SHREVEPORT, La. – United States Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana David C. Joseph announced the signing of an agreement with DeSoto Parish to improve access to all aspects of civic life for persons with disabilities. The agreement is part of the Department of Justice’s Project Civic Access (PCA), a wide-ranging effort to ensure that parishes/counties, cities, towns, and villages comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by working to eliminate barriers that may prevent people with disabilities from participating fully in community and civic life.
DeSoto Parish has worked cooperatively with the Department of Justice and, in signing the settlement, has made significant progress in meeting ADA requirements. Under the settlement agreement, DeSoto Parish will remove barriers to accessibility in buildings, such as government office buildings providing services to its citizens, courthouses, sheriff’s offices, and detention centers. The agreement also requires DeSoto Parish to:
- make physical modifications of facilities to improve accessibility, such as accessible parking, accessible routes into and through the facilities, accessible restrooms, and the provision of services at alternate, accessible locations;
- train staff regarding the requirements of the ADA and appropriate ways of ensuring program access;
- ensure effective communication to individuals with disabilities, including individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing or blind or have low vision; and
- post and publish the identity and functions of the Parish ADA Coordinator, as well as the Parish’s ADA Grievance Procedure Policy.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Louisiana stands firm in its commitment to advance the goals of equal opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for people with disabilities,” said U.S. Attorney Joseph. “Our office will continue to support the rights of individuals with disabilities to access civic life.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen J. King handled the case. For more information about the ADA, the agreement and the PCA initiative, individuals may access the ADA web page at: www.ada.gov/civicac.htm or call the toll-free ADA Information Line at: 800-514-0301 or 800-514-0383 (TTY).
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