Justice Department Settles with Montgomery County, Maryland, After School Program to Ensure Compliance with the ADA
The Justice Department announced today that it reached an agreement with Bar-T Year Round Programs for Kids (Bar-T), located in Montgomery County, Maryland, to remedy alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Title III of the ADA prohibits public accommodations, including child care centers, from discriminating against individuals with disabilities and those associated with them. Bar-T is the largest provider of before and after school programs in Montgomery County, operating at approximately 30 Montgomery County public school locations.
The department investigated whether Bar-T discriminated against a student with a disability, specifically Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and her parents when it expelled the student on the basis of behaviors associated with ASD, without properly considering whether Bar-T staff could implement reasonable modifications to permit the student to remain enrolled. The settlement agreement requires Bar-T to adopt a nondiscrimination policy; designate staff at each operating location to address ADA issues; implement a process for parents or guardians of children with disabilities to request reasonable modifications and for Bar-T to conduct an individualized assessment of each request; provide ADA training to staff; and report on compliance with the agreement. Bar-T will also pay $13,500 in compensatory damages to the student and her parents.
“Through this agreement, Bar-T is taking important steps to make sure that all children in its programs, including children with disabilities, will be given the opportunity to have a positive and successful experience in a supportive after school environment,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore of the Civil Rights Division.
“Children with disabilities deserve equal opportunities to attend after school programs. The policies Bar-T has agreed to implement will ensure that its programs provide an inclusive environment for all students,” said Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Stephen M. Schenning.
To read the settlement agreement or for more information on the ADA, visit www.ada.gov. For more information about the ADA, including how to file a complaint, call the Department’s toll-free ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 (TDD 800-514-0383) or access the ADA website at www.ada.gov.