5), 4.1.2(7)(a), 4.6, 4.30.7.
    2. Alter the abrupt change in level where the driveway meets the curb ramp to the front entrance so that transition is flush and free of abrupt changes. §§ 4.1.2(1), 4.3.8, 4.7.2.
    3. Provide an outside water fountain near the pool with a control that does not require tight grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist. §§ 4.15.4, 4.27.4.
    4. Make available an eating surface in the pool deck area that is usable by persons who use wheelchairs. See Standards, §§ 4.32.3, 4.32.4.
    5. Provide a concession counter at the pool that is at least 36 inches wide and no more than 36 inches high, provide an auxiliary counter with a maximum height of 36 inches, or provide equivalent facilitation (e.g., by offering those services at an accessible location for individuals who use wheelchairs). § 7.2(2).
    6. Men's and Women's Public Toilet Rooms at Concession Stand
      1. Install signage on the wall adjacent to the latch side of each door, that includes the international symbol of accessibility, designating these rooms as the men's and women's toilet rooms. §§ 4.1.2(7)(d), 4.30.
      2. Install a rear grab bar to the wall behind the toilet in each room that is at least 36 inches long and otherwise complies with the Standards. §§ 4.22.4, 4.16.4 & Fig. 29, 4.26.
      3. Install a riser to increase the height of the toilet seat in the women's room, so that the top of the seat is 17 to 19 inches from the finish floor. §§ 4.22.4, 4.16.3
      4. Alter the lavatory in each room so that there is a clearance of at least 29 inches from the finish floor to the bottom of the apron; install insulation on the hot water and drain pipes; replace the faucets with controls that do not require tight grasping, pinching, or twisting to operate. §§ 4.22.6, 4.19 & Fig. 31, 4.27.4.
    7. Reposition the public telephone near the pool concession stand so that its coin slot is no more than 54 inches above the ground for a side approach. §§ 4.1.3(17), 4.31.3, 4.2.6.
    8. Establish a van accessible space on the shortest accessible route to the tennis courts. §§ 4.1.2(5), 4.1.2(7)(a), 4.6, 4.3, 4.30.7.
    9. Upon notice of need, timely provide a wheelchair lift to provide access to the baseball announcer's booth for persons with mobility impairments who cannot use stairs. § 4.11.
    10. Install signs near the toilet rooms at the baseball fields that indicates the direction of the accessible public toilet rooms. §§ 4.1.2(7), 4.30.
    11. Provide a concession counter at the baseball fields at least 36 inches wide and no more than 36 inches high, provide an auxiliary counter with a maximum height of 36 inches, or provide equivalent facilitation (e.g., by offering those services at an accessible location for individuals who use wheelchairs).
    12. Reposition the vending machine at the ball fields so that it is on an accessible route that is firm and stable with a minimum clear width of 36 inches. §§ 5.8, 4.3, 4.5.
    13. Provide a surface for eating in the picnic shelter that is usable by persons who use wheelchairs. See Standards, §§ 4.32.3, 4.32.4.

    Within 24 months of the effective date of this Agreement:

    1. Men's and Women's Bathhouses
      1. Provide an accessible shower stall in each bathhouse that is 36 inches by 36 inches, with no more than a _ inch curb, clear floor space at the entrance, a seat, grab bars, controls, and a shower spray unit that comply with the Standards. §§ 4.23.8, 4.21.
      2. Renovate the remaining spaces and elements in each bathhouse so that the door, water closet, grab bars, urinal (men only), lavatory, mirror, controls and dispensers, and signage comply with the Standards. §§ 4.1.2(7)(d), 4.1.3(11), 4.13, 4.16 and Figs. 28 & 29, 4.18 (urinal), 4.19 and Figs. 31 & 32), 4.23, 4.26, 4.27, 4.30.
    2. Make a section of the fishing platform usable by persons who use wheelchairs. See Standards, § 4.8.7.
    3. Alter the abrupt change in level where the track meets the wooden frame of the fishing platform so that the slope of the change in level is no more than 1:12 and there is no abrupt change of level greater than 1/4 inch. §§ 4.3.8, 4.5.2, 4.8.
  9. Skateboard Park
  10. Within 12 months of the effective date of this Agreement, establish an accessible route, including a ramp, if necessary, from the street near the walking track to a park viewing area; establish space for a wheelchair that is firm and stable. §§ 4.3, 4.2, 4.5, 4.8.

  11. Crater Park
  12. Within 12 months of the effective date of this Agreement, :

    1. Establish an accessible route between the street and the bleachers. § 4.1.2(2), 4.2, 4.3, 4.5.
    2. Provide a surface for eating, on an accessible route, that is usable by persons who use wheelchairs. See Standards, §§ 4.32.3, 4.32.4.
    IMPLEMENTATION AND ENFORCEMENT
  13. Except as otherwise specified in this Agreement, at 90 and 180 days after the effective date of this Agreement, and thereafter at yearly anniversaries of the effective date, the Town will submit written reports to the Department summarizing the actions the Town has taken pursuant to this Agreement. Reports will include photographs, architectural plans, notices published in the newspapers, copies of adopted policies, and proof of efforts to secure funding/assistance for structural renovations.
  14. If at any time the Town desires to modify any portion of this Agreement because of changed conditions making performance impossible or impractical or for any other reason, it will promptly notify the Department in writing, setting forth the facts and circumstances thought to justify modification and the substance of the proposed modification. Until there is written Agreement by the Department to the proposed modification, the proposed modification will not take effect. These actions must receive the prior written approval of the Department, which approval shall not be unreasonably withheld or delayed.
  15. The Department may review compliance with this Agreement at any time. If the Department believes that this Agreement or any portion of it has been violated, it will so notify the Town in writing and it will attempt to resolve the issue or issues in good faith. If the Department is unable to reach a satisfactory resolution of the issue or issues raised within 30 days of the date it provides notice to the Town, it may institute a civil action in federal district court directly to enforce title II or to enforce the terms of this Agreement.
  16. Failure by the Department to enforce this entire Agreement or any provision thereof with regard to any deadline or any other provision herein shall not be construed as a waiver of the Department's right to enforce other deadlines and provisions of this Agreement.
  17. In the event that the Town fails to comply in a timely manner with any requirement of this Agreement without obtaining sufficient advance written agreement with the Department for a temporary modification of the relevant terms of this Agreement, the Department may file suit in an appropriate federal court to enforce the terms of the Agreement or may declare the Agreement null and void and file suit to enforce title II of the ADA.
  18. This Agreement is a public document. A copy of this document or any information contained in it may be made available to any person by the Town or the Department on request.
  19. The effective date of this Agreement is the date of the last signature below.
  20. 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, shall be enforceable. This Agreement does not purport to remedy any other potential violations of the ADA or any other Federal law. This Agreement does not affect the Town's continuing responsibility to comply with all aspects of the ADA.
  21. This Agreement will remain in effect for three years from the effective date of this Agreement, or until full compliance with this Agreement by the Town has been achieved.
  22. The individual signing for the Town of Elkin represents that he is authorized to bind the Town to this Agreement.

For the United States:


BILL LANN LEE,
Assistant Attorney General
for Civil Rights

By:__________________________      Date January 11, 2001
      JOHN L. WODATCH, Chief
      ALLISON NICHOL, Deputy Chief
      SUSAN B. REILLY, Supervisory Attorney
      Disability Rights Section
      Civil Rights Division
      U.S. Department of Justice
      P.O. Box 66738
      Washington, DC 20035-6738

For the Town of Elkin, North Carolina:

_____________________________      Date: December 12, 2000
THOMAS M. GWYN
Mayor
P. O. Box 857
Elkin, North Carolina 28621




ATTACHMENT A

NOTICE
UNDER THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT

In accordance with the requirements of title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Town of Elkin (Town) will not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities on the basis of disability in the Town's services, programs, or activities.

The Town does not discriminate on the basis of disability in its hiring or employment practices. The Town will not ask a job applicant about the existence, nature, or severity of a disability. Applicants may be asked about their ability to perform specific job functions. Medical examinations or inquiries may be made, but only after a conditional offer of employment is made and only if required of all applicants for the position. The Town will make reasonable accommodations for the known physical or mental limitations of a qualified applicant or employee with a disability upon request unless the accommodation would cause an undue hardship on the operation of the Town's business. Any employee's medical records will be retained separate from personnel files and kept confidential. The Town will make an individualized assessment of whether a qualified individual with a disability meets selection criteria for employment decisions. To the extent its selection criteria have the effect of disqualifying an individual because of disability, those criteria will be job-related and consistent with business necessity.

The Town will provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services, including qualified sign language interpreters and assistive listening devices, whenever necessary to ensure effective communication with members of the public who have hearing, sight, or speech impairments, unless to do so would result in a fundamental alteration of its programs or an undue administrative or financial burden. A person who requires an accommodation or an auxiliary aid or service to participate in a Town program, service, or activity, should contact the office of Pam Fencl, the Town Planning Director and ADA Coordinator, at 336-835-9800 (voice) and ____________________ (TDD or relay) as far in advance as possible but no later than 48 hours before the scheduled event.

The Town can be reached by telecommunications devices for the deaf (TDD) at ___________________ and also through the North Carolina Relay Service at 1-800-735-2962 (TDD).

Complaints that a Town program, service, or activity is not accessible to persons with disabilities should be directed to Pam Fencl.

The Town will not place a surcharge on a particular individual with a disability or any group of individuals with disabilities to cover the cost of providing auxiliary aids/services or reasonable modifications of policy, such as retrieving items from locations that are open to the public but are not accessible to persons who use wheelchairs.

                                                                                                                                                                             December 2000




ATTACHMENT B

TOWN OF ELKIN
GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE
UNDER THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT

This Grievance Procedure is established to meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. It may be used by anyone who wishes to file a complaint alleging discrimination on the basis of disability in the provision of services, activities, programs, or benefits by the Town of Elkin. The Town's Personnel Policy governs employment-related complaints of disability discrimination.

The complaint should be in writing and contain information about the alleged discrimination such as name, address, phone number of complainant and location, date, and description of the problem. Alternative means of filing complaints, such as personal interviews or a tape recording of the
complaint, will be made available for persons with disabilities upon request.

The complaint should be submitted by the grievant and/or his/her designee as soon as possible but no later than 60 calendar days after the alleged violation to:

    Town Manager
    Town of Elkin
    P. O. Box 857
    Elkin, North Carolina 28621

Within 15 calendar days after receipt of the complaint, the Town Manager or his/her designee will meet with the complainant to discuss the complaint and the possible resolutions. Within 15 calendar days of the meeting, the Town Manager or his/her designee will respond in writing, and where appropriate, in format accessible to the complainant, such as large print, Braille, or audio tape. The response will explain the position of the Town of Elkin and offer options for substantive resolution of the complaint.

If the response by the Town Manager or his/her designee does not satisfactorily resolve the issue, the complainant and/or his/her designee may appeal the decision of the Town Manager within 15 calendar days after receipt of the response to the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners or his/her designee.

Within 15 calendar days after receipt of the appeal, the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners or his/her designee will meet with the complainant to discuss the complaint and possible resolutions. Within 15 calendar days after the meeting the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners or his/her designee will respond in writing, and, where appropriate, in a format accessible to the complainant,
with a final resolution of the complaint.

All written complaints received by the Town Manager or his/her designee, appeals to the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners or his/her designee, and responses from these two offices will be retained by the Town of Elkin at least three years.




ATTACHMENT C

EXCERPTS FROM TOWN OF ELKIN PERSONNEL MANUAL
Deleted material appears in "strikeout" font, with inserted text in italics. Page numbers refer to the page numbers in the Manual.

(p. 48)

Article III. Recruitment and Employment

Section 1. Statement of Equal Employment Opportunity Policy

It is the policy of the Town to foster, maintain, and promote equal employment opportunity. The Town shall select employees on the basis of the applicant's qualifications and without regard to age, sex, race, color, creed, religion, political affiliation, or national origin, or disability. The Town will reasonably accommodate qualified individuals with disabilities in the application process, as requested, unless to do so causes an undue hardship. Applicants with disabilities shall be given equal consideration with other applicants for positions in which their disabilities do not represent an unreasonable barrier to satisfactory performance of duties.

(p. 50)

Section 7. Qualification Standards

  1. Employees shall meet the employment standards established by the position classification plan and such other reasonable, job-related minimum standards of character, aptitude, knowledge, skills, and mental and physical abilities that are job-related and consistent with business necessity and that and physical condition as may be established by the Town Manager with the advice and recommendation(s) of department heads. The Town will make individualized assessments to determine whether an applicant or employee meets such standards.
  2. Qualifications shall be reviewed periodically to assure that requirements are fair and conform to the actual job performance requirements.
  3. The Town may employ an applicant in a trainee capacity who does not meet all minimum qualifications for a particular job if the deficiencies can be eliminated through orientation and on-the-job training.

Section 8. Selection

Department heads shall make such individualized investigations and have conducted such individualized examinations as deemed appropriate to assess fairly the aptitude, education and experience, knowledges and skills, character, physical fitness, and other qualifications required for positions in the service of the Town. These (p. 51) examinations may consist of medical, skills based, job knowledge and/or physical strength and agility tests. All selection devices administered by the Town or by persons or agencies for the Town shall be valid measures of bona fide occupational qualifications, job-related, and consistent with business necessity.

(p. 93)

(c) Disability: An employee may be separated for disability when the employee cannot perform the required essential duties because of a physical or mental impairment and reasonable accommodations, as required by the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), cannot be made. Reasonable accommodation includes reassignment of the employee to an equivalent position in the Town's work force for which he is qualified and that is or will be vacant in a reasonable time. Action may be initiated by the employee or the Town, but in all cases it shall be supported by medical evidence as certified by a competent physician. The Town may require an examination at its expense and performed by a physician of its choice. Before an employee is separated for disability, a reasonable effort shall be made to locate alternative positions within the Town's service for which the employee may be suited.

(p. 108)

Section 3. Confidential Information

Information from a medical examination or inquiry of an employee required by the Town shall be collected and maintained in a medical file separate from the employee's personnel file and shall be treated as confidential except that:

  1. Supervisors and managers may be informed regarding necessary restrictions on the work or duties of the employee and necessary accommodations;
  2. First aid and safety personnel may be informed, when appropriate, if the employee's disability might require emergency treatment;
  3. Government officials investigating compliance with the regulation implementing title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 29 C.F.R. Part 1630, shall be provided relevant information upon request; and
  4. A licensed physical designated in writing by the employee may examine the employee's medical record.

All information contained in a Town employee's personnel file, other than the information listed in Section 1 of this Article will be maintained as confidential in accordance with the requirements of G.S. 160A-168 and shall be open to public inspection only in the following instances:

(a) the employee or his duly authorized agent may examine all portions of his personnel file, except, (1) letters of reference solicited prior to employment., and (2) information concerning a medical disability, mental or physical, that a prudent physician would not divulge to his patient.

(p. 109)

(b) A licensed physician designated in writing by the employee may examine the employee's medical record.

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Updated August 6, 2015

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