Settlement Agreement between the United States of America
Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania
On September 13, 2012, the Department of Justice entered into a settlement agreement with Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).
The Department of Justice initiated a compliance review of Schuylkill County in July, 2011, as part of Project Civic Access, a Department initiative to ensure greater access for persons with disabilities to state and local government programs, services, activities, and facilities. An on-site survey of the County’s buildings, programs, and services was conducted in August, 2011. County staff worked cooperatively with the Department throughout the compliance review process in order to reach an agreement.
Facilities and programs surveyed by the Department and covered by the agreement include:
9-1-1 Communication Center, Schuylkill Regional Resource Center, Sweet Arrow Lake Park, Schuylkill County Human Services Complex, Adult Probation, Rest Haven Nursing Home, Courthouse, Prison, and Schuylkill County Cooperative Extension.
The Department also reviewed the County’s policies and procedures regarding voting, emergency management and disaster prevention, and sidewalk maintenance. The text of the settlement agreement specifies the modifications Schuylkill County will be making to its programs, services, and facilities. Among other things, the County has agreed to:
- Make physical modifications to its facilities so that parking, routes into the buildings, entrances, restrooms, service counters, and drinking fountains are accessible to people with disabilities.
- Post, publish, and distribute a notice to inform members of the public of the requirements of Title II and their applicability to the County’s programs, services, and activities.
- Train staff in using Pennsylvania’s telephone relay service for telephone communications with individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities.
- Develop policies and procedures and perform necessary planning to ensure that individuals with disabilities are afforded equal, integrated access to emergency management programs, including emergency preparedness, notification, evacuation, sheltering, response, clean up, and recovery.
- Develop a method for providing information for interested persons with disabilities concerning the existence and location of the County’s accessible services, activities, and programs.
- Ensure that the County’s official website and other web-based services are accessible to persons with disabilities.
- Install signs at any inaccessible entrance to a facility directing individuals with disabilities to an accessible entrance or to information about accessing programs and services at other accessible facilities.
- Implement a plan to ensure the accessibility of sidewalks and curb ramps throughout Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania.
- Amend its employment policies, as necessary, to comply with the regulations of the U.S. Employment Opportunity Commission implementing Title I of the ADA, codified at 29 C.F.R. Part 1630.
According to census data, the County has a total population of 150,336 and approximately 21.3 percent of residents have a disability.
The agreement requires actions to be completed within three years. The Department will actively monitor compliance with the agreement until it has confirmed that all required actions have been completed.
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