SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT BETWEEN

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

AND

ALLENDALE COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE COMPLAINT NUMBERS

204-67-74, 204-67-93, 204-67-94


Settlement Agreement | Department of Justice Press Releases



BACKGROUND

A. SCOPE OF THE INVESTIGATION

This matter was initiated by a complaint filed under title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12131-12134, with the United States Department of Justice ("Department") against Allendale County, South Carolina, (The "County"). The complaint was received by the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, under the authority of 28 C.F.R. Part 35, Subpart F. The three complaints allege that the Allendale County courthouse is inaccessible to individuals who use wheelchairs. The complainants, three individuals who use wheelchairs, who were arrested and were subsequently held in a County correctional facility, alleged that their court hearings were held in the hallways on the first floor of the courthouse, rather than in a courtroom, as patrons passed by. The Allendale County courthouse however was subsequently burned down by arsonists. The County is temporarily using the Municipal Building courtroom facilities owned and operated by the City of Allendale. Allendale County has advised the Department that the courthouse will be designed and reconstructed in accordance with the ADA Standards for Accessibility; construction of which will be scheduled pending a voters' referendum on November 4, 2000.

Because the County receives financial assistance from the Department of Justice, the investigation was also conducted under the authority of § 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. § 794, and the Department's implementing regulation, 28 C.F.R. Part 42, Subpart G. The Department expanded the scope of the investigation to include the County's compliance with the following title II requirements:

The Department limited its program access review to those of the County's programs, services, and activities that operate in the following facilities: County Administration Building, Public Health Center, Voter's Registration Building, Courthouse Complex, Public Library, Magistrate Griffin's Office, Magistrate Offices, Leisure Center, Allendale County Law Enforcement Building; new E911 Center and Allendale Hospital. Construction or alterations commenced after January 26, 1992, on the following facilities and thus must comply with the ADA's new construction or alterations requirements: Courthouse Complex; Leisure Center; Allendale County Law Enforcement Building; E911 Center; Allendale Hospital.

B. JURISDICTION

1. The ADA applies to the County because it is a "public entity" as defined by title II. 42 U.S.C. § 12131(1).

2. The Department is authorized under 28 C.F.R. Part 35, Subpart F, to investigate the complaint in this matter to determine the compliance of the County with title II of the ADA and the Department's implementing title II regulation, to issue findings, and, where appropriate, to negotiate and secure voluntary compliance agreements. Furthermore, the Attorney General is authorized, under 42 U.S.C. § 12133, to bring a civil action enforcing title II of the ADA should the Department fail to secure voluntary compliance.

3. The Department is authorized under 28 C.F.R. Part 42, Subpart G, to investigate the complaint in this matter to determine the County's compliance with § 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, to issue findings, and, where appropriate to negotiate and secure voluntary compliance agreements. Furthermore, the Attorney General is authorized, under 29 U.S.C. § 794 and 28 C.F.R. §§ 42.530, 42.108-110, to suspend or terminate financial assistance to the County should the Department fail to secure voluntary compliance pursuant to Subpart G or bring a civil suit to enforce the rights of the United States under applicable federal, state, or local law.

4. The parties to this Agreement are the United States of America and the County of Allendale, South Carolina. In order to avoid the burdens and expenses of an investigation and possible litigation, the parties hereby agree as follows:

REMEDIAL ACTION

5. In consideration of, and consistent with, the terms of this Agreement as set forth below, the Attorney General agrees to refrain from filing a civil suit in this matter regarding the areas covered by the Remedial Action provisions of this Agreement.

6. The Parties agree that the technical requirements and, where appropriate, the scoping requirements of the Standards are used as a guide for determining whether a program or activity held in an existing facility is "readily accessible to and usable by" persons with disabilities, and for determining what changes are necessary to make this program or activity accessible if it continues to be provided in the existing facility in question. See 28 C.F.R. §§ 35.150(b)(1), 35.151. The Standards appear at 28 C.F.R. Part 36, Appendix A.

A. POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

7. Immediately after the effective date of this settlement the County will establish an ADA grievance procedure for providing for prompt and equitable resolution of complaints regarding program access. The County has an established employment grievance procedure that addresses and will continue to be used for complaints based on disability. 28 C.F.R. §35.107.

B. POLLING PLACES

8. Within one year from the effective date of this agreement the Country shall modify to comply with the Standards, the elements specified in item #25 of this Agreement for the Voters Registration Building. Additionally the County will survey and modify as appropriate, the eight polling locations indicated on Attachment A that are designated as "accessible" by the County. Temporary modifications are acceptable for polling locations as long as they comply with the Standards. The County may also provide access via an established absentee ballot procedure.

9. The County agrees to provide the option of mail ballots or absentee ballots to persons with disabilities, in accordance with South Carolina law, provided that the ballots are accepted up to and including the day of the election.

C. 9-1-1 SERVICES

10. On August 1, 2000, the County began operating a new E911 system equipped with three TTY capable computers. The E911 system is located in newly constructed facilities adjacent to the Law Enforcement Building.

D. COUNTY COMMUNICATION

11. The County agrees that where it communicates by telephone with applicants and beneficiaries, TTY's or equally effective telecommunication systems shall be used to communicate with individuals with impaired hearing or speech. The County will evaluate each of its programs and determine which entities have extensive telephone contact with the public and determine if it would be appropriate or not to purchase TTY's to insure more immediate access. Within 270 days from the effective date of this Agreement, the County will provide training to all employees regarding the use of relay systems to communicate with the public, and the proper way to communicate using TTYs.

12. Correctional Facility. The County sheriff and the City of Allendale police services are housed in the same facility, and share a common jail and holding facilities. The Center has no TTY's through which inmates who are hearing or speech impaired can communicate with persons outside the Center. Within 270 days from the effective date of this Agreement the County agrees to make a portable TTY available upon request in a timely manner to any individual who is hearing or speech impaired and who is detained at the Center under the County's authority. TTY users will be allowed 20 minutes per call, double the 10 minute time limit per call placed on non-TTY user, due to the inherent processing delay in placing calls from a TTY to TTY, or from a TTY through a telecommunications Relay Service to a hearing recipient.

13. Within 270 days from the effective date of this Agreement the County agrees to modify or replace the volume control equipped telephone that is made available in the inmate holding room to inmates with communication disabilities so that it is also hearing aid compatible.

14. Magistrate Offices. Within one year from the effective date of this Agreement the County will purchase portable assistive listening systems with an appropriate number of receivers to facilitate communications for individuals with hearing impairments within the courtrooms facilities of the Magistrate Judges offices.

15. Temporary Courtroom Facilities. Within 270 days from the effective date of this Agreement the County will purchase a portable assistive listening system with a number of receivers equal to 4% percent of the total number of seats to be used in the temporary courtroom facilities located in City's Municipal building. This measure is necessary to provide effective communication to individuals with hearing impairments in the County's temporary courtroom facilities which are located in the City's Municipal Building.

16. Hospital. It is recognized that the County hospital has its own governing board, budget, and audit, and otherwise doesn't report to the County. The hospital itself, and any facilities used to provide services, programs, or activities, by the hospital, are subject to the obligation of title II of the ADA to provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services to ensure effective communication with patients and patrons with communication disabilities. For this reason, the hospital can be subject to an independent federal compliance review. This agreement does not limit such future enforcement action by any person or entity.

17. The Department determined during the compliance review that the hospital is not prepared to provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services to ensure the provision of effective communication to patrons. The County is therefore encouraged to request that the Hospital adopt the attached policy (Attachment A) or develop a similar policy to ensure effective communication. An effective policy will include current information on qualified sign language interpreter services available either through an established sign language interpreter service company or an updated list of freelance interpreters available with a 50 mile radius of Allendale County .

E. NEW COURTHOUSE DESIGN

18. As soon as the County has final plans for reconstructing the courthouse, the County will submit to the Department for review the following: all civil drawings, architectural drawings, electrical drawings that indicate any alarm systems; and all specifications. If architectural drawings do not indicate floor elevations, then the County will also submit copies of all structural drawings. The County will immediately notify the Department of any challenges to the final plans. The Department will review the plans and respond to the County within 60 days. In the event that the Department doesn't complete a review of the plans within 60 days, the County will be permitted to move forward with construction.

F. PHYSICAL ALTERATIONS

19. Within one year of the effective date of this Agreement, the County will survey its public facilities. It will install signage at any inaccessible entrance to a facility, directing users to an accessible entrance or to information about other accessible facilities, and denote the accessible entrance by using the international symbol of accessibility. 28 C.F.R. § 35.163(B), Standards §§ 4.1.2(7)(c), 4.30.2, 4.30.3, 4.30.5.

G. TEMPORARY MAGISTRATE COURTROOM

20. The facilities utilized for the Magistrate Judges offices, and surveyed by the Department, are not readily accessible to, and usable by people who use wheelchairs. The County plans to relocate the Magistrate offices to additional trailer offices that will be incorporated in the existing Courthouse complex within 3-12 months from the effective date of this agreement. The County will utilize the accessible facilities of the Brandt Building, 398 Barnwell Highway, in the interim on an as needed basis for accessible courtroom facilities, until the County has completed modifications to the new Magistrate Judges offices that will be located in the Courthouse complex.

In order to ensure that the following facilities, for which construction commenced or will commence after January 26, 1992, are readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, the County will take the following actions.

21. The County will complete the following modifications to the Courthouse Complex within one year of the effective date of this Agreement:

a. Ramp. The ramp at the front of the complex has handrails that are 3 1/2 square and difficult to grasp. The handrail extensions at the bottom of the ramp do not return to the floor or a post. Modify the handrails to be grippable and to terminate as required. Standards §§ 4.1.2 (1), 4.3.2 (1), 4.8.5, 4.26.2.

22. The County will complete the following modifications to the Leisure Center within one year of the effective date of this Agreement:

a. Main Entrance Door. There is a 1 1/4 inch level change at the threshold of the main entrance door to the building. Modify the threshold so that it does not contain changes in level greater than 1/2 inch and so that any changes in level between 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch are beveled with a slope no greater than 1:2. Standards §§ 4.1.3(7)(a), 4.13.8, 4.5.2.

b. Office on Aging.

(1) The sweep period of the entrance door closer is 1 1/2 seconds. Adjust the closer so that the sweep period takes at least 3 seconds to move to a point 3 inches from the latch from an open position of 70 degrees. Standards §§ 4.1.3(7)(b), 4.13.10.

(2) The entrance door requires an opening force of 10 pounds. Modify the door closer so that the force required to open it is no greater than 5 pounds. §§ 4.1.3(7)(b), 4.13.11 (2)(b).

c. Recreation Department Door. The sweep period of the door closer is less than 2 seconds. Adjust the closer so that the sweep period takes at least 3 seconds, to move to a point 3 inches from the latch from an open position of 70 degrees. Standards §§ 4.1.3(7)(b), 4.13.10.

d. Water Fountain.

(1) The flow of water rises 1 1/2 inches from the spout on the water fountain just outside the door to the Recreation Department. Adjust the water flow so that is rises at least 4 inches high so as to allow the insertion of a cup or glass. Standards §§ 4.1.3(10), 4.15.3.

(2) There shall also be a drinking fountain which is accessible to those who have difficulty bending or stooping. Standards §§ 4.1.3(10)(a), 4.15.

e. Unisex Restroom.

(1) Grab Bars. There are no grab bars at the toilet. Provide a rear grab bar that is at least 36 inches long with one end no more than 6 inches from the side wall and a side grab bar that is at least 42 inches long with one end no more than 12 inches from the rear wall and extending at least 54 inches from the rear wall. Grab bars shall be installed 33 to 36 inches above the floor. Standards §§ 4.1.3(11), 4.22, 4.16.4, Figure 28, Figure 29, 4.26.2.

(2) Door.

(a) The opening force required for the door to the unisex restroom is greater than 5 lbs. Adjust the door closer so that the required opening force is equal to or less than 5 lbs. Standards. § 4.1.3(11), 4.22.2, 4.13.11(b).

(b) The door appears to swing in to the clear floor space required at the lavatory. Modify the door swing so that it does not encroach upon the required clear floor space at the lavatory or at the toilet. Standards § 4.22.2.

(3) Dispensers. The toilet paper dispenser is mounted 41 1/2 inches from the rear wall. Reposition the dispenser so that it is no more than 36 inches from the rear wall. Standards. §§ 4.1.3(11), 4.22.4, 4.16.6, Figure 29(b), Figure 30(d).

(4) Toilet. The centerline of the toilet is 21 1/2 inches from the side wall. Reposition the toilet so that its centerline is 18 inches from the sidewall. Standards. §§ 4.1.3(11), 4.22.4, 4.16.2, Figure 28.

f. Cafeteria Doors. The sweep period of the door closures is 2 seconds. Adjust the closer so that the sweep period takes at least 3 seconds to move to a point 3 inches from the latch from an open position of 70 degrees. Standards §§ 4.1.3(7)(b), 4.13.10.

g. Women's Restroom (near rear entrance).

(1) The designated accessible stall is 48 inches wide. Provide a "standard" accessible stall that is at least 60 inches wide and such that all of the stall's elements, including the toilet size and arrangement, toe clearances, door and hardware, grab bars, and dispensers and controls, are in compliance. Standards §§ 4.1.3(11), 4.13, 4.16, 4.17, 4.22.4, 4.26, 4.27.

(2) The sign on the door is not accessible. Provide a sign using raised characters and Braille, on the wall adjacent to the latch side of the door so that the centerline of the sign is 60 inches above the floor and a person can approach to within 3 inches of the sign without encountering protruding objects. Standards §§ 4.1.3(16)(a), 4.30.4, 4.30.5, 4.30.6.

h. Men's restroom (near rear entrance).

(1) The rim of the urinal is 23 1/2 inches above the finished floor. Provide a urinal with an elongated rim that is no higher than 17 inches above the finished floor. Standards §§ 4.1.3(11), 4.22.5, 4.18.2.

(2) The designated accessible toilet stall is 48 1/2 inches wide. Provide a "standard" accessible stall that is at least 60 inches wide and 56-59 inches long such that all the stall's elements including the toilet, size and arrangement, toe clearances, door and hardware, grab bars, and dispensers and controls are in compliance. Standards §§ 4.1.3(11), 4.13, 4.16, 4.17, 4.22.4, 4.26, 4.27.

(3) The sign on the door is not accessible. Provide a sign using raised characters and Braille, on the wall adjacent to the latch side of the door so that the centerline of the sign is 60 inches above the floor and a person can approach to within 3 inches of the sign without encountering protruding objects. Standards §§ 4.1.3(16)(a), 4.30.4, 4.30.5, 4.30.6.

23. The County shall make the following modifications to the Allendale County Law Enforcement Building within one year from the effective date of this Agreement:

a. Parking. The designated parking space has a gravel surface. Modify the ground surface so that it is stable, firm, and slip-resistant. Provide at least one van-accessible space at least 96 inches wide with a demarcated access aisle at least 96 inches wide. Include the words "van accessible" on the required sign. Standards §§ 4.1.2(5)(b), 4.5, 4.6.

b. Restroom Signs. The restroom signs are mounted on the doors. Install a sign for each restroom, using raised characters and Braille, on the wall adjacent to the latch side of the door 60 inches above the floor to the centerline of the sign. Standards §§ 4.1.3(16) 4.30.4, 4.30.5, 4.30.6.

c. Men's Restroom (employees)

(1) Urinal. The flush control is 54 inches above the finished floor. Install an automatic flushing device or modify the urinal so that the flush control is no more than 44 inches above the finished floor. Standards §§ 4.1.3(11), 4.22.5, 4.18.4.

(2) Toilet Paper. The toilet paper dispenser is mounted 39 1/4 inches from the rear wall. Reposition the dispenser so that it is located no more than 36 inches from the rear wall. Standards §§ 4.1.3(11), 4.22.4, 4.16.6.

(3) Grab bar. The side grab bar extends 46 inches from the rear wall. Install a side grab bar at least 40 inches long with one end no more than 12 inches from the rear wall and extending at least 52 inches from the rear wall. Standards §§ 4.1.3(11), 4.22.4, 4.17.3, Figure 30(d).

(4) Shower. The shower stall has a curb that prohibits rolling in. Provide a stall that is exactly 36 inches by 36 inches with a curb that is no higher than 1/2 inch, and a shower spray unit with a hose at least 60 inches long that can be used as a fixed shower head and as a hand-held shower. Standards §§ 4.1.3(11), 4.23.8, 4.21.6, 4.21.7.

(5) Dressing room bench. Provide a bench that is at least 24 inches by 48 inches and fixed to a wall along the longer dimension. The bench should be mounted between 17 and 19 inches above the floor, and should have clear floor space that allows enough room for a person using a wheelchair to make a 180 degree turn. Standards §§ 4.1.3(21), 4.35.2, 4.35.4.

d. Women's Restroom (Employees)

(1) Door. The entrance door to the restroom swings into the clear floor space for the sink. Modify the door to comply with the Standards. §§ 4.1.3(11), 4.19.3, Figure 32, 4.22.2.

(2) Toilet. The flush valve control is located on the "narrow" side of the toilet. Install an automatic flushing device or otherwise modify the flush valve so that the handle is located on the wide side. Standards § 4.1.3(11), 4.22.4, 4.16.5.

(3) Toilet Paper. The toilet paper dispenser is mounted 38 inches from the rear wall. Reposition the dispenser so that it is located no more than 36 inches from the rear wall. Standards §§ 4.1.3(11), 4.22.4, 4.16.6, Figure 30(d).

(4) Shower. The shower stall has a curb that prohibits rolling in. Provide a stall that is exactly 36 inches by 36 inches with a curb that is no higher than 1/2 inch, and a shower spray unit with a hose at least 60 inches long that can be used as a fixed shower head and as a hand-held shower. Standards §§ 4.1.3(11), 4.23.8, 4.21.6, 4.21.7.

(5) Dressing room bench. Provide a bench that is at least 24 inches by 48 inches and fixed to a wall along the longer dimension. The bench should be mounted between 17 and 19 inches above the floor, and should have clear floor space that allows enough room for a person using a wheelchair to make a 180 degree turn. Standards §§ 4.1.3(21), 4.35.2, 4.35.4.

e. Employee Break Room.

(1) Seating. There is no accessible seating space at the fixed table. Provide a space at the table, the top of which is between 28 and 34 inches above the floor, with a knee clearance at least 27 inches high, 30 inches wide and 19 inches deep. Standards §§ 4.1.3(18), 4.32, Figure 45.

(2) Kitchen counter. Provide an accessible counter that has a top surface no more than 34 inches from the floor. Standards § 4.32.4.

(3) Grab bars, holding Cell #151. Provide side and rear grab bars at the designated accessible combination toilet/lavatory fixture in compliance with the Standards. Build a wing wall to the side of the toilet as necessary to add the side grab bar. If there is insufficient space to attach a 36 inch rear grab bar in compliance with the Standards, then replace the existing combination toilet/lavatory fixture with a combination toilet/lavatory fixture that incorporates a complying rear grab bar. Standards 4.22.4, 4.16.4, 4.26, and Figure 29.

24. The County shall make the following modifications to the E911 Center within one year from the effective date of this agreement.

a. Restroom

(1) Flush Control. The flush valve control on the toilet is located on the "narrow" side of the toilet. Install an automatic flushing device or modify the flush valve to comply with the Standards. §§ 4.1.3(11), 4.22.4, 4.16.5.

(2) Exposed Pipes. The hot water and drain pipes underneath the lavatory are not insulated or otherwise configured to protect against contact. Insulate the pipes under the lavatory. Standards §§ 4.1.3 (11), 4.22.6, 4.19.4.

(3) Grab Bar. The side grab bar does not extend far enough from the back wall. The side grab bar must be at least 42 inches long, with one end no more than 12 inches from the rear wall, and extend at least 54 inches from the rear wall. Standards §§ 4.1.3(11), 4.16.4, Figure 29(b).

25. It is recognized that the County hospital has its own governing board, budget, and audit, and otherwise doesn't report to the County. The hospital is subject to the obligation of title II of the ADA to ensure that any of it's facilities for which construction commenced or will commence after January 26, 1992, are readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. For this reason, the hospital can be subject to an independent federal compliance review. This agreement does not limit such future enforcement action by any person or entity. The Department determined during a compliance review that the items below do not meet the new construction and alteration requirements. The County will request that the Hospital make the following modifications to the Allendale County Hospital.

a. Emergency Department Telephone

(1) The public pay phone in the Emergency Department does not have volume control, is not hearing-aid compatible, and has no TTY. Provide an accessible public pay phone that has volume control, is hearing aid compatible, and is equipped with a TTY. Standards §§ 4.1.3(17), 4.31.

(2) Protruding Object. The public pay phone indicated above is a protruding object because its lowest leading edge is 39 1/2 inches above the floor. Remount or modify the telephone so that its lowest leading edge is 27 inches or less above the floor. Standards §§ 4.1.3(2), 4.4.1.

b. Women's Restroom (Emergency Department)

(1) Exposed Pipes. The hot water and drain pipes underneath the lavatory are not insulated or otherwise configured to protect against contact. Insulate the pipes under the lavatory. Standards §§ 4.1.3(11), 4.22.6, 4.19.4.

(2) Mirror. The bottom edge of the reflecting surface is 44 inches above the finished floor. Provide a mirror with the bottom edge of the reflecting surface no more than 40 inches above the floor. Standards §§ 4.1.3(11), 4.22.6, 4.19.6, Figure 31.

(3) Soap Dispenser. The soap dispenser is mounted more than 48 inches above the floor and there is clear floor space only for a front approach. Reposition the soap dispenser so that it is accessible from a front approach. Standards §§ 4.1.3(11), 4.27.2, 4.27.3, 4.2.5.

c. Men's Restroom (Emergency Department)

(1) Exposed Pipes. The hot water and drain pipes underneath the lavarory are not insulated or otherwise configured to protect against contact. Insulate the pipes under the lavatory. Standards §§ 4.1.3(11), 4.22.6, 4.19.4.

(2) Mirror. The bottom edge of the reflecting surface is 44 inches above the finished floor. Provide a mirror with the bottom edge of the reflecting surface no more than 40 inches above the floor. Standards §§ 4.1.3(11), 4.22.6, 4.19.6, Figure 31.

d. Unisex Restrooms.

(1) Grab Bar. The rear grab bar in each restroom is not at least 36 inches long. Provide a rear grab bar that is at least 36 inches long with one end no more than 6 inches from the side wall. Standards. §§ 4.1.3(11), 4.22.4, 4.16.4, Figure 29(a).

(2) Mirror. In each room, the bottom edge of the reflecting surface is 49 inches above the finished floor. Provide a mirror with the bottom edge of the reflecting surface no more than 40 inches above the floor. Standards §§ 4.1.3(11), 4.22.6, 4.19.6, Figure 31.

In order to ensure that each of the County's programs, services, activities operating at the facility that is the subject of this Agreement, when viewed in its entirety, is readily accessible to and usable by persons with mobility impairments, the County will take the following actions:

26. The County will make the following modifications to the County Administrators Building within one year of the effective date of this Agreement:

a. Parking. No accessible parking is provided in either the public or employee lots. The accessible entrance to the building is the employee entrance at the back of the building. Provide a van-accessible parking space to be used by the public in the employee parking lot. This space must be at least 96 inches wide with a demarcated access aisle at least 96 inches wide. Standards §§ 4.1.2(5), 4.6.

b. Accessible route. Provide an accessible route from the public parking lot to the accessible entrance at the rear. Standards § 4.3.2(1).

c. Exterior signage. Install a directional sign at the entrance to the public parking notifying drivers of the availability of accessible public parking in the "employees" parking lot. Also provide a directional sign at the inaccessible front entrance directing pedestrians to the accessible entrance. Standards §§ 4.1.3(8)(d), 4.30.2, 4.30.3, 4.30.5, 4.30.7.

d. Front Entrance. Provide a handrail on each side of the brick steps at this inaccessible entrance to make it more usable to people with mobility impairments. Standards § 4.9.4.

e. Accessible rear entrance

(1) Notification. Install a notification device at the accessible entrance to alert staff that access is required. Communication shall not be voice or hearing dependent. If remote operation of the locking system is used there shall be both audible and visible response to notify the person needing entry that the door is unlocked. 28 C.F.R. Part 35 § 35.149.

(2) Maneuvering Clearance. Provide level maneuvering clearance on both sides of the accessible entrance door. Standards § 4.13.6, Figure 25.

(3) Hardware. Provide operating hardware that does not require tight grasping, tight pinching, or twisting of the wrist. Standards § 4.13.9.

(4) Threshold. Provide a threshold no more than 1/2 inch in height with the edges beveled at a slope no greater than 1:2. Standards § 4.13.8.

f. Conference Room Door. The inner doorway to the conference room has a clear opening width of 29 1/4 inches. Alter the doorway to provide a minimum clear opening width of at least 32 inches with the door open 90 degrees, measured between the face of the door and the opposite stop. Standards §§ 4.1.3(7), 4.13.5.

g. Maintenance of accessible features. Reposition or remove furnishing and other movable items to maintain an accessible route in the public spaces and usability of accessible spaces. 28 C.F.R. Part 35 § 35.133.

27. Public Health Center. Within one year of the effective date of this Agreement, the County shall correct the following to ensure that the programs offered at the Public Health Center are readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities.

a. Accessible parking. There are two parallel parking spaces to the left of the entrance to the New Life Center and one head-in parking space to the right of the main entrance that are designated accessible. There is no demarcation of the spaces or of the required access aisles and the ground surface of these spaces is not firm and stable. Modify these parking spaces to be in compliance with the requirements with at least one of the spaces being van-accessible (i.e., the space is at least 96 inches wide and its access aisle is also at least 96 inches wide) and identified as such. Standards §§ 4.1.2(5), 4.6.2, 4.6.3, 4.6.4.

b. Exterior Accessible route. There is an abrupt level change along the accessible route to the main entrance. There can be no vertical change in level greater than 1/4 inch. Alter the routes from parking to both the main entrance and to the New Life Center to eliminate any abrupt level changes. Standards §§ 4.1.2(1), 4.3.3, 4.3.6, 4.3.7, 4.3.8.

c. New Life Center

(1) Exterior Door. Knob hardware does not comply with the Standards. Replace the hardware so that it does not require tight grasping, pinching, or turning of the wrist to operate. Standards §§ 4.1.3(7), 4.13.9.

(2) Interior Doors. The unisex toilet room door and the door connecting the New Life Center and the clinic have knob hardware that require tight grasping, pinching, or turning of the wrist to operate. Replace the hardware so that it does not require tight grasping, pinching, or turning of the wrist to operate. Standards § 4.13.9

(3) Unisex toilet room

(a) Exposed pipes. The hot water and drain pipes under the lavatory are not insulated or otherwise configured to protect against contact. Insulate the pipes under the lavatory. Standards § 4.19.4.

(b) Grab Bar. There is no rear grab bar at the toilet. Provide a rear grab bar that is at least 36 inches long with one end no more than 6 inches from the side wall. Standards §§ 4.22.4, 4.16.4, 4.26, Fig. 29.

d. Clinic Area

(1) Drinking Fountain. The spout height of the drinking fountain in the hallway is 41 1/2 inches above the floor. Modify the drinking fountain so that the spout is no more than 36 inches above the floor. Standards §§ 4.15.2, Figure 27.

(2) Door Opening Force. The double doors in Clinic hallway require an opening force of greater than 5 pounds. Modify the door closers so that the opening force is no more than 5 pounds or install an automatic opener. Standards. § 4.13.11(2)(b).

(3) Unisex Restroom.

(a) Door. The door to the unisex toilet room has knob hardware. Replace the hardware so that it does not require tight grasping, pinching, or turning of the wrist to operate. Standards § 4.13.9.

(b) Mirror. The mirror in the clinic unisex toilet room is mounted 41 3/4 inches from the finish floor to the bottom edge of the reflecting surface. Move the mirror or provide a mirror with the bottom edge of the reflecting surface no more than 40 inches above the floor. Standards §§ 4.19.6, Figure 31.

(c) Exposed pipes. The hot water and drain pipes under the lavatory are not insulated or otherwise configured to protect against contact. Insulate the pipes under the lavatory. Standards § 4.19.4.

(d) Toilet. The centerline of the toilet is 15 1/2 inches from the side wall. The top of the toilet seat is 15 1/2 inches above the floor. Reposition or replace the toilet so that the center line is18 inches from the side wall and the seat is 17-19 inches above the floor. Standards. §§ 4.22.4, 4.16.3, 4.16.2.

(e) Grab Bars. There are no grab bars at the toilet. Provide a side grab bar that is at least 42 inches long with one end extending at least 54 inches from the rear wall. Provide a rear grab bar that is at least 36 inches long with one end no more than 6 inches from the side wall. Both grab bars must be horizontal and between 33 and 36 inches above the floor. Standards § 4.16.4, Figure 29.

(f) Toilet Paper Dispenser. The toilet paper dispenser is mounted too far forward. Reposition the dispenser so that it is no more than 36 inches from the rear wall. Standards § 4.16.6, Figure 29(b), Figure 30(d).

(g) Dispenser behind toilet. The dispenser behind the toilet is not accessible because there is no clear floor space as required. If a dispenser is provided, it must have a clear floor space at least 30 inches by 48 inches positioned for a front or side approach and be installed at a height appropriate for the approach. Standards §§ 4.22.3, 4.22.7, 4.27.

(h) Lavatory faucets. The lavatory has twist-type faucets. Replace the faucet handles with ones that do not require tight grasping, pinching, or turning of the wrist. Standards § 4.19.5.

(i) Clear Floor Space. Provide required clear floor spaces at fixtures and dispensers, a turning space, and maneuvering clearance at the door in compliance with the Standards. §§ 4.22.3, 4.2.3, 4.13.6, Figure 25.

(4) Door width. The door to Adult Health, room #111, has a clear opening width of 31 inches. Modify the door to provide a clear opening width of at least 32 inches with the door open 90 degrees, measured between the face of the door and the opposite stop. Standards §§ 4.13.5.

(5) Ramp in rear hallway.

(a) The ramp is sloped steeper than 1:12. Alter the ramp to comply with the Standards or provide at least one accessible route connecting accessible spaces. §§ 4.1.3(1), 4.8.2.

(b) The handrails on the ramp are difficult to grasp, do not extend beyond the ramp as required, and do not return to the wall. Modify the handrails to comply with the Standards. §4.26.2, 4.8.5.

e. Waiting Room

(1) Accessible route. Relocate the folding chairs within waiting area so that the required accessible route is maintained 28 C.F.R, Part 35, §35.133.

f. Men's and women's toilet rooms

(1) The designated accessible toilet stalls are inaccessible. The toilet stall is too narrow; the grab bars are not long enough and are spaced more than 1 inches from the wall; the top of the toilet seat is not between 17 and 19 inches above the floor, and the toilet paper dispenser is too far from the rear wall. In each room, provide a "standard" accessible toilet stall at least 60 inches wide and 56-59 inches deep such that all the stall's elements, including the toilet, size and arrangement, toe clearances, doors and hardware, grab bars and dispensers and controls, comply with the Standards. §§ 4.1.3(11), 4.22.4, 4.13, 4.16, 4.17, Figure 30, 4.26, 4.27.

(2) The lavatory faucets require twisting of the wrist and the hot water and drain pipes are not insulated or otherwise protected from contact; the bottom of mirror's reflecting surface is more than 40 inches above the floor. Provide a lavatory and mirror in each room that are in compliance with the Standards. §§4.1.3(11), 4.22.6, 4.19, Figure 31.

(3) The rim of the urinal in the men's room is more than 17 inches above the floor and the flush handle is more than 44 inches above the floor. Reposition or replace the urinal to comply with the Standards. §4.1.3(11).

(4) Technical infeasibility. If technical infeasibility can be demonstrated with regard to the provision of accessibility in the men's and women's toilet rooms, the provision of at least one fully accessible unisex toilet room is permitted. A sign indicating the location of the accessible toilet room is required at the inaccessible toilet rooms and a sign identifying the accessible toilet room is required as well. Standards §§ 4.1.6(3)(e)(i), 4.30.

28. The County will make the following modifications to the Voters Registration Building within one year of the effective date of this Agreement:

a. Parking. No accessible parking is provided. The gravel surface is not firm, stable, and slip resistant. Provide a parking space that is at least 96 inches wide with an access aisle also at least 96 inches wide and identified on the required sign as being van-accessible. Standards. §§ 4.1.2(5), 4.6.

b. Ramp.

(1) The handrails are not grippable, do not extend horizontally for at least 12 inches beyond the bottom of the ramp, and do not terminate as required. Provide handrails that are grippable and extend and terminate as required. Standards §§ 4.8.5, 4.26.2, Figure 17.

(2) There is no edge protection where the ramp surface is above the adjoining grade. Provide a curb or a low rail to prevent the small wheel of a wheelchair or a crutch tip from slipping off the edge. Standards §§ 4.8.7, Figure 17.

c. Accessible route. The large building sign located to the left of the accessible entrance is within the required maneuvering clearance at the door. Move the sign so that the accessible route is maintained. 28 C.F.R. Part 35, §35.133.

29. The County will make the following modifications to the Courthouse Complex within one year of the effective date of this Agreement:

a. Entrance door widths, trailer offices. The clear opening width of the doors for the following offices is 28 1/4 - 29 1/4 inches: the Probate Judge/Delinquent Taxes, Clerk of Court, Tax Assessor. Modify the door to provide a clear opening width of at least 32 inches with the door open 90 degrees, measured between the face of the door and the opposite stop. Standards § 4.13.5, Figure 24.

b. Women's Restroom.

(1) Accessible Route. There is a 3 inch change in level at the entrance door. Modify the accessible route to the entrance so that there is no change in level greater than 1/2 inch with the edge beveled at no more than 1:2. Standards §§ 4.3.8, 4.5.2.

(2) Standard stall.

(a) The lavatory in the large stall (looks like a room) impedes the clear floor space, turning space, and maneuvering space to qualify the stall as an accessible toilet room. Remove the lavatory and provide access at one of the other lavatories in the men's toilet room. Modify the stall such that it is at least 60 inches wide and 56-59 inches deep such that all the stall's elements, including the toilet, size and arrangement, toe clearances, doors and hardware, grab bars, and dispensers and controls, comply with the Standards. §§ 4.1.3(11), 4.22.4, 4.13, 4.16, 4.17, Figure 30, 4.26, 4.27. Standards §§ 4.17.3.

(3) Soap Dispenser. The soap dispenser control at the lavatory not in the designated accessible toilet stall is 51 inches above the finished floor which exceeds the maximum 48 inches for a front reach. Provide a dispenser no more than 48 inches above the floor. Standards §§ 4.22.7, 4.27.3.

(4) Exposed Pipes. The hot water and drain pipes underneath the lavatory are not insulated or otherwise configured to protect against contact. Insulate the pipes under the lavatory. Standards. § 4.19.4.

(5) Lavatory faucets The faucets have knob handles that require tight grasping and twisting of the wrist to operate. Replace the faucet handles to comply with the Standards. §§ 4.19.5, 4.27.4.

(6) Grab bars. The designated accessible stall has a single grab bar mounted at an angle on the side wall. Provide a side grab bar that is at least 42 long with one end no more than 12 inches from the rear wall extending at least 54 inches from the rear wall and a rear grab bar that is at least 36 inches long with one end no more than 6 inches from the side wall. Both grab bars must be horizontal at 33-36 inches above the floor. Standards §§ 4.17.6, Figure 30(c) and (d), 4.26.

(7) Door. The door has knob handles. Replace the hardware so that it does not require tight grasping, pinching, or turning of the wrist. Standards § 4.13.9.

(8) Sign. The sign on the door is not accessible. Provide a sign, using raised characters and Braille, on the wall on the latch side of the door at 60 inches above the deck. Standards §§ 4.30.4, 4.30.5, 4.30.6.

b. Men's Restroom

(1) Accessible route. There is a 2 1/2 inch change in level at the entrance door. Modify the accessible route to the entrance so that there is no level change greater than 1/2 inch with the edge beveled at no more than 1:2. Standards §§ 4.3.8, 4.5.2.

(2) Lavatory faucet. The faucet is a single knob that requires tight grasping and twisting of the wrist to operate. Replace the faucet control to comply with the Standards §§ 4.19.5, 4.27.4.

(3) Grab Bar. The designated accessible stall has a single grab bar mounted on the side wall at an angle. Provide a side grab bar that is at least 42 inches long with one end no more than 12 inches from the rear wall extending at least 54 inches from the rear wall and a rear grab bar that is at least 36 inches long with one end no more than 6 inches from the side wall. Grab bars must be horizontal at 33-36 inches above the floor. Standards §§ 4.17.6, Figure 30(c) & (d), 4.26.

(4) Toilet paper dispenser. The toilet paper dispenser is mounted 37 1/4 inches from the rear wall. Relocate the toilet paper dispenser so that it is below the grab bar and no more than 36 inches from the rear wall. Standards § 4.16.6, Figure 30 (d).

(5) Stall hardware. The door to the designated accessible stall has a locking device that is not accessible. Provide a locking device that does not require tight grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist to operate. Standards §§ 4.17.5, 4.13.9.

(6) Door. The door has knob handles. Replace the harware so that it does not require tight grasping, pinching, or turning of the wrist. Standards § 4.1.3.9.

(7) Sign. The sign on the door is not accessible. Provide a sign, using raised characters and Braille, on the wall on the latch side of the door at 60 inches above the floor. Standards §§ 4.30.4, 4.30.5, 4.30.6.

c. Clerk of Court

(1) Door. The entrance door does not have accessible hardware and lacks sufficient maneuvering space on the interior. Install an automatic opener or by other means provide access for people with disabilities. Standards §§ 4.13.6, 4.13.9.

(2) Service Counter. The three service counters for the Clerk of Court are all more than 42 inches above the finish floor. Modify at least one of the service counters so that is not more than 36 inches high, or provide an auxiliary counter that is not more than 36 inches high in close proximity to these three windows, or provide access programmatically through equivalent facilitation. Standards § 7.2(2).

(3) Microfilm desk. The desk in the microfilm room is not usable by a person in a wheelchair because the knee space is inadequate. Provide access to microfilm for persons with disabilities. 28 C.F.R., Part 35 § 35.150.

d. Auditor/Treasurer Offices

(1) Service Counter. The three service counters for the Auditor/Treasure offices measure are all more than 42 inches above the finished floor. Modify at least one of the service counters so that it is not more than 36 inches high, or provide an auxiliary counter that is not more than 36 inches high in close proximity to these three windows, or provide access programmatically through equivalent facilitation. Standards § 7.2(2).

e. Tax Assessor's Office

(1) Doors.

(a) Clear opening width. The entrance doorway has a clear opening width of 29 1/4 inches. Alter the doorway to provide a minimum clear opening width of at least 32 inches with the door open 90 degrees, measured between the face of the door and the opposite stop. Standards § 4.13.5.

(b) Door closer. The sweep period of the entrance door closer is 2 1/2 seconds. Adjust the closer so that the sweep period takes at least 3 seconds to move to a point 3 inches from the latch from an open position of 70 degrees. Standards § 4.13.10.

(c) Accessible route. The accessible route to the Records room #7 is blocked by a file cabinet within the room. Relocate the file cabinet so that it does not obstruct the accessible route and clear width of the door. 28 C.F.R. Part 35 § 35.150.

(d) Computer/work table. The work table in room #11 is not usable by a person in a wheelchair because knee space is inadequate. Provide access to a computer for people with disabilities. 28 C.F.R. Part 35 § 35.150.

f. Probation, Parole Offices

(1) Accessible route. There is a 2 1/2 inch change in level at the entrance door. Modify the accessible route to the entrance so that there is no level change greater than 1/2 inch with the edge beveled at no more than 1:2. Standards §§ 4.3.8, 4.5.2.

(2) Door

(a) Clear width. The main entrance doorway has a clear opening width of 28 1/2 inches. Alter the doorway to provide a minimum clear opening of at least 32 inches with the door open 90 degrees, measured between the face of the door and the opposite stop. Standards § 4.13.5.

(b) Door closer. The sweep period of the entrance door closer is 2 1/2 seconds. Adjust the closer so that the sweep period takes at least 3 seconds to a point 3 inches from the latch from an open position of 70 degrees. Standards §§ 4.13.10.

(c) Service counter. The service counter used for signing in is 41 inches above the finished floor. Modify the service counter so that it is not more than 36 inches high, or provide an auxiliary counter that is not more than 36 inches high in close proximity to the existing counter, or provide access programmatically through equivalent facilitation. Standards § 7.2(2).

g. Probate Judge / Delinquent Tax Collector Offices

(1) Accessible route. There is a 2 1/2 inch change in level at the entrance door. Modify the accessible route to the entrance so that there is no level change greater than 1/2 inch with the edge beveled at no more than 1:2. Standards §§ 4.3.8, 4.5.2.

(2) Service counter. The two service counters for the Tax Collector are more than 40 inches above the floor. Modify at least one of the service counters so that it is not more than 36 inches high, or provide an auxiliary counter that is not more than 36 inches high in close proximity, or provide access programmatically through equivalent facilitation. Standards § 7.2(2).

(3) Protruding objects. The fire extinguisher in the hallway is mounted with its leading edge 28 1/2 inches above the finished floor and protrudes 5 inches from the wall. Lower the fire extinguisher so that its bottom edge is no higher than 27 inches above the floor. Standards § 4.4.1.

h. Magistrate Judges Offices. The County will add three or four office trailers to the Courthouse Complex approximately three months from the date of this Agreement and permanently relocate the Magistrate offices to this new location. The County will make modifications to the additional trailers, similar to the modifications identified in #29 (a-g), to ensure that the new Magistrate offices will be readily accessible to and usable by people with mobility disabilities.

30. Library. The County will make the following modifications to the Library within one year of the effective date of this Agreement:

a. Parking. No accessible parking space is provided. Provide a van-accessible parking space that is at least 96 inches wide with an access aisle also at least 96 inches wide and is identified s van-accessible. Standards §§ 4.1.2(5), 4.6.

b. Exterior accessible route. There is no accessible route to an accessible entrance. Provide an accessible route from accessible parking to at least one accessible entrance. Permitted elements of an accessible route include curb ramps, sloped walkways at 1:20 or less, ramps not to exceed 1:12, and lifts. Standard § 4.3.2(1).

c. Interior Accessible Route.

(1) The isles between book stacks are 27 inches wide. Relocate the stacks so that there is a minimum clear width of 36 inches between the stacks. Standards § 8.5.

(2) If there is insufficient space in the stacks room to provide an accessible route between the stacks as indicated above, the County should develop a policy statement that identifies the methods that will be used to ensure that individuals with disabilities are afforded the programs, services and activities that are available in the stacks room. 28 C.F.R Part 35 § 35.150.

d. Men's and women's restroom. Neither the men's nor the women's restrooms are accessible. Provide at least one fully accessible "unisex" restroom containing one toilet and one lavatory. The door shall have a privacy lock that is easy to grasp with one hand and does not require tight grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist to operate. All elements provided shall meet the requirements of the Standards as enumerated in §§ 4.22. The accessible unisex restroom shall be identified by a sign, using raised characters, Braille, and the Symbol of Accessibility, on the wall to the latch side of the door with its centerline 60 inches above the floor. A directional sign shall be placed at any inaccessible toilet room informing individuals of the location of the accessible restroom. Standards §§ 4.1.6(3)(e)(i), 4.1.6(3)(e)(iii).

31. It is recognized that the City Hall is owned and operated by the City. The City is subject to the obligation of title II of the ADA to ensure that its programs , services, activities, when viewed in its entirely, is readily accessible to and usable by persons with mobility disabilities. For this reason, the City can be subject to an independent federal compliance review. This agreement does not limit such future enforcement action by any person or entity. The Department determined during the compliance review that the items below do not meet the program access requirements. The County will request that the City of Allendale make the following modifications to Allendale City Hall. The County currently utilizes the courtroom facilities of the Allendale City Hall, and will continue to do so until the Allendale County Courthouse, which was gutted by fire subsequent to the complaint, is rebuilt. Although the County does not pay fees for the use of the City Hall facilities, the County is still obligated to takes steps to make their programs accessible even within temporary facilities.

a. Parking. The designated accessible parking space provided has no demarcated access aisle and is not van-accessible. Provide at least one van-accessible space that is at least 96 inches wide with an access aisle also at least 96 inches wide. The space must be designated as reserved by a sign showing the symbol of accessibility and have an additional sign indicating "van-accessible" mounted below the symbol of accessibility. Standards §§ 4.1.2(5), 4.6.

b. Accessible route.

(1) Curb Ramp. There is no curb ramp from the accessible parking space to the bottom of the ramp leading to the main entrance. Provide a curb ramp as required for an accessible route. Standards §§ 4.1.2(1), 4.7.

(2) Ramp

(a) Landings. The three section ramp at the main entrance changes directions with each run but lacks level landings between the runs. Level landings are necessary to allow a person in a wheelchair to turn and to eliminate cross slope problems. Modify the ramp so that level landings are at least as wide as ramp and at least 60 inches long. Standards. §§ 4.1.2 (2), 4.3.7, 4.8.4.

(b) Handrails. The handrail on the ramp are 2 inches square and are difficult to grasp, do not have required extensions, and the end(s) do not return to the wall. Provide a handrail on each side of the ramp that complies with the Standards.
§ 4.8.5, 4.26.2, Figure 39.

c. Doors

(1) Clear Width. The entrance doorway has a pair of doors, each of which operates independently. The clear opening width of one leaf is 28 1/2 inches. Alter the entrance doorway so that at least one door has a minimum clear opening width of 32 inches with the door open 90 degrees, measured between the face of the door and the opposite stop, or install an automatic opener that will open both leaves simultaneously. Standards §§ 4.13.4, 4.13.5.

(2) Closer. The sweep period of the entrance door closer is 2 seconds. Adjust the closer so that the sweep period takes at least 3 seconds to move to a point 3 inches from the latch from an open position of 70 degrees. Standards § 4.13.10.

d. Courtroom

(1) Seating. There are 98 seats in the courtroom; one wheelchair accessible space is provided. Provide a total of 4 wheelchair accessible spaces with at least one fixed companion seat alongside each wheelchair space. Removable seats may be placed within the required wheelchair spaces when not occupied by a person using a wheelchair. Standards §§ 4.1.3 (19), 4.33.2, 4.33.3, 4.33.4, Figure 46.

(2) Witness Stand. The floor of the witness stand is separated from the courtroom floor by a step. Provide at least a portable ramp to provide accessibility for a person who cannot use steps. 28 C.F.R. Part 35 §§ 35.150.

e. Jury Room.

(1) Men's and women's Toilet Rooms.

(a) Door. The doorway to the Men's and Women's toilet rooms has a clear opening width of 28 3/4 inches. The door swings into the clear floor space required at the lavatory. The knob hardware is not accessible. Alter the doorway to provide a minimum clear opening width of at least 32 inches with the door open 90 degrees, measured between the face of the door and the opposite stop. Reverse the door swing so that it does not encroach upon the clear floor space required at a fixture and so that maneuvering clearance is provided on both sides of the door. Provide hardware that does not require tight grasping, pinching, or turning of the wrist to operate. Standards §§ 4.22.2, 4.22.3, 4.13.

(b) Sign. The sign on the door is not accessible. Provide a sign, using raised characters and Braille, on the wall on the latch side of the door with its centerline 50 inches above the floor. Standards §§ 4.30.4, 4.30.5, 4.30.6.

(c) Toilet. The toilet centerline is 21 1/2 inches from the side wall. Reposition the toilet so that the centerline is 18 inches from the side wall and provide a seat that is 17 to 19 inches above the floor. Standards §§ 4.16.2, Figure 28, 4.16.3.

(d) Exposed pipes. The hot water and drain pipes underneath the lavatory are not insulated or otherwise configured to protect against contact. Insulate the pipes under the lavatory. Standards §§ 4.22.6, 4.19.4.

(e) Faucets. The lavatory faucets have knob handles. Provide faucet handles that do not require tight grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist to operate. Standards. §§ 4.19.5.

(f) Grab bars. There are no grab bars. Provide a side grab bar that is at least 42 inches long with one end no more than 12 inches from the rear wall and that extends at least 54 inches from the rear wall. Provide a rear grab bar that is at least 36 inches long with one end no more than 6 inches from the side wall. Grab bars shall be horizontal at 33 to 36 inches above the floor. Standards § 4.16.4, Figure 29.

(g) Mirror. The bottom of the mirror is 48 inches above the finished floor. Provide a mirror with the bottom edge of the reflecting surface no more than 40 inches above the floor. Standards. § 4.19.2, Figure 31.

(h) Lavatory. Knee space at the lavatory is inadequate. Provide a lavatory with its top no more than 34 inches above the floor and the bottom of the apron at least 29 inches above the floor. Standards § 4.19.2, Figure 31.

32. It is recognized that the County hospital has its own governing board, budget, and audit, and otherwise doesn't report to the County. The hospital is subject to the obligation of title II of the ADA to ensure that its programs, services, and activities are readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. For this reason, the hospital can be subject to an independent federal compliance review. This agreement does not limit such future enforcement action by any person or entity. The Department determined during the compliance review that the items below do not meet the requirements for program access. Therefore, the County is encouraged to request that the Hospital make the following modifications to the Allendale County Hospital.

a. Drinking Fountain. The water fountain near the front entrance is accessible however the operating mechanism on the right side does not function. Repair the operating mechanism so that the fountain is operable with the right hand. 28 C.F.R. Part 35 § 35.133..

b. Directional Signage. Neither the men's nor the women's restroom located near the main entrance is accessible. However there are two designed accessible unisex restrooms located further down the hall. Provide appropriate directional signage at the inaccessible restrooms that will direct patrons to the accessible restrooms. Standards §§ 4.1.2(7)(d), 4.30.2, 4.30.3, 4.30.5, 4.30.7.

IMPLEMENTATION AND ENFORCEMENT

33. Except as otherwise specified in this Agreement, one year after the effective date of this Agreement, and thereafter at yearly anniversaries of the effective date, the County will submit written reports to the Department summarizing the actions the County has taken pursuant to this Agreement. Reports will include photographs, architectural plans, notices published in newspapers, copies of adopted policies, and proof of efforts to secure funding/assistance for structural renovations.

34. If at any time the County desires to modify any portion of this Agreement because of changed conditions making performance impossible or impractical or for any other reason, it will promptly notify the Department in writing, setting forth the facts and circumstances thought to justify modification and the substance of the proposed modification. Until there is written Agreement by the Department to the proposed modification, the proposed modification will not take effect. These actions must receive the prior written approval of the Department, which approval shall not be unreasonably withheld or delayed.

35. The Department may review compliance with this Agreement at any time. If the Department believes that this Agreement or any portion of it has been violated, it will so notify the County in writing and it will attempt to resolve the issue or issues in good faith. If the Department is unable to reach a satisfactory resolution of the issue or issues raised within 30 days of the date it provides notice to the County, it may institute a civil action in federal district court directly to enforce title II or to enforce the terms of this Agreement, or it may initiate appropriate steps to enforce section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

36. Failure by the Department to enforce this entire Agreement or any provision thereof with regard to any deadline or any other provision herein shall not be construed as a waiver of the Department's right to enforce other deadlines and provisions of this Agreement.

37. In the event that the County fails to comply in a timely manner with any requirement of this Agreement without obtaining sufficient advance written agreement with the Department for a temporary modification of the relevant terms of this Agreement, the Department may file suit in an appropriate federal court to enforce the terms of the Agreement, may declare the Agreement null and void and file suit to enforce title II of the ADA, or may initiate appropriate steps to enforce section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

38. This Agreement is a public document. A copy of this document or any information contained in it may be made available to any person by the County or the Department on request.

39. The effective date of this Agreement is the date of the last signature below.

40. This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties on the matters raised herein, and no other statement, promise, or agreement, either written or oral, made by either party or agents of either party, that is not contained in this written Agreement, shall be enforceable. This Agreement does not purport to remedy any other potential violations of the ADA or any other Federal law. This Agreement does not affect the County's continuing responsibility to comply with all aspects of the ADA.

41. This Agreement will remain in effect for four year from the effective date of this Agreement, or until the parties agree that full compliance with this Agreement by the County has been achieved.

42. The person signing for each party represents that he or she is authorized to bind the party to this Agreement.

 
FOR THE UNITED STATES:








_____________________
Heather Lea Simmons
County Administrator
Allendale County, South Carolina













RALPH F. BOYD, JR.
Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division



By:__________________________
JOHN L. WODATCH, Chief
RENEE M. WOHLENHAUS, Deputy Chief
ROBIN DEYKES, Investigator
Disability Rights Section
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
P.O. Box 66738
Washington, DC 20035-6738








 

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EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION WITH PATRONS AND VISITORS WHO ARE DEAF OR HARD OF HEARING IN THE ALLENDALE COUNTY HOSPITAL PROGRAMS, ACTIVITIES, AND SERVICES
 

I. PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to establish procedures to provide auxiliary aids and services whenever necessary to ensure effective communication with qualified individuals with disabilities.

II. APPLICABILITY

This policy applies to all services, programs, and activities provided or operated by the Allendale County Hospital.

III. POLICY

It is the policy of the Hospital to ensure that the Hospital will take appropriate steps to ensure that communication with Patients and Companions with disabilities are as effective as communication with others. The Hospital will furnish appropriate auxiliary aids and services where necessary to afford an individual with a disability an equal opportunity to participate in, and enjoy the benefits of, a service, program, or activity conducted by the Hospital.

IV. PROCEDURES

A. Establishment of Auxiliary Aids and Services (AAS) Program. The Hospital shall design and institute a program to provide auxiliary aids and services; scheduling, announcing, and promoting all training required by this Policy; and drafting, providing, and maintaining, all reports required by this Policy.

B. Designation of an Official or Office Responsible for the Program. The Director of the Hospital shall appoint an official or office responsible for the AAS program. The official or office shall maintain all necessary information about access to and the operation of the AAS program. The official or office shall maintain a combination voice/TTY telephone line or a dedicated TTY telephone line, and shall publicize its purpose and telephone number broadly within the Hospital and to the public. The official or office shall provide appropriate assistance regarding immediate access to and proper use of the appropriate auxiliary aids and services available under the Program. Such official or office shall know where the appropriate auxiliary aids are stored, how to obtain services, and how to operate them, and shall be responsible for their maintenance, repair, replacement, and distribution. The official or office shall maintain a recording system for inquiries regarding the provision of auxiliary aids and services and responses.

C.  Provision of Appropriate Auxiliary Aids and Services.

1. Auxiliary aids and services. The Hospital shall provide to Patients and Companions who are deaf or hard of hearing, an appropriate auxiliary aid or service that may be necessary for effective communication as soon as practicable after determining that the aid or service is necessary. Auxiliary aids and services include qualified interpreters, note takers, transcription services, written materials, assistive listening devices, assistive listening systems, or other effective methods of making aurally delivered materials available to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.

2. Determination of auxiliary aid or service. The determination of which appropriate auxiliary aids and services are necessary, and the timing, duration and frequency with which they will be provided, shall be made by the Hospital personnel who are otherwise primarily responsible for coordinating and/or providing patient services, in consultation with the person with a disability. When an auxiliary aid or service is required to ensure effective communication, the Hospital shall provide an opportunity for an individual with a disability to request the auxiliary aid or service of his or her choice and shall give primary consideration to the choice expressed by the individual. The Hospital shall honor the expressed choice, unless it can show that another equally effective means of communication is available, or that use of the means chosen would result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of its service, program, or activity or in undue financial and administrative burdens.

3. Initial communication assessment. The initial assessment will be made at the time an appointment is scheduled or on the arrival of the Patient or Companion at the Hospital, whichever is earlier. Hospital Personnel will perform and document a communication assessment as part of each initial inpatient assessment which is required by the Joint Commission On Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations ("JCAHO"). Completion of communication assessments will be documented in the Patient's record.

4. Ongoing assessments. If a Patient or a Companion who is deaf or hard of hearing has an ongoing relationship with the Hospital, the provision of appropriate auxiliary aids or services will be reconsidered as part of each routine assessment of an inpatient, or on a regular basis with respect to other Patients and Companions. Hospital Personnel shall keep appropriate records that reflect the ongoing assessments, such as notations in Patients' records.

D. Medical Concerns. Nothing in this policy shall require that an electronic device or equipment constituting an appropriate auxiliary aid be used when or where its use may interfere with medical or monitoring equipment or may otherwise constitute a threat to a patient's medical condition

E. Complaint Resolution. The Hospital shall maintain an effective complaint resolution mechanism regarding the provision of auxiliary aids and services and shall maintain records of all complaints filed and actions taken with respect thereto.

F. Individual Notice in Absence of Request. If a Patient or Companion who is deaf or hard of hearing does not request appropriate auxiliary aids or services but Hospital Personnel have reason to believe that the person would benefit from appropriate auxiliary aids or services for effective communication, the Hospital shall inform the person directly that appropriate auxiliary aids and services are available free of charge.

G. Communication with patients and companions. The Hospital shall take appropriate steps to ensure that all personnel having contact with a patient or companion who is deaf or hard of hearing are made aware of the person's disability so that effective communication with the person will be achieved.

V. QUALIFIED INTERPRETERS

A. Provision of Qualified Interpreters. The Hospital shall provide qualified interpreters when necessary for effective communication with, or effective participation in Hospital programs and activities by patients, or other persons who are deaf or hard of hearing. The following are examples of circumstances when it may be necessary to provide interpreters:

The foregoing list of circumstances is neither exhaustive nor mandatory, and shall not imply that there are not other circumstances when it may be appropriate to provide interpreters for effective communication.

B. Qualified Interpreters. A qualified interpreter means an interpreter who is able to interpret effectively, accurately, and impartially both receptively and expressively, using any necessary specialized vocabulary. An employee who signs "pretty well" should not be considered an interpreter until he or she possesses the proper skills to observe someone signing and change their signed or finger spelled communication into spoken words and vice versa. A Hospital employee should not be allowed to interpret if his or her presence poses a conflict of interest or raises confidentiality and privacy concerns. Someone who has only a rudimentary familiarity with sign language or finger spelling is not a "qualified interpreter" under this policy. Likewise, someone who is fluent in sign language but who does not possess the ability to process spoken communication into the proper signs or to observe someone else signing and change their signed or finger spelled communication into spoken words is not a qualified sign language interpreter.

C. Contracts for the Provision of Interpreting Services. The Hospital shall establish contracts, or the Hospital shall provide other effective means, to ensure that qualified interpreters are available when required, without delay.

D. Other Means of Communication During Non-scheduled Circumstances. Between the time an interpreter is requested and when an interpreter arrives, Hospital personnel shall continue to try to communicate with the patient or companion who is deaf or hard of hearing for such purposes and to the same extent as they would have communicated with the person but for the hearing impairment, using all available methods of communication. For instance, seeking the services of an interpreter shall not mean that medical treatment will be delayed until the interpreter arrives. In addition, upon arrival of the interpreter, personnel shall review and confirm with the patient or companion all information received prior to the arrival, without benefit of the interpreter. This provision in no way lessens the Hospital's obligation to provide qualified interpreters in a timely manner as required by this Policy.

E.  Restricted Use of Certain Persons to Facilitate Communication. Due to confidentiality, potential emotional involvement, and other factors that may adversely affect the ability to facilitate communication, Hospitals shall never require or coerce a family member, companion, case manager, advocate, or friend of a Patient or Companion who is deaf or hard of hearing to interpret or facilitate communications between Hospital Personnel and such Patient or Companion. In any case, such person shall be used to interpret or facilitate communication only if the Patient or Companion who is deaf or hard of hearing does not object, if such person wishes to provide such assistance, and if such use is necessary or appropriate under the circumstances, giving appropriate consideration to any privacy issues that may arise.

F.  Staff Interpreters. The Hospital may, but shall have no obligation to, hire or otherwise contract with qualified interpreters for a staff position. Staff interpreters must be qualified as set forth in Section VB. Patients and companions who are provided with staff interpreters must have the same level of coverage (for both duration and frequency) as the Hospital is otherwise obligated to provide under this Policy. The Hospital may assign other duties as appropriate to staff interpreters.

VI. TECHNOLOGY

A. Portable access technology - defined. The Hospital will make available portable access technology. Such technology, as referred to in this section, shall include TTY's with printout capability, visual notification devices for incoming telephone calls, volume control telephones, and telephones that are hearing aid compatible. The Hospital shall ensure that each volume control telephone and each visual notification device for incoming telephone calls complies with the ADA Standards.

B. Portable access technology - general obligation. The Hospital will make portable access technology available to Patients and Companions who are deaf or hard of hearing and who are admitted to (or are accompanying Patients who are admitted to) rooms equipped with a telephone. In units of a Hospital where patients normally do not have telephones in their rooms, if hearing patients are given access to common area telephones other than the public phones identified in this Decree, such Hospital will maintain in each such unit appropriate portable access technology that can be used by Patients and Companions who are deaf or hard of hearing so that such persons have equal access to make outgoing calls and receive incoming calls as do hearing persons.

C. Electrical outlets. Each Patient room with a telephone shall have an electrical outlet within four feet of the telephone connection to facilitate the use of a TTY device, or the Hospital will provide when needed a heavy-duty extension cord for patient rooms that are not so equipped.

D. Timeliness. The Hospital will make the equipment required by this section available within thirty (30) minutes of a Patient's arrival in a patient room, regardless of the hour of the day or night. The Hospital will notify all relevant Hospital Personnel of the availability and location of this equipment.

E. Televisions and Caption Decoders. The Hospital will make closed captioning decoders available to Patients or Companions who are deaf or hard of hearing as part of available television services at no additional cost, except for televisions that have the built-in capability to display captions. 28 C.F.R. § 36.303(e).

1. Clearly stated directions for use of the closed caption capability shall be in the Patient Handbook (or equivalent publication) or otherwise available in each patient room or public area containing a television with captioning capability. The directions for operating the closed caption function shall also accompany all closed caption decoders for standard television sets.

2. Duty to Provide Programs in a Manner That is Accessible to Persons With Hearing Impairments.

a. It is expressly agreed that the Hospital has an obligation to provide captions on any program broadcast over the public airways or commercial cable television services, where such captions are not already integrated into the program.

b. If the Hospital solicits a third party, parent company, or affiliated health care provider to produce or provide video programs that may be broadcast within the Hospital to Patients or Companions who are deaf or hard of hearing will ensure that the program is captioned, unless, under the circumstances, doing so would impose an undue burden. 28 C.F.R. § 35.164, 28 C.F.R. § 36.303. Commercial videos available to the general public shall not be subject to this requirement.

c. If the Hospital produces internally a pre-recorded program for broadcast within, the Hospital will ensure that the program is made accessible to Patients and Companions who are deaf or hard of hearing, whether by captioning such program or by providing a transcript or sign language interpreter whenever it is viewed by a Patient or Companion who is deaf or hard of hearing. If the program is not captioned, the method of access delivery must be tailored to the needs of the Patient or Companion who is deaf or hard of hearing. For instance, if the person does not know sign language, the Hospital may provide effective communication through a transcript. In most circumstances, captioning will be regarded as providing effective communication with all persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, regardless of the communication skills and history of such persons (though repeated screenings may be necessary, if the person who is deaf or hard of hearing cannot read English at the rate required to keep pace with the audible portion of the program). If, however, the contents of a program are sufficiently important to require precise communication of its contents, the Hospital will take additional measures to ensure effective communication.

d. If the Hospital produces its own live broadcasts it will make most such programs as accessible to Patients and Companions who are deaf or hard of hearing as they are to others. Captioning is one way, but not the only way, to make such programs accessible to Patients and Companions who are deaf or hard of hearing. The Hospital can also choose to provide sign language interpreters (if the person who is deaf or hard of hearing uses sign language) or written scripts prepared in advance of the live broadcast. In order to determine which programs should be captioned, the Hospital may prioritize and consider such factors as the importance and length of the program, as well as any significant difficulty or expense in captioning the program or displaying the captions, given the location of its filming or viewing.

F. Client Education. The Hospital shall ensure that each Patient and Companion who is deaf or hard of hearing who is provided with portable access technology is appropriately directed as to the proper use of such equipment.

VII. NOTICE

A. Signs. The Hospital shall post and maintain signs of conspicuous size and print at all facilities, and wherever other posters or flyers are required by law to be posted. Such signs shall be to the following effect:

Sign language and oral interpreters, TTYs, and other auxiliary aids and services are available free of charge to people who are deaf or hard of hearing. For assistance, please contact any Hospital personnel or the Auxiliary Aids and Services Coordinator at ____________ (voice/TTY), room ____________.

These signs will include the international symbols for "interpreters" and "TTYs." An example is attached hereto as Exhibit I A.

B. Patient Handbook. The Hospital will include in all future printings of its Patient Handbook (or equivalent) and all similar publications a statement to the following effect:

To ensure effective communication with patients and companions and their visitors who are deaf or hard of hearing, we provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services free of charge, such as: sign language and oral interpreters, TTY's, notetakers, computer-assisted real time transcription services, written materials, telephone handset amplifiers, assistive listening devices and systems, telephones compatible with hearing aids, closed caption decoders, and open and closed captioning of Hospital programs.

Please ask your nurse for assistance, or contact the Auxiliary Aids and Service Coordinator at _________________ (voice or TTY), room ___________________."

C. Notice to Hospital Personnel

The Hospital shall publish, in an appropriate form, a written policy statement regarding the Hospital's policy for effective communication with persons who are deaf or hard of hearing. The policy statement shall include, but is not limited to, language to the following effect:

"If you are made aware of or have any reason to believe that a Patient or Companion is deaf or hard of hearing, you are required to advise the person that appropriate auxiliary aids and services will be provided. Personnel should direct that person to the appropriate Auxiliary Aids and Services Program Administrator. Likewise such information must be forthcoming in response to any overt request for appropriate auxiliary aids or services."

The Hospital shall distribute this document to all Hospital personnel, and to all new Hospital personnel.

VIII. TRAINING OF HOSPITAL PERSONNEL

A. Comprehensive Training. The Hospital shall provide one or more one-day training sessions for all Hospital personnel having contact with deaf or hard of hearing Patients and Companions and all management or administration staff regarding all relevant policies and procedures implementing this Policy.

B. Content. Such training shall be sufficient in duration and content to train a reasonable number of Hospital personnel in access to the Program, use of the Program, and sensitivity to the needs of the deaf and hard of hearing Patients and Companions. Such training shall include topics relevant to the health care needs of the deaf and hard of hearing Patients and Companions, such as the various degrees of hearing impairment, language and cultural diversity in the deaf community, dispelling myths and misconceptions about persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, identification of communication requirements of persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, the unique needs and problems encountered by late-deafened individuals, psychological implications of hearing loss and its relationship to interaction with hearing health care professionals, types of auxiliary aids and services as required under this Policy, the proper use and role of qualified sign language interpreters, procedures and methods for accessing the AAS Program for providing interpreters, making and receiving calls through TTY's and the South Carolina Relay or other relay service providers, third party resources which can provide additional information about people who are deaf or hard of hearing, the existence of the Hospital's complaint resolution process.

VIII. TERMINATION OF CONTRACT WITH NONCOMPLYING ENTITIES

The Hospital shall ensure by contract or other arrangements that all services, programs, or activities provided or operated by contractors are in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Contracts with those entities that fail or refuse to comply with the ADA shall be subjected to formal termination proceedings. Illustration: The Hospital has a contract with a Nursing Association for providing birthing classes to Patients and Companions, and the university refuses to provide a qualified interpreter to ensure effective participation in the program by an inmate who is deaf. The Hospital shall 1) offer to provide for the services as required, or 2) terminate the contract or shall itself provide the necessary auxiliary aids and services for individuals with who are deaf or hard of hearing.

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Footnote

1. If due to the particular sensitivities of one or more psychiatric patients participating in group therapy, the participation of an outside third party (such as an interpreter) in such group therapy would fundamentally alter the functioning of the group, then the Hospital will take such steps as it deems to be in the best interests of all Patients under the circumstances, such as to provide the deaf or hard of hearing Patient with alternative means of effective communication, or to provide the Patient(s) with sensitivities or the deaf or hard of hearing Patient with alternative group therapy or other suitable substitute therapy. The Hospital anticipate that, because of the special nature of group therapy, suitable substitute therapy will rarely be provided in lieu of group therapy. (back to text)


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November 26, 2001