On August 16, 2011, the Department of Justice entered into a settlement agreement with Montgomery County, Maryland (County) and Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission (MNCPPC), under title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12131-12134, and the Department’s implementing regulation, 28 C.F.R. Part 35, as well as section 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 of Justice initiated a compliance review of Montgomery County as a part of Project Civic Access, a Departmental initiative to ensure greater access for persons with disabilities to local government programs, services, activities, and facilities. This review included an on-site survey of the County’s buildings, programs, and services as well as some facilities owned or controlled by the MNCPPC in which County programs are offered. In order to ensure that any County program, service, or activity offered at such facilities is, when viewed in its entirety, readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, the County and MNCPPC will take the appropriate actions listed in the agreement. County staff and MNCPPC staff worked cooperatively with the Department throughout the compliance review process in order to reach an agreement.
Facilities surveyed by the Department and covered by the agreement include: Burtonsville Volunteer Fire Department - Station 15, East County Community Center, Eastern Montgomery Regional Center, Parking Garage # 60, Round House Theater Education Center, Strathmore Hall, Martin Luther King, Jr. Pool / Swim Center, Bethesda Chevy Chase Regional Services Center, Long Branch Senior Center, Conference Center, Black Rock Center for the Arts, Rockville Public Library, Silver Spring Volunteer Fire Department, Gwendolyn E. Coffield Community Center, Betty Ann Krahnke Shelter, Quince Orchard Library, Sandy Spring Fire Department, Damascus Community Center, Germantown Indoor Swim Center, Montgomery County Correctional Facility, Men’s Emergency Shelter, Dennis Avenue Health Center, Dennis Avenue Health Center Supply Building, Bethesda Library, Long Branch Library, Silver Theater, Twinbrook Library, Bethesda Cares and Garage # 11.
In addition, the Department reviewed access for persons with disabilities to Montgomery County’s programs, services, and activities operating in the following facilities: Merrimac Neighborhood Park, Capitol View - Homewood Local Park, Stratton Local Park, Ken-Gar Palisades Park, Rock Creek Hills Local Park, Kensington Cabin Local Park, Children’s Resource Center, Newport Mill Park, Juror Lot, Pleasant View Park, Silver Spring Health and Human Services - Regional Center, Noyes Library for Children, Mid-County Regional Services Center, 5th District Police Station - Germantown, Damascus Childcare Center, Damascus Senior Center, Montgomery Aquatic Center, Mental Health – 751 Twinbrook Parkway Building, 2nd District Police Station – Bethesda, Leland Community Center, Chevy Chase Library, Burning Tree Park, Silver Spring Library, Plum Gar Community Center, Pre-Release Center, Avery Road Facility, Lawrence Court House, Piccard Drive Department of Health and Human Services, 3rd District Police Station - Silver Spring, Kensington Park Library, Dewey Park, Holiday Park Senior Center, Bauer Drive Community Center, Red Brick Courthouse, Cabin John Local Park, Long Branch Pool, Takoma - Piney Branch Local Park, Executive Office Building, District Courthouse, Strathmore Mansion, Potomac Community Center, Judicial Center, Ayrlawn Local Park, Hungerford Office Building, Seven Locks Local Park, Avery Road 701, Avery House 705, Longwood Community Center, Olney Swim Center, Council Office Building Garage, Argyle Recreation Center & Local Park, Parking Garage #7, Kensington Volunteer Fire Department Station 25, Wheaton Regional Library, Clara Barton Community Center, Council Office Building, Upcounty Regional Services Center, Garage # 49, Montrose Liquor, Juvenile Assessment Center, Jefferson Plaza, 6th District Police Station - Montgomery Village, Montgomery Works, Department of Correction & Rehabilitation, TESS Community Center, Bethesda House, Developmental Disabilities Services, Piccard Drive Health Center and the Community Based Shelter.
The Department also conducted a program access review of the following facilities that are designated as emergency shelters: Springbrook High School, John F. Kennedy High School, Sherwood High School, Watkins Mill High School, Walt Whitman High School, Damascus High School, Seneca Valley High School, Walter Johnson High School, Rockville High School and Gaithersburg High School. This review was limited to the areas of the facilities used by members of the public during an emergency: parking, the route from the parking area to the area used as a shelter, the area used as a shelter, and toilet facilities serving that area.
The Department also reviewed the County’s law enforcement, employment, emergency management, sidewalks, and 9-1-1 emergency services programs, as well as their website and web-based services.
Other County and MNCPPC facilities are covered by the settlement agreement and will be surveyed and modified for compliance with ADA requirements by the County and MNCPPC.
The text of the settlement agreement specifies the modifications Montgomery County will be making to its programs, services, and facilities, and the timeframes for making them. Among other things, the County has agreed to:
The Department will actively monitor compliance with the agreement, which will remain in effect for 6 years from August 16, 2011.
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