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Department of Justice
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Justice Department Reaches Agreement with a Texas YMCA to Ensure Equal Opportunities for Children with Diabetes

The Justice Department reached a settlement agreement today with the Arlington-Mansfield Area YMCA, a local Texas affiliate of the YMCA, to resolve allegations that it violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by denying a child the opportunity to participate in a summer day camp program because of his diabetes.  YMCA refused to provide daily insulin injections to the child, which left him unable to attend the summer day camp program.

Title III of the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by private camps and child care programs.  Under the ADA, such entities must make reasonable modifications to their policies, practices or procedures when necessary to provide equal access to a child with a disability, unless a modification would fundamentally alter the nature of the goods and services.  Absent a showing of fundamental alteration, where a parent and a child’s physician determine that it is appropriate for a non-nurse to assist a child with diabetes care, allowing a trained layperson to do so is a reasonable modification under the ADA. 

“After-school and camp programs provide a critical place for all children to socialize with their friends and learn from their peers,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.  “The Department of Justice will continue to aggressively fight all forms of discrimination that seek to deny children with disabilities the protections the ADA guarantees and the opportunities they deserve.”

Under the terms of the two-year agreement, the YMCA will designate an ADA compliance officer who will be responsible for monitoring compliance with the terms of the agreement.  The ADA compliance officer will also be responsible for ensuring that the YMCA updates its application materials and implements the policies and procedures required by the agreement, including a non-discrimination policy.  The YMCA will designate an individual at each branch who is authorized to receive and review requests for reasonable modifications; inform parents and guardians about how to request reasonable modifications; and train its staff on the ADA, including information on diabetes management.  The ADA compliance officer will also review all denials of reasonable modification requests and any decision to exclude a child with a disability from enrollment. 

The YMCA will also pay $10,000 to the family to compensate them for the denial of an opportunity to participate in the YMCA program.  The department will actively monitor the YMCA’s compliance with terms of the agreement.

One of the largest childcare providers of school-aged children in the region, the Arlington-Mansfield Area YMCA serves the Arlington and Mansfield communities near Dallas and Ft. Worth, Texas.  Nearly 900 children participate in the local YMCA’s before and after-school programs and nearly 450 children participate in its summer camp program.

ADA enforcement is a top priority of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.  Those interested in finding out more about this settlement or the obligations of camps and child care programs under the ADA may call the Justice Department’s toll-free ADA information line at 800-514-0301 or 800-514-0383 (TDD), or access its ADA website at www.ada.gov.  ADA complaints may be filed online at http://www.ada.gov/complaint/.

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Updated February 24, 2016