U.S. Attorney’s Office Reaches Settlement With Gymnastics Center To Ensure Equal Access For Children With Disabilities
NEWARK, N.J. – The U.S. Attorney’s Office today reached an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) settlement with a Hammonton-based gymnastics program to ensure equal access for individuals with disabilities in its classes, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
The agreement resolves an ADA complaint filed by parents of a six year-old child with medical disabilities, including one that requires the use of a gastrointestinal feeding tube. The child’s parents alleged that Youth Fitness and Fun LLC d/b/a Flyers’ Team, Flyers’ Academy and Flyers Gymnastics Academy (“Flyers”) refused to make reasonable modifications to its program for the child and then excluded the child because of her disabilities. The child was active in other physically-demanding, age-appropriate sports, and was allowed by her physician to participate in Flyers’ program.
After conducting an investigation, the U.S. Attorney’s Office determined that Flyers excluded the child from its program in violation of the ADA. Flyers cooperated with the investigation and has agreed to develop and amend its policies and practices to comply with the ADA and the Department of Justice’s implementing regulations. Flyers has also agreed to pay $1,000 in damages to the child.
The Justice Department, including the nation’s U.S. Attorneys, plays a critical role in enforcing the ADA. Title III of the ADA prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities by businesses that serve the public, including gymnasiums and other places of exercise and recreation. The law requires that these places of public accommodation make reasonable modifications to their policies, practices, and procedures when necessary to avoid discrimination on the basis of disability, unless the entity can show that making the modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program, or activity.
Individuals who believe they may have been victims of discrimination may file a complaint with the U.S. Attorney’s Office at http://www.justice.gov/usao-nj/civil-rights-enforcement/complaint or call the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Civil Rights Complaint Hotline at (855) 281-3339.
Additional information about the ADA can be found at www.ada.gov or by calling the Department of Justice’s toll-free information line at 800-514-0301 and 800-514-0383.
This government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney David V. Simunovich of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Civil Division.