Department of Justice Complaint Number 204-53-28This 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 Town of Tyrone, New York ("Town"). The complaint alleges that the Town constructed a two-story office building ("Town office building") after January 26, 1992, without providing an accessible route to the second floor. Without access to the second floor, individuals with disabilities are prevented from participating fully in the Town's programs, services, and activities conducted on the second floor. In light of the special circumstances of this case, the difficulty of installing an elevator in this facility, the small size of the Town, and the very limited resources of the Town, the parties have agreed to the compromise contained in this Agreement in order to avoid the delay and burden of continued investigation and possible litigation.
The parties hereby agree as follows:
- The Town 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 Town is responsible for ensuring that no qualified individual with a disability is, on the basis of disability, excluded from participation in or denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities, or subjected to discrimination by the Town of Tyrone. See 28 C.F.R. ï½§ 35.130 (a). Title II requires that each facility or part of a facility constructed by, on behalf of, or for the use of a public entity must be designed and constructed in such manner that the facility is readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, if the construction was commenced after January 26, 1992. See 28 C.F.R. ï½§ 35.151 (a). Design, construction, or alteration of facilities in conformance with the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS) or the ADA Standards for Accessible Design (Standards) is deemed to comply with the requirements of title II with respect to those facilities, except that the elevator exemption contained at section 4.1.3(5) and section 4.1.6(j) of ADAAG does not apply. Each facility or part of a facility henceforth constructed by, on behalf of, or for the use of the Town shall be designed and constructed in conformance with the new construction standards of the ADA. See 28 C.F.R. ï½§ 35.151 (a). Each facility or part of a facility henceforth altered by, on behalf of, or for the use of the Town in a manner that affects or could affect the usability of the facility or part of the facility shall, to the maximum extent feasible, be altered in such manner that the altered portion of the facility is readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. See 28 C.F.R. ï½§ 35.151 (b). The second floor of the Town office building will not be used for Town programs, services, or activities. The second floor will be kept locked and used for storage purposes only. If programs or activities are conducted on the second level in the future, an elevator, or ramp will be installed to provide an accessible route to the second level. The Town will conduct all programs, services, and activities, such as town meetings and offices, on the first floor accessible level of the Town office building, and will ensure access to individuals with disabilities, including employees with disabilities. Within fifteen days of the effective date of this Agreement, all Town employees will be informed of the restricted use of the second floor and the policy and procedure to make all programs, services, and activities available on the first floor. Within sixty days of the effective date of this Agreement, the Town will evaluate whether its current services, policies, and practices, and the effects thereof, meet the requirements of title II, and to the extent modification of any such services, policies, and practices is required, the Town will proceed to make the necessary modifications. In conducting this self-evaluation, the Town will provide an opportunity to interested persons, including individuals with disabilities or organizations representing individuals with disabilities, to participate by submitting comments. See 28 C.F.R. ï½§ 35.105 (a) and (b). Within fifteen days of the effective date of this Agreement, the Town will publish a notice in a local newspaper announcing this Agreement and the proposed self-evaluation. The Town will prominently post this Agreement and an announcement of the self-evaluation at all Town facilities that are open to the public. The notices will be available in alternate formats designed to ensure effective communication with individuals with hearing or vision impairments. See 28 C.F.R. ï½§ 35.106. The Town will submit the self-evaluation report to the Department within 60 days of the effective date of this Agreement. The Department agrees to review the self-evaluation report and to either accept or reject the report. If the Department rejects the self-evaluation report, it shall identify revisions that would make the report acceptable. If the Town desires to modify any portion of the self-evaluation report because changed conditions make performance impossible or impractical, it shall promptly notify the Department in writing, setting forth the facts and circumstances thought to justify the modification. The Town must also provide a proposed alternative provision. The proposed modification is not effective until the Department approves it in writing. 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 Town'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.
This Agreement expires in five years from the effective date.
For the Town of Tyrone
Philip L. Davis
Town of Tyrone
For the United States of America:
John Wodatch, Chief
L. Irene Bowen, Deputy Chief
Eve L. Hill
Disability Rights Section
U.S. Department of Justice
P.O. Box 66738 Washington, D.C. 20035-6738