SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT BETWEEN
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
UNDER THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT
1 Any Shelter facility that is designated for use by clients with physical disabilities under the Comprehensive Plan shall, at a minimum: (a) satisfy the requirements of Section 9.5.2(2)(a)-(f) of the ADA Standards, regardless of whether the facility has been altered; (b) have at least one of each type of common area at the facility readily accessible to and usable by individuals with physical disabilities; and (c) have at least one of each type of amenity offered to Shelter clients readily accessible to and usable by individuals with physical disabilities.
If satisfying these requirements at a Shelter facility designated for use by clients with physical disabilities under the Comprehensive Plan would be technically infeasible or would result in undue financial and administrative burdens to the District, then the Comprehensive Plan shall (a) provide a detailed written explanation of why that is the case, and (b) provide a detailed description of the alternative method(s) that the Shelter Program will utilize to ensure that all services, programs, and activities available to clients at that facility are readily accessible to and usable by clients with physical disabilities.
(1) Each individual applying for Shelter shall be notified of his or her right to request a reasonable modification to a rule, policy, practice, or procedure because of his or her disability.
(2) Intake forms provided to applicants shall include notification of the individual’s right to request reasonable modification.
(1) Any request for an exception, change, or adjustment to a Shelter Program rule, policy, practice, or procedure - on the basis of an individual’s disability - shall be treated as a reasonable modification request. Such a request may be made to Shelter Staff by the individual requesting a reasonable modification, or by a representative authorized to act on the individual’s behalf. An individual’s request for reasonable modification shall not be denied on grounds that the individual failed to adhere to the District’s procedures or forms for making such requests.
(2) In response to a request for a reasonable modification, Shelter Staff shall only request disability-related information that: (1) is necessary to verify that the individual meets the ADA’s definition of disability (i.e., has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities), or, (2) describes the needed modification, or (3) shows the relationship between the individual’s disability and the need for the requested modification.
(3) When a requesting individual’s disability is known to Shelter Staff, or is readily apparent, information about the disability shall not be requested unless it is necessary to evaluate the disability-related need for the modification. Depending on the individual’s circumstances, information verifying this need can usually be provided by the individual himself or herself. A doctor or other medical professional, a peer support group, a nonmedical service agency, or a reliable third party who is in a position to know about the individual’s disability may also provide such verification, consistent with federal privacy laws. In most cases, an individual’s medical records or detailed information about the nature of an individual’s disability are not necessary for this inquiry.
(4) Once Shelter Staff have established that an individual meets the ADA’s definition of disability, the request for documentation should seek only the information that is necessary to evaluate if the reasonable modification is needed because of a disability. Consistent with federal privacy laws, such information must be kept confidential and must not be shared with other persons unless they need the information to make or assess a decision to grant or deny a reasonable modification request or unless disclosure is required by law.
(5) The District will create a mechanism so that it is notified of all Shelter Program decisions on reasonable modification requests within twenty four (24) hours.
(1) The Shelter Program issues decisions on reasonable modification requests promptly.
(2) Reasonable modification requests shall be granted immediately where the denial of the request is reasonably likely to cause serious harm to an individual with a disability.
(1) All documents related to reasonable modification requests filed after the effective date of this Settlement are retained for the term of this Settlement.
(1) When Shelter Staff believe that an individual seeking Shelter or residing at a Shelter poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others due to a mental or physical disability, reasonable modifications which could eliminate that threat should be offered prior to denying Shelter to that individual.
(2) Shelter Staff shall not require an individual with a disability to accept an accommodation, aid, service, opportunity, or benefit provided under title II of the ADA which that individual chooses not to accept.
IMPLEMENTATION AND ENFORCEMENT
|For the District of Columbia:
By: PETER J. NICKLES
Attorney General for the District of Columbia
For the United States:
GRACE CHUNG BECKER
|Date:_December 10, 2008__
||Date:_December 10, 2008__
November 22, 2010