East Lyme Agrees to Increase Town Hall Accessibility to Comply with Americans with Disabilities Act
Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that the U.S. Attorney’s Office has reached a settlement agreement with the Town of East Lyme to resolve allegations that the East Lyme Town Hall was not operating in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”).
The settlement agreement resolves an ADA complaint filed by an individual with physical disabilities alleging that multiple aspects of East Lyme’s Town Hall facility were inaccessible to individuals with mobility disabilities. East Lyme is in the process of making significant improvements, as required by the settlement agreement, including improving the accessibility of the Town Hall parking lot, main entrance, multi-level access routes to connect the main upper floor to the basement, visitor and employee interaction counters, public restrooms and drinking fountains.
Under federal law, public entities are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of disability. The ADA authorizes the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate complaints and undertake periodic reviews of compliance of covered entities. The Department is also authorized to commence a civil lawsuit in federal court in any case that involves a pattern or practice of discrimination or that raises issues of general public importance, and to seek injunctive relief, monetary damages, and civil penalties.
U.S. Attorney Avery commended the leadership of the Town of East Lyme for having worked cooperatively and collaboratively with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to expeditiously address the ADA issues without litigation.
“Among the most important protections provided by the Americans with Disabilities Act are those ensuring individuals with disabilities have access to public services, especially key local government facilities such as Town Hall,” said U.S. Attorney Avery. “Our Office is committed to enforcing the ADA, which requires public entities, including municipalities, to provide access to individuals with disabilities. We greatly appreciate the willingness of the Town of East Lyme and the commitment of its First Selectman to greatly increase the accessibility and usability of East Lyme’s Town Hall.”
Any member of the public who wishes to file a complaint alleging that a public entity or place of public accommodation in Connecticut is not accessible to persons with disabilities may contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office at 203-821-3700.
Additional information about the ADA can be found at www.ada.gov, or by calling the Justice Department’s toll-free information line at (800) 514-0301 and (800) 514-0383 (TTY). More information about the Civil Rights Division and the laws it enforces is available at www.justice.gov/crt.
This matter was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney William M. Brown, Jr., in coordination with the Disability Rights Section of the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division.