Press Release

SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT BETWEEN
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
AND
McLENNAN COUNTY, TEXAS
UNDER THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT

DJ# 204-76-199

I. BACKGROUND

A. SCOPE OF THE INVESTIGATION

The United States initiated this matter as a compliance review of McLennan County (County), under title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12131-12134, and the United States Department of Justice's implementing regulation, 28 C.F.R. Part 35.  Because the County receives financial assistance from the Department of Justice, the review was also conducted under the authority of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. § 794 (Section 504), and the Department of Justice's implementing regulation, 28 C.F.R. Part 42, Subpart G.

The Disability Rights Section of the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division conducted this review of the County's compliance with the following title II requirements:

The United States reviewed compliance with the ADA's new construction and alterations requirements at the following facilities constructed or altered after January 26, 1992: Justice of the Peace Precinct 8, Extraco Events Center, Bill Logue Juvenile Detention Center, Alternative Shelter for Runaways, Jack Harwell Detention Center, Shepherd Mullens Correctional Visitation Center, and the Sheriff's Office.

The program access review covered those of the County's programs, services, and activities that operate in the following facilities that were constructed prior to January 26, 1992: County Courthouse, Courthouse Annex, Parking Lot for County IV-D Court and County Welfare Parking, Fairgrounds – Coliseum, Fairgrounds – Creative Arts Building, Fairgrounds – Exhibits Hall, Fairgrounds – Show Pavilion, Fairgrounds – Stand Alone Toilet Rooms, Fairgrounds – Parking, Veterans' Services, Justice of the Peace Precinct 7, Tradinghouse Reservoir Park, Justice of the Peace Precinct 5, Justice of the Peace Precinct 2, Justice of the Peace Precinct 3, Probation Department, County Extension Office, MHMR Crisis Center, Detention Center and Annex, and the Highway 6 Jail.

The Department conducted a program access review of the following polling places: Brazos Meadows Baptist Church, Bruceville-Eddy City Hall, Lake Shore Methodist Church, Crawford Middle School, China Spring ISD Annex, China Spring High School, H.G. Isbill Junior High School, Dewey Recreation Center and Park, Crestview Elementary School, Church of the Holy Spirit, Tennyson Middle School, Provident Heights Elementary School, Kendrick Elementary School, Waco Multi-Purpose Facility, Timber Crest Baptist Church, Bellmead Civic Center, Lacey Lakeview Civic Center, Eastland Lakes, First Baptist Church of Elm Mott, Robinson City Hall, Lorena High School, First United Methodist Church, First Baptist Church of Hewitt, Mart Community Center, Ross City Hall, West Community Center, Riesel City Hall, Axtell Elementary School, McLennan County Community College, University Middle School, Hallburg School, The Overlook, Fellowship Bible Church, Dean Highland Elementary School, Robinson Intermediate, and South Terrace Neighborhood Center.  This review was limited to the areas of the facilities used by the voting public: parking, the route from the parking area to the area used for voting, and the area used for voting.

The United States reviewed the County's emergency management and disaster prevention policies and the County's sidewalk maintenance policies to evaluate whether people with disabilities have an equal opportunity to utilize these programs.

The United States reviewed the County Sheriff Department's policies and procedures regarding providing effective communication to people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

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 United States is authorized under 28 C.F.R. Part 35, Subpart F, to determine the compliance of the County with title II of the ADA and the Department of Justice's title II implementing 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.

  3. The United States is authorized under 28 C.F.R. Part 42, Subpart G, to determine the County's compliance with Section 504, 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 and 42.108-.110, to suspend or terminate financial assistance to the County provided by the Department of Justice should the United States fail to secure voluntary compliance pursuant to Subpart G or should the United States 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 McLennan County, Texas.

  5. Based on its review of the County's programs, services, activities, and facilities, the United States has concluded that qualified individuals with disabilities are, by reason of such disabilities, excluded from participation in or are denied the benefits of many of the County's programs, services, or activities or are subjected to discrimination in violation of the ADA or Section 504.  The agreed upon remedial actions, below, are intended to remedy those violations.

  6. In order to avoid the burdens and expenses of a further investigation and possible litigation, the parties enter into this Agreement.

  7. In consideration of, and consistent with, the terms of this Agreement, the Attorney General agrees to refrain from filing a civil suit in this matter regarding paragraphs 9 through 62 except as provided in the section entitled “Implementation and Enforcement.”

II. ACTIONS TAKEN BY COUNTY

  1. The County represents that it has taken actions to comply with the ADA and Section 504, including but not limited to the following:

    1. designating Human Resources Director, Amanda Talbert, as its ADA Coordinator;
    2. posting a notification of rights on the County website at http://www.co.mclennan.tx.us/commis/ada.aspx, which includes but is not limited to, a statement of compliance with the ADA and its implementing regulations in employment; a commitment to provide effective communication; and a commitment to modify policies and programs to ensure that people with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate in County programs; and
    3. adopting a grievance procedure to address complaints brought under the ADA.

III. REMEDIAL ACTION

A. NOTIFICATION

  1. Within two (2) months of the effective date of this Agreement, the County will adopt the attached Notice under the ADA, Attachment A (Notice); distribute it to all its agency heads; publish the Notice in a local newspaper of general circulation serving the County; post the Notice on its Internet Home Page; and post the Notice in conspicuous locations in its public buildings.  It will refresh each posted Notice, and update the contact information contained on each Notice, as necessary, during the term of this Agreement.  The County will provide the Notice to any person upon request.
  2. Within three (3) months of the effective date of this Agreement, the County will adopt and implement its written procedures to inform interested people with disabilities of the existence and location of the County's accessible programs, services, and activities.  The United States has approved the County's written procedures. The County will submit any revised procedures to the Department for its review and approval. 

B. ADA COORDINATOR

  1. The County has designated Amanda Talbert as the County's ADA Coordinator.  If the County hires or appoints a new ADA Coordinator, it will notify the United States in writing, and update the name and contact information anywhere it appears on its website and in its written materials, within one (1) business day of making such a change.

  2. C. INDEPENDENT LICENSED ARCHITECT

  3. Within three (3) months of the effective date of this Agreement, the County shall retain an Independent Licensed Architect (ILA), approved by the United States, who is knowledgeable about the architectural accessibility requirements of the ADA and Section 504. The ILA proposed by the County has been approved by the United States.  The ILA must act independently to certify whether any alterations, additions, or modifications made by the County during the term of this Agreement comply with the applicable standard pursuant to 28 C.F.R. § 35.151(c) and the Appendix to 28 C.F.R. § 35.151(c).  The County will bear all costs and expenses of retaining and utilizing the ILA, including the costs and expenses of any consultants and staff.  The County will compensate this ILA without regard to the outcome.
  4. In issuing certifications pursuant to this Agreement, the ILA will impartially prepare reports with photographs identifying that the violation has been remediated and will use the certification form at Attachment O.  The ILA will be considered a neutral inspector for purposes of issuing certifications of compliance and will be reasonably available to the United States to discuss findings in the reports, photographs, and certifications.  The United States may also, in its discretion, provide technical assistance to the ILA throughout the term of this Agreement.  Upon request by the United States, the County will provide prior notice to the United States of inspections by the ILA to allow representatives of the United States to be present.
  5. The County will submit ILA certifications along with its reporting requirements as set forth in this Agreement.

D. GENERAL EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION PROVISIONS

  1. Within three (3) months of the effective date of this Agreement, the County will identify sources of qualified sign language and oral interpreters, qualified readers, real-time transcription services, and vendors able to put documents in Braille.  Within three (3) months of the effective date of this Agreement, the County will implement and report to the United States its written procedures, with time frames, for fulfilling requests for sign language or oral interpreters, qualified readers, real-time transcription services, and documents in alternate formats, including Braille, large print, cassette tapes, and accessible electronic format (e.g., HTML).

  2. Within six (6) months of the effective date of this Agreement, the County will ensure that all appropriate employees are trained and practiced in using the Texas Relay Service to make and receive calls.

E. 911

  1. If the County provides web links to 911 services, it will ensure that the links to 911 services comply with the requirements of Paragraph K of this agreement for web-based services.

F. LAW ENFORCEMENT AND EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION

  1. Within three (3) months of the effective date of this Agreement, the County will implement the McLennan County Sheriff's Department's Policy Statement on Effective Communication with People Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, Attachment C, and distribute to all Sheriff Department officers the Guide for Law Enforcement Officers When in Contact with People Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, Attachment D.

  2. Within three (3) months of the effective date of this Agreement, the County will hire or contract with local qualified oral and sign language interpreters to be available twenty-four hours every day to its Sheriff Department.

  3. Within three (3) months of the effective date of this Agreement, the County will equip each operating detention facility with a sufficient number of working TTYs and videophones, but no fewer than one (1) of each, to enable people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or who have speech impairments to make telephone calls of the same frequency and with the same availability as those people who do not use TTYs or videophones.  Where telephone calls are time-limited, the County will adopt policies permitting a longer period of time for individuals using a TTY, videophone, or relay service due to the slower nature of these communications as compared to voice communications.  If any person who is deaf, hard of hearing, or who has speech impairment prefers a different method of communication, such as a captioned telephone or computer, the County will make reasonable efforts to provide the communication device requested.

G. EMPLOYMENT

  1. Within three (3) months of the effective date of this Agreement, the County will amend its employment policies to comply with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regulations implementing title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, codified at 29 C.F.R. Part 1630.  The policies will provide at a minimum that the County:

    1. will not discriminate on the basis of disability in its hiring or employment practices;
    2. will not ask a job applicant about the existence, nature, or severity of a disability.  The County may ask applicants about their ability to perform specific job functions.  The County may make medical examinations or inquiries, but only after it makes a conditional offer of employment and only if required of all applicants for the position;
    3. upon request will make reasonable accommodations for a qualified applicant or employee with a disability unless the accommodation would cause an undue hardship on the operation of the County's business.  If an applicant or an employee requests a reasonable accommodation and the individual's disability and need for the accommodation are not readily apparent or known, the County may ask for information necessary to determine whether the person has a disability-related need for the accommodation;
    4. will confidentially maintain employee medical records separate from personnel files; and, 
    5. will in making employment decisions individually assess whether qualified person with a disability meets selection criteria.  To the extent that the County's selection criteria disqualify an individual because of a disability, then those criteria must be job-related and consistent with business necessity.

    H. POLLING PLACES

  2. Some County polling places may be owned or operated by other public entities subject to title II or by public accommodations subject to title III and therefore they must provide program access or remove barriers to accessibility under the ADA.  This Agreement does not limit future enforcement action against the owners or operators of these polling places.

  3. Before designating any new polling place, the County will survey the polling place using the survey instrument at Attachment F to determine whether it has barriers to access by people with disabilities in the parking, exterior route to the entrance, entrance, interior route to the voting area, or voting area.  If the County finds any barriers pursuant to its survey of the polling place, the County will not use the polling place until all barriers have been remedied. Moreover, the County is required by the ADA to select facilities in which to provide its voting programs, services, or activities in a manner that does not have the effect of excluding individuals with disabilities from, denying them the benefits of, or otherwise subjecting them to discrimination.  28 C.F.R. § 35.130(b)(4).

  4. The County does not own any polling places other than the Elections Office, which was not surveyed.   
  5. Barriers to access at surveyed polling places not owned by the County are listed in Attachment E.  Within two (2) months of the effective date of this Agreement, the County will request in writing that each of the polling place owners and operators listed in Attachment E remove the listed barriers to access for people with disabilities within nine (9) months of the effective date of this Agreement.  The County will provide a copy of the Department of Justice's ADA Checklist for Polling Places (www.ada.gov/votingck.htm) with its written requests.  The County will simultaneously send courtesy copies of the requests to the United States.  For polling places that have been modified to address the violations since the survey, the County may provide the United States with documentation of the corrective modifications in lieu of sending the aforementioned written request.

  6. Within one (1) year of the effective date of this Agreement, the ILA hired by the County will survey all facilities listed in Attachment E that are still designated polling places to determine whether the listed barriers have been removed.  If each listed barrier has not been removed for that polling place, the County will identify within eighteen (18) months of the effective date of this Agreement an alternate fully accessible polling place and comply with the requirements of paragraph 23 of this Agreement.  The County will take immediate steps to change its polling place to the alternative location.  The County will remove barriers at each polling place identified in Attachment E or substitute an alternative accessible polling place before the next election occurring twenty four (24) months or later after the effective date of this Agreement.

  7. Within nine (9) months of the effective date of this Agreement, using the survey instrument at Attachment F, the ILA hired by the County will survey all polling places not surveyed by the United States to identify barriers to access by people with disabilities in the parking, exterior route to the entrance, entrance, interior route to the voting area, and voting area.  For each surveyed polling place, the County will then either (1) remove all barriers to access by people with disabilities or have the ILA confirm this to the United States; or (2) identify an alternate polling place with no barriers to access by people with disabilities and comply with the requirements of Paragraph 23 of this Agreement.  The County will then take immediate steps to change each new inaccessible polling place to an alternative accessible location.  The County will remove barriers at each polling place the United States did not survey and have the ILA confirm this or substitute an alternative accessible polling place before the next election occurring nine (9) months or later after the completion of the ILA's survey.

  8. The County will identify and widely publicize to the public, people with disabilities, and organizations serving people with disabilities the most accessible polling place(s) until the County ensures that all polling places have accessible parking, accessible routes to the accessible entrance, accessible entrances, accessible interior routes to the voting area, and an accessible voting area, prior to each election.

  9. Within three (3) years of the effective date of the Agreement, the County will only select polling places that have an accessible entrance, an accessible path to the entrance, accessible parking, accessible signage, and an accessible interior route to the voting area.  

  10. Within three (3) months of the effective date of this Agreement, the County will provide Election Day balloting for voters with disabilities. The method for providing these opportunities may include implementing temporary remedies to make the polling place accessible on election day, allowing the individual to vote at another nearby accessible polling place, to vote by an absentee ballot that is accepted if postmarked on the day of the election (or picked up by election officials at the home of the voter on the same day as the election), to vote curbside at the inaccessible polling place, or to vote by any other method that affords the same degree of information as is available to voters without disabilities. 

  11. Within six (6) months of the effective date of this Agreement,the ILA hired by the County will survey the County Registrar's Office using the form at Attachment F.  The ILA will report the results of this survey to the United States.  If the County identifies barriers to access, then the County will remove the barriers and have the ILA confirm the same to the United States or report to the United States its plan to provide program access that may include allowing people to register to vote through alternative means or at alternative locations verified to be accessible by the ILA.  This provision does not modify, alter, or change the County's obligations under the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, 42 U.S.C. § 1973gg-5(a), (b). 

  12. Within three (3) months of the effective date of this Agreement, the County will make all County-created voter registration materials available in alternate formats, including Braille, large print, audio tape, and accessible electronic format (e.g., HTML).

  13. Within one (1) month prior to the next election and annually thereafter during the term of this Agreement, the County will train poll workers on the rights of people with disabilities and the practical aspects of assuring those rights.  The training will cover, at a minimum, the need to maintain the physical accessibility of polling locations, how to assist people with disabilities, as necessary, and how to operate any non-standard voting equipment, including accessible voting systems, or accessible features of standard equipment.  This provision does not modify, alter, or change the County's obligations under the Help America Vote Act, 42 U.S.C. § 15301.

I. EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT PROCEDURES AND POLICIES

  1. The County's Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) must comply with the ADA.  The County will use Chapter 7 of the Department of Justice's ADA Best Practices Tool Kit for State and Local Government (ADA Tool Kit) to address ADA obligations of emergency management, including planning, preparedness, evacuation, shelters, medical and social services, lodging and housing programs, recovery, and rebuilding. 

  2. Within sixty (60) days of the effective date of this Agreement, the County will incorporate the provisions of Chapter 7 of the ADA Tool Kit into its EOP and provide a copy (including supporting documents) to the United States.

  3. The County's EOP will include the following:
    1. procedures to solicit, receive, and use input from people with a variety of disabilities on its emergency management plan (preparation, notification, response, and clean-up);
    2. community evacuation plans to enable people who have mobility disabilities, are blind or have low vision, are deaf or hard of hearing, have cognitive disabilities, mental illness, or other disabilities to safely self-evacuate or be evacuated by others.
    3. if its emergency warning system uses sirens or other audible alerts, then procedures to effectively inform people who are deaf or hard of hearing of an impending disaster.
    4. a requirement that emergency shelters have a back-up generator and a way to keep medications refrigerated (such as a refrigerator or a cooler with ice).  Access to back-up power and refrigeration at such shelters will be made available to people whose disabilities require access to electricity and refrigeration, for example, for using life-sustaining medical devices, providing power to motorized wheelchairs, and preserving certain medications, such as insulin, that require refrigeration.  The written procedures will include a plan for notifying people of the location of such shelters.
    5. procedures ensuring that people who use service animals are not separated from their service animals when sheltering during an emergency, even if pets are normally prohibited in shelters.  The procedures will not segregate people who use service animals from others but may take into account the potential presence of people who, for safety or health reasons, should not be in contact with certain types of animals.
    6. plans for providing equivalent opportunities for accessible post-emergency temporary housing to people with disabilities.  The County will ensure that information it makes available regarding temporary housing includes information on accessible housing (such as accessible hotel rooms within the community or in nearby communities) that could be used if people with disabilities cannot immediately return home after a disaster if, for instance, necessary accessible features such as ramps or electrical systems have been compromised.
  4. J. PHYSICAL CHANGES TO EMERGENCY SHELTERS

  5. Some County emergency shelters may be owned or operated by other public entities subject to title II or by public accommodations subject to title III of the ADA and therefore they must provide program access or remove barriers to accessibility under the ADA.  This Agreement does not limit future enforcement action against the owners or operators of these emergency shelters.

  6. Within one (1) month of the effective date of this Agreement, the County will request in writing that each of the owners and operators of the shelter facilities will remove the noted barriers to access for people with disabilities.  The request will specify that the remediation be completed within one (1) year of the effective date of this Agreement.  The County will simultaneously send a courtesy copy of the request to the United States.

  7. Within one (1) year of the effective date of this Agreement, the ILA will survey the shelters to determine whether the noted barriers have been removed.  If not all barriers have been removed, the County will identify within eighteen (18) months of the effective date of this Agreement an appropriate number of alternate accessible shelters as confirmed by the ILA using the survey instrument entitled ADA Checklist for Emergency Shelters, Attachment N.
  8. Within three (3) months of the effective date of this Agreement and until all emergency shelters are accessible as confirmed by the ILA, the County will identify and widely publicize to the public and to people with disabilities the most accessible emergency shelters.

    K. WEB-BASED SERVICES AND PROGRAMS

  9. Within one (1) month of the effective date of this Agreement, the County will:

    1. Designate an employee as the web accessibility coordinator for the County who will be responsible for coordinating the County's compliance with the requirements of Section K of this Agreement.  The web accessibility coordinator shall have experience with the requirements of Title II of the ADA, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.0, and website accessibility generally; and
    2. The County shall retain an Independent Consultant to develop and construct a new website that will replace the County's existing website.  The Independent Consultant, approved by the United States, shall develop and construct a new website that will replace the County's existing website.  The Independent Consultant shall be knowledgeable about accessible website development, Title II of the ADA, and WCAG 2.0 to evaluate the County's website and any proposed online services for compliance with the ADA and, at minimum, WCAG 2.0 Level A and Level AA Success Criteria and other Conformance Requirements (WCAG 2.0 AA), and who shall be responsible for the annual website accessibility evaluation.  The County will bear all costs and expenses of retaining and utilizing this independent consultant, including the costs and expenses of any staff.  The County will compensate this independent consultant without regard to the outcome.
    3. Within twelve (12) months of the effective date of this agreement, the County's redesigned website shall be operable and tested for compliance with WCAG 2.0 AA as set forth in Paragraph 41(b), above.
  10. Within six (6) months of the effective date of this Agreement, and annually thereafter, unless otherwise designated herein, the County will:

    1. Adopt, implement, and post online a policy that its web pages will comply with WCAG 2.0 AA, published by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), available at www.w3.org/TR/WCAG;
    2. Distribute the policy to all employees and contractors who design, develop, maintain, or otherwise have responsibility for its websites, or provide website content, technical support, or customer service;
    3. Provide training to website content personnel on how to conform all web content and services with, at minimum, WCAG 2.0 AA, Title II of the ADA, and the terms of this Agreement;
    4. Assess all existing web content and online services for conformance with, at minimum, WCAG 2.0 AA, by (1) performing automated accessibility tests of its website and all online services, using an automated tool approved by the United States, to identify any accessibility barriers; and (2) within twelve (12) months of the effective date of this Agreement, enlisting individuals with different disabilities, including at a minimum individuals who are blind, deaf, and have physical disabilities (such as those limiting the ability to use a mouse), to test its pages for ease of use and accessibility barriers;
    5. Provide a notice, prominently and directly linked from its homepage, instructing visitors to its websites on how to request accessible information.  The link shall provide several methods to request accessible information, including an accessible form to submit feedback, an email address, and a toll-free phone number (with TTY) to contact personnel knowledgeable about the accessibility of the website; and
    6. Provide a notice, prominently and directly linked from its homepage, soliciting feedback from visitors to its websites on how to improve website accessibility.  The link shall provide several methods to provide feedback, including an accessible form to submit feedback, an email address, and a toll-free phone number (with TTY) to contact personnel knowledgeable about the accessibility of the website.
  11. Within eighteen (18) months of the effective date of this Agreement, the County will:

    1. Ensure that its websites and all online services, including those websites or online services provided by third parties upon which the County relies to provide services or content, comply with, at minimum, WCAG 2.0 AA; and
    2. Assess all proposed online services before they are made available to the public for conformance with, at minimum, WCAG 2.0 AA, by: (1) performing automated accessibility tests, using an automated tool approved by the United States, to identify any accessibility barriers; and (2) enlisting individuals with different disabilities, including at a minimum individuals who are blind, deaf, and have physical disabilities (such as those limiting the ability to use a mouse), to test its pages for ease of use and accessibility barriers.

    L. NEW CONSTRUCTION, ALTERATIONS, AND PHYSICAL CHANGES TO FACILITIES

  12. Any construction or alterations to the County buildings and facilities by it or on its behalf will fully comply with the requirements of 28 C.F.R. § 35.151, including applicable architectural standards.

  13. The parts of a County facility that do not comply with the 2010 ADA Standards (or the 1991 ADA Standards, as applicable), as listed in Attachments I, J, and K, prevents people with disabilities from fully and equally enjoying the County's services, programs, or activities and constitute discrimination on the basis of disability within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 12132 and 28 C.F.R. §§ 35.149-35.151.

  14. All architectural changes made by the County or on its behalf on or after March 15, 2012, must comply with the 2010 ADA Standards.

  15. In the event that the County has already undertaken an alteration, addition, or other modification to any element identified in Attachments or otherwise after January 26, 1992, and prior to the effective date of this Agreement, the County will submit, within six (6) months of the effective date of this Agreement, a written report to the ILA and the United States pursuant to paragraph 66 below summarizing the actions taken and providing evidence establishing each individual element's compliance with the applicable architectural standard as permitted by 28 C.F.R. § 35.151(c) and its Appendix, copied below:
  16. Date of Construction or Alteration

    Applicable Standards

    Before September 15, 2010

    1991 ADA Standards or UFAS

    On or after September 15, 2010, and before March 15, 2012

    1991 ADA Standards, UFAS, or 2010 ADA Standards

    On or after March 15, 2012

    2010 ADA Standards

  17. Within six (6) months of the effective date of this Agreement, County will have the ILA survey all facilities that are the subject of this Agreement for the purpose of identifying those that have multiple entrances not all of which are accessible.  Also within six (6) months of the effective date of this Agreement, County will install directional signage at all inaccessible entrances to each of its facilities and will place the international symbol for accessibility at each accessible entrance to a facility, in accordance with 28 C.F.R. § 35.163(b).

  18. Newly Constructed Facilities:  the County will take the actions listed in Attachments I and M to make the newly constructed parts of the County facilities for which construction was commenced after January 26, 1992, readily accessible to and usable by people with disabilities
  19. Altered Facilities:  the County will take the actions listed in Attachments J and M to make the altered parts of the County facilities for which alterations commenced after January 26, 1992, readily accessible to and usable by people with disabilities.
  20. Program Access in Existing Facilities:  the County will take the actions listed in Attachments K and M to make each of the County's programs, services, and activities operating at a facility that is the subject of this Agreement, when viewed in its entirety, readily accessible to and usable by people with disabilities.
  21. Facilities and Programs that the United States Did Not Survey: the County will review compliance with the requirements of title II of the ADA for those County facilities and programs that the United States did not survey or review.  The ILA will survey all the County's facilities for compliance with title II of the ADA that the United States did not survey.  Within  eighteen (18) months of the effective date of this Agreement, the County will submit to the United States a detailed report from the ILA listing the access issues identified during the ILA's review together with the corrective actions and completion dates proposed to resolve such issues.  The proposed completion dates may be no later than six (6) months prior to the termination of this Agreement.  The survey conducted by the ILA, the access issues identified, and the corrective actions and completion dates proposed will be consistent with the requirements of title II of the ADA; the review of the County facilities and programs conducted by the United States for purposes of this Agreement; and the access issues, corrective actions, and completion dates reflected in Attachments I, J, K, and M.
  22. Jail Facilities.   Within thirty (30) days after the effective date of this Agreement, the Sheriff of McLennan County shall adopt and implement the Policy for Assignment of Prisoners with Mobility Disabilities, approved by the United States. 
  23. Bill Logue Juvenile Detention Center. Within thirty (30) days after the effective date of this Agreement, the Chief Juvenile Probation Officer of the McLennan County Juvenile Probation Department shall adopt and implement the Policy for Housing of Residents with Mobility Disabilities, approved by the United States.   The Boot Camp Program is a military-style diversion program which has as one of its central daily activities military-style physical training requirements for juveniles who would otherwise be sent to state detention.  Individuals with disabilities who would otherwise be candidates for the Boot Camp Program will be assigned to a different, accessible diversion program that is otherwise equivalent.  
  24. Courthouse-Courtrooms. Within thirty (30) days after the effective date of this Agreement, the County shall obtain the approval of the District and County Court Judges of the Alternative Courtroom Policy, approved by the United States. In addition, not later than thirty (30) days after the effective date of this Agreement, the Justices of the Peace Judges shall adopt and implement the Alternative Courtroom Policy, approved by the United States.
  25. Courthouse Annex. The Courthouse Annex is currently accessed via a skywalk between the Courthouse and the Annex.  Within ninety (90) days after the effective date of this Agreement, the County shall adopt and implement the Annex Accessibility Policy, approved by the United States.
  26. M. PROGRAM MODIFICATIONS

  27. Access to Programs Housed in Others' Facilities:  In order to ensure that the County’s programs, services, and activities that are the subject of this Agreement and that are operated by the County at facilities owned or controlled by other entities, when viewed in their entirety, are readily accessible to and usable by people with mobility impairments.

IV. MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

  1. Except as otherwise specified in this Agreement, six (6) months after the effective date of this Agreement and annually thereafter until it expires, the County will submit written reports to the United States summarizing its actions pursuant to this Agreement.  The County's reports will include written certifications from the ILA, photographs showing measurements, architectural plans, notices published in the newspaper, and copies of adopted policies, to demonstrate compliance with the terms of this Agreement.
  2. Throughout the term of this Agreement, consistent with 28 C.F.R. § 35.133(a), the County will maintain the accessibility of its programs, activities, services, facilities, and equipment, including routinely testing accessibility equipment and routinely auditing the accessibility of its programs and facilities.  This provision, however, does not prohibit isolated or temporary interruptions in service or access due to maintenance or repairs.  28 C.F.R. § 35.133(b).
  3. Within six (6) months of the effective date of this Agreement, the County will submit for pre-approval by the United States, a proposed training program, equal in time to at least four (4) hours, on the requirements of the ADA and appropriate ways of serving people with disabilities.  The submission will include: a description of the training, the agenda, the proposed handouts, and the name, title, and address of the trainer.  Within twelve (12) months of the pre-approval of the training program by the United States, all County employees who have direct contact with members of the public in settings where the public routinely interacts with the employee in receiving or filing information, such as court clerk's office and the tax office, will receive training on the requirements of the ADA and appropriate ways of serving people with disabilities.  The training shall be at least four (4) hours which can be in one session or multiple sessions.
  4. Within  twelve (12) months of the effective date of this Agreement and, annually thereafter, Field Deputies of the Sheriff’s Office will receive  training on the requirements of the ADA equal in time to at least four (4) hours which will include watching the “Police Response to People with Disabilities, Eight Part Series” made available at www.ada.gov.  This training can be incorporated into daily roll call.  All County law enforcement employees who have direct contact with members of the public will be trained for at least four (4) hours on the requirements of the ADA and appropriate ways of serving people with disabilities.  Within thirty (30) days after each training, the County will submit to the United States the list of employees trained.
  5. Correctional Officers of the Sheriff’s Office shall receive training at hire and annual training on the Jail’s ADA Policy.  Correctional Officers will receive supplemental training within twelve (12) months of the effective date of this Agreement.

V. IMPLEMENTATION AND ENFORCEMENT

  1. The County may seek to modify this Agreement because of changed conditions making performance impossible by notifying the United States in writing, setting forth the modification and the facts to support it.  Until the United States agrees to the modification in writing, no modification will take effect.  The United States' agreement will not be unreasonably withheld.
  2. The United States may review compliance with this Agreement at any time.  The County will cooperate with the United States.  If the United States believes that the County has failed to comply with this Agreement, then the United States will notify the County in writing.  If, after thirty (30) days of providing the County with written notice of non-compliance, the United States determines that the County has failed to come into compliance, the United States may institute a civil action in federal district court to enforce the terms of this Agreement and may take appropriate steps to enforce title II and Section 504.
  3. It is a violation of this Agreement for the County to fail to comply in a timely manner with any of the requirements of this Agreement.
  4. Failure by the United States to enforce any provision of this Agreement is not a waiver of the United States' right to enforce any provisions of this Agreement.
  5. This Agreement is a public document.  The County will provide a copy of this Agreement to any person, upon request. 
  6. This Agreement (including its Attachments) is 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 will be enforceable.  This Agreement does not remedy any other potential violations of the ADA or other federal law.  This Agreement does not relieve the County of its continuing obligation to comply with all aspects of the ADA and Section 504. 
  7. This Agreement will remain in effect for three (3) years from the effective date of this Agreement.
  8. The person signing for the County represents that he or she is authorized to bind the County to this Agreement.
  9. The effective date of this Agreement is the date of the last signature below.

For the County:

 

 

 

 

By: /s/ Michael W. Dixon
Michael W. Dixon
Haley & Olson, P.C.
Senior Counsel/Director
510 North Valley Mills Drive
Suite 600
Waco, TX  76710-6078

 

Date: _9/30/2015___

For the United States:

VANITA GUPTA
Principal Deputy Attorney General for Civil Rights
EVE L. HILL
Deputy Assistant Attorney General

REBECCA B. BOND, Chief
JANA ERICKSON, Deputy Chief

 

By: /s/ Rachel Smith                               
Rachel Smith, Attorney
Disability Rights Section - NYA
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20530
(202) 305-1613
(202) 514-7821 (fax)

Date: November 16, 2015

           

1  Section 35.104 defines the 2010 ADA Standards as the requirements set forth in appendices B and D to 36 C.F.R. part 1191 and the requirements contained in subpart D of 28 C.F.R. part 36.


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