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Press Release

U.S. Attorney's Office Settles ADA Case with North Canaan School District

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut

Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that the U.S. Attorney’s Office has reached an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) settlement with the North Canaan School District to ensure equal access for children with disabilities at the North Canaan Elementary School playground.

The settlement agreement resolves an ADA complaint filed by the parent of a child with disabilities alleging that the playground at the North Canaan Elementary School was not accessible for children with physical disabilities.  The school is in the process of making the changes required by the settlement agreement, which include significant modifications and improvements to designated areas of the school playground.

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 of Justice 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 Daly noted that the North Canaan School District has worked quickly and cooperatively to address the ADA issues without litigation.

“The Americans with Disabilities Act ensures that children are able to access and enjoy school playgrounds,” stated U.S. Attorney Daly.  “Our Office is committed to enforcing the ADA, which requires our schools to allow equal access to every child.  We appreciate the cooperation of the North Canaan School District and their willingness to make the necessary changes to the play areas for children with disabilities.”

Any member of the public who wishes to file a complaint alleging that a child does not have equal access to a public playground or other places of public accommodation in Connecticut 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 Ndidi N. Moses, with the assistance of the Disability Rights Section of the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division.

Updated August 10, 2021

Topics
Civil Rights
Disability Rights