Naturalized U.S. Citizen Charged with Fraudulently Obtaining Citizenship by Failing to Disclose Role in Abuse of Prisoners
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that the U.S. Attorney’s Office has reached a settlement with Webster Bank to ensure equal access for individuals with disabilities at all Webster Bank locations, pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).
The agreement resolves an ADA complaint filed by an individual who is deaf who alleged that Webster Bank would not do business with him using a video relay service. Since the commencement of the investigation, Webster Bank has worked cooperatively to develop and amend its policies and practices to comply with the ADA and the Department of Justice’s implementing regulations.
“Individuals who have disabilities must not be denied equal access to the services offered by financial institutions,” said U.S. Attorney Daly. “Webster Bank’s cooperation during this investigation reflects the bank’s commitment to equal access and effective communication with all of its customers, including those with disabilities. Our office has also received complaints alleging that other financial institutions have refused to communicate with individuals with disabilities who use relay services to communicate by telephone. As such refusals suggest a discriminatory practice, we have begun a compliance review of banks in Connecticut to ensure that all such banks are complying with their obligations under the ADA.”
The agreement requires Webster Bank to accept video relay calls in all of its branches and to amend its policies, practices and training to ensure the removal of barriers to access at its branches.
Title III of the ADA prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities by businesses that serve the public. Among other things, the ADA requires financial institutions, accountants, lawyers, doctors and other businesses to provide auxiliary aids and services that are necessary for effective communication. For individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, auxiliary aids include qualified sign language or oral interpreters, use of relay services, computer-assisted real time transcription, and, for simple communications, the exchange of written notes.
Individuals who believe that they may have been victims of discrimination can file a complaint with the U.S. Attorney’s Office at 203-821-3700. More information about the Civil Rights Division and the laws it enforces is available at www.justice.gov/crt. Additional information about the ADA can be found at www.ada.gov, or by calling the Department’s toll-free information line at (800) 514-0301 and (800) 514-0383 (TDD).
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.