Settlement Agreement Under The Americans With Disabilities Act Of 1990 Between The United States Of America And The Orlando Science Center

DJ# 202-17M-81

I. Background
  1. This matter was initiated in 1995 as a compliance review by the United States Department of Justice ("the Department") of the Orlando Science Center ("Center"), 777 East Princeton Street, Orlando, Florida. The compliance review was conducted by the Department under the authority granted by section 308(b) of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. ァ 12188.
  2. The parties to this Settlement Agreement ("Agreement") are the United States of America and the Center.
  3. The parties have agreed to settle these matters without resolving the factual and legal dispute regarding the lawfulness of the Center's actions. This Agreement does not constitute an admission of liability and/or fault on the part of the Center. The parties enter into this Settlement Agreement in the interests of securing compliance by voluntary means, and agree to the following: II. ADA Coverage
  4. Title III of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. ァァ 12181-12189, and the Department's implementing regulation, 28 C.F.R. Part 36, prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability by public accommodations and requires places of public accommodation and commercial facilities to be designed, constructed, and altered in compliance with the ADA Standards for Accessible Design ("Standards").
  5. The Center is a non-profit private entity operating a commercial facility as a place of exhibition and entertainment and its operations affect commerce. It is, therefore, a place of public accommodation covered by title III of the ADA. 42 U.S.C. ァ 12181(7). The Florida Department of Education ("DOE") was one of the community partners that created the Center, served as the jurisdictional agent who reviewed the project formally at the end of Schematic Design, Design Development and Construction Documents stages, and provided periodic construction reviews by a Uniform Buildings Code Inspector, but failed to identify any of the ADA violations that are the subject of this Agreement. For the purposes of this Agreement, with respect to the construction of the Center, the DOE is a public entity within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. ァ 12131(1)(B) and 28 C.F.R. ァ 35.104, and is subject to title II of the ADA.
  6. The ADA prohibits discrimination by public accommodations against qualified individuals with disabilities, on the basis of disability, in the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of any place of public accommodations by any private entity who owns, leases (or leases to), or operates a place of public accommodation. 28 C.F.R. ァ 36.201(a). III. Actions to be Taken by the Center
  7. The Center agrees to take the necessary steps to become fully compliant with those aspects of the Standards addressed in the list of ADA violations responded to in the November 24, 1998 transmittal from the architectural firm contracted by the Center, Herman Hurley Charvat Peacock/Architects, Inc., by completing, in five phases, the following corrective actions:
    1. The Center will complete the following actions by November 1, 1999.

      1) The Center agrees to remove 3 seats from the center of the front row of Theater 2051 to create 2 more wheelchair spaces, making a total of 4 wheelchair spaces with fixed companion seating located next to each of them.

      2) The Center agrees to remove 3 seats from the last row of the Planetarium to create 2 more wheelchair locations, making a total of 6 wheelchair spaces with fixed companion seating located next to each of them.

      3) The Center agrees to reverse the doors to Men's Room 3038 and Women's Room 3037 so that they swing into the corridor. The Center will ensure that all of the toilet room fixtures in rooms 3038 and 3037 are accessible and will provide grab bars at the toilet.

    2. The Center will complete the following actions by June 1, 2000.

      1) The Center agrees to lower counter tops at sinks by 2 inches in Storage Rooms 2020 and 2026 so that the entire counter in each room will be 34 inches above the floor. The Center will ensure that the pipes under the accessible sinks are insulated or otherwise configured to protect against contact.

      2) The Center agrees to remove the sinks located in the accessible toilet stalls of Men's Room 1041 and Women's Room 1044 and relocate them to an area outside of the stalls. The Center will ensure that the accessible lavatories will fully comply with ァ 4.19 of the Standards.

      3) The Center agrees to remove a non-complying urinal in Men's Room 1098 and replace it with an accessible urinal that complies fully with ァ 4.18 of the Standards.

    3. The Center will complete the following actions by June 1, 2001.

      1) The Center agrees to renovate Food Service Staff Men's Room 1082 and Women's Room 1083 to provide, in each room, grab bars, a shower seat, and a shower spray unit with a hose at least 60 inches long that it can be used both as a fixed shower head and as a hand-held shower. The Center will ensure that each shower head is located opposite the shower seat per Figure 37 of the Standards.

      2) The Center agrees to lower counter tops at sinks by 2 inches in Employee Break Room 1073 and Volunteer Lounge 1102 so that the entire counter in each room will be 34 inches above the floor. The Center will ensure that the pipes under the accessible sinks are insulated or otherwise configured to protect against contact.

      3) The Center agrees to modify the door of Theater Toilet Room 1018 so that it opens outward, to make the sink and toilet accessible, and to add grab bars. It is understood that, due to structural limitations, the agreed upon modifications are the most that can be done to make room 1018 accessible.

      4) The Center agrees to lower counter tops at sinks by 2 inches in Galley Rooms 3025 and 3045 so that the entire counter in each room will be 34 inches above the floor. The Center will ensure that the pipes under the accessible sinks are insulated or otherwise configured to protect against contact.

    4. The Center will complete the following actions by June 1, 2002.

      1) The Center agrees to add a 3 foot wide swinging door, frame and light lock hardware to Photo Lab 1074. The Center will place a warning sign on the door noting that the door services a photo lab and processing of film may be in progress.

      The Center will ensure that the pull-side maneuvering clearance of the new door is at least 18 inches wide past the latch-side of the door for 60 inches deep, so the existing light-lock rotating door is not within the maneuvering clearance.

    5. The Center will complete the following actions by June 1, 2003.

      1) The Center agrees to place a new door in each of the lobbies to Men's Rooms 2065, 3065, and 4043 and Women's Rooms 2064, 3064, and 4042 and to make the necessary modifications so that the accessible toilets located in adjacent rooms will be located within the previously mentioned rooms to serve as the accessible stall in each of these rooms; to provide accessible urinals in rooms 2065, 3065, and 4043, that are in full compliance with the Standards; and to provide an accessible sink in each of the previously mentioned rooms that is in full compliance with the Standards. The Center agrees that the sinks located in the previously mentioned adjacent rooms will be removed to provide adequate transfer/clear floor space for the accessible stalls to be located in rooms 2065, 2064, 3065, 3064, 4043 and 4042, per Figure 30(a) of the Standards.

      The Center will ensure that, in each of these rooms, the vestibule between each of the toilet room entry doors and the doors to the accessible stalls will be the door width plus 48 inches deep.

      2) The Center agrees to substantially modify Toilet Room 2030 to allow an accessible toilet stall to be located in Men's Room 2029 and Women's Room 2031 and to remove the sink in the accessible stall of the modified Women's Room 2031 to provide the required transfer/clear floor space for the toilet per Figure 30 of the Standards.

      The Center will ensure that the accessible urinal in Men's Room 2029 is in full compliance with the Standards; that the toilet partition door in Men's Room 2029 cannot swing into the clear floor space of the accessible urinal; and that an accessible lavatory and mirror will be placed in Women's Room 2031.

  8. Upon the completion of each phase of the actions required by paragraph 7, the Center shall notify the Department of Justice that it has fulfilled its obligations and shall, within 60 days of completion of each phase, provide the Department of Justice with photographs and blueprints showing that the modifications for the phase were satisfactorily completed. IV. Implementation
  9. The Attorney General is authorized to bring a civil action under title III in any situation where a pattern or practice of discrimination is believed to exist or where a matter of general public importance is raised. 42 U.S.C. ァ 12188(b)(1)(B). In consideration of the actions to be taken by the Center as set forth above in paragraphs 7 and 8, the Attorney General agrees to refrain from undertaking further investigation or from filing a civil suit under title III in this matter.
  10. The Department may review compliance with this Agreement at any time. If the Department believes that this Agreement, or any provision thereof, has been violated, it may institute a civil action in Federal district court seeking specific performance of this Agreement or seeking enforcement of title III of the ADA, following written notice to the Center of the possible first-time violation of the Agreement and a period of 20 days in which the Center has the opportunity to cure the first alleged violation. For any subsequent alleged violations of this Agreement, the Department may institute a civil action including seeking civil penalties, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 12188(b)(2)(c), against the Center without any waiting period for the Center to cure the alleged violation.
  11. If the Department must file suit under paragraph 10 for breach of this Agreement based upon subsequent violations, and is successful, the parties stipulate that the Center will pay to the Department a civil penalty of $10,000.
  12. This Agreement is a public document. A copy of this Agreement or any information contained herein may be made available to any person by the Department or the Center upon request.
  13. This Agreement shall become effective as of the date of the last signature below.
  14. 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 is limited to the facts as set forth herein, and it does not purport to remedy any other potential violations of the ADA or any other Federal, State or local law. This Agreement does not affect the Center's continuing responsibility to comply with all provisions of the ADA.
  15. Failure by the Department 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 or provisions of this Agreement.
  16. Each signer of this Agreement represents that he or she is authorized to bind the party he or she represents to fulfill the terms of this Agreement.

    For the United States:

    Bill Lann Lee
    Assistant Attorney General



    By:_____________________________ &nbsp:  &nbsp:  Date: _________________
       John L. Wodatch, Chief
       Renee M. Wohlenhaus, Deputy Chief
       Susan B. Reilly, Supervisory Attorney
       Charles Harvey, Investigator
       Disability Rights Section
       Civil Rights Division
       U.S. Department of Justice
       P.O. Box 66738
       Washington, D.C. 20035-6738

    Orlando Science Center


    By: ____________________________  &nbsp:  &nbsp: Date: ___________________
     &nbsp:  &nbsp: Orlando Science Center
     &nbsp:  &nbsp: 777 East Princeton Street
     &nbsp:  &nbsp: Orlando, Florida 32803

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Updated August 6, 2015

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