The United States Department of Justice (Department) initiated this matter in 2004, as a compliance review of Providence, Rhode Island, 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. Because the City received 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, and the Department’s implementing regulation, 28 C.F.R. Part 42, Subpart G. On July 25, 2005, a Settlement Agreement (2005 Agreement) between the United States and the City of Providence, Rhode Island was executed. The Agreement included findings of ADA violations and a commitment by the City to take specific remedial actions. Despite the City’s commitment outlined in the 2005 Agreement, the City failed to comply with several requirements of the 2005 Agreement. The Department initiated a subsequent review of the City’s compliance as an appropriate enforcement step. The subsequent review was conducted in 2010 by the Disability Rights Section of the Department’s Civil Rights Division and focused on the City’s compliance with the following title II requirements:
The Department reviewed the following facilities in 2004, which – because construction or alterations commenced after January 26, 1992 – must comply with the ADA’s new construction or alterations requirements: Providence Public Safety Complex and Roger Williams Park and Zoo. In 2010, the Department reviewed the following facilities which must comply with the ADA’s new construction or alterations requirements: Providence Pier, Providence Public Safety Complex, Rochambeau Library, Providence Career & Technical Academy, Providence Animal Care and Control, and Providence Fire Department.
The Department’s program access review in 2004 covered those of the City’s programs, services, and activities that operate in the following facilities: City Hall, Office of Inspections and Standards, Paul Cabral Water Park, and Vincent Brown Recreation Center. In 2010, the Department’s program access review covered those of the City’s programs, services, and activities that operate in the following facilities: City Hall, Washington Park Library, Washington Park Community Center, Fox Point Neighborhood Center, Fox Point Library, Office of Inspection and Standards, Museum of Natural History, Public Works, Dalrymple Paddle Boat Area, Billy Taylor Park, Bank of America Skating Center, India Point Park, Planning and Development, Providence School Department, Vincent Brown Recreation Center, and Columbia Park.
The Department conducted a program access review in 2010 of the following polling places: Jewish Community Center, Engine 15, and Engine 6. 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.
In 2010, the Department also conducted a program access review of the Providence Career and Technical Academy because it has been designated as an emergency shelter.
In 2004 and 2010, the Department reviewed the City’s policies and procedures regarding voting, emergency management and disaster prevention, and sidewalk maintenance to evaluate whether persons with disabilities have an equal opportunity to utilize these programs.
Finally, in 2004 and 2010, the Department reviewed the City’s policies and procedures regarding providing effective communication to persons who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.
For the City:
For the United States:
THOMAS E. PEREZ
Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights
ALLISON J. NICHOL, Chief
KATHLEEN P. WOLFE, Acting Special Legal Counsel
DOV LUTZKER, Acting Deputy Chief
Disability Rights Section
By: /s/ Michael Soloman
City Council President
Approved as to form and correctness:
/s/ Jeffrey M. Padwa
Jeffrey M. Padwa, City Solicitor
By: /s/ Susan Geipe Quinn
SUSAN GEIPE QUINN, Investigator
BRIAN RYU, Architect
Disability Rights Section - NYA
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
50 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20530
(202) 514-7821 (fax)