SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT BETWEEN

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

AND

SHOPSMITH, INC., DAYTON, OHIO

UNDER THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT

DJ # 202-58-71

 

I. BACKGROUND AND PARTIES

1. The Parties to this Settlement Agreement (“Agreement”) are the United States of America (“United States”) and Shopsmith, Inc. (“Shopsmith”).

2. This matter was initiated by a complaint filed under title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12181 et seq., with the United States Department of Justice against Shopsmith.

3. Shopsmith is in the business of manufacturing, marketing, and the sale and distribution of woodworking tools and equipment, and provides educational materials and instruction in the use and operation of tools and equipment. Shopsmith has offered a variety of education programs through two academies, the Traveling Woodworking Academy and National Woodworking Academy. The Traveling Woodworking Academy provides hands-on training to customers at the home office in Dayton, Ohio, and one-day academies at places such as hotels and inns.

4. The Attorney General is authorized to enforce title III of the ADA. 42 U.S.C. § 12188(a)(2). In addition, the Attorney General may commence a civil action to enforce title III in any situation where the Attorney General believes a pattern or practice of discrimination exists or a matter of general public importance is raised. 42 U.S.C. § 12188(b)(1)(B).

5.The complaint was filed on behalf of Harold Huntley, alleging that Shopsmith twice refused to secure a qualified sign language interpreter when necessary to ensure effective communication with him at one-day workshops by the Traveling Woodworking Academy. Shopsmith denies the allegations of Harold Huntley.

6. In consideration of the terms of this Settlement Agreement, and in particular the provisions in Sections II-IV, the United States agrees to refrain from undertaking further action in this case, except as provided in paragraph 15.

II. TERMS OF AGREEMENT

7.To the extent required by the ADA, Shopsmith will not discriminate against any individual on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of its goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations by refusing or failing to secure appropriate auxiliary aids and services, when necessary to ensure effective communication with individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.

8. Shopsmith will adopt, maintain, and enforce the policy attached hereto and by reference incorporated herein as Exhibit 1 to this Agreement on effective communication with individuals with disabilities. Within twenty (20) days of the effective date of this Agreement, Shopsmith will include in its website (http://www.shopsmithacademy.com/Intro_to_Academy.htm) a statement of the policy.

9. Within 120 days of the effective date of this Agreement, Shopsmith will provide Mr. Huntley with a DVD depicting basic maintenance, alignment and set-up instructions, with close-captioning. Upon request, Shopsmith will provide Mr. Huntley with an opportunity to ask questions and receive answers on a video phone or online, or in an interactive format.

10.Upon request, and when necessary to ensure effective communication with persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, Shopsmith will provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services, including qualified interpreters, for live presentations at the Training Academy.

11. Shopsmith agrees to comply with the requirements of 28 C.F.R. § 36.303, with respect to the closed captioning of video programming and DVDs.

III. COMPENSATORY DAMAGES FOR COMPLAINANT

12. The ADA authorizes the United States Attorney General to seek compensatory damages on behalf of individuals aggrieved as the result of violations of the ADA. 42 U.S.C. § 12188(b)(2)(B); 28 C.F.R. § 36.504(a)(2). Within 30 days of the effective date of this Agreement, Shopsmith agrees to send to Mr. Huntley a Shopsmith gift card denominated in the amount of five hundred dollars ($500.00).

IV. ENFORCEMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION

13. If at any time Shopsmith desires to modify any portion of this Agreement because of changed conditions making performance impossible or impractical or for any other reason including undue financial and administrative burdens, it will promptly notify the United States in writing, setting forth the facts and circumstances thought to justify modification and the substance of the proposed modification. Until there is written Agreement by the United States to the proposed modification, the proposed modification will not take effect. These modifications must receive the prior written approval of the United States, which approval will not be unreasonably withheld or delayed.

14. During the term of this Agreement, Shopsmith will notify the United States if any individual brings any lawsuit, complaint, charge, or grievance alleging that Shopsmith failed to provide auxiliary aids and services requested for any individual(s). Such notification must be provided in writing via facsimile within thirty (30) days of the date that Shopsmith receives notice of the allegation and will include, at a minimum, the nature of the allegation, and the name of the individual making the allegation.

15. The United States may review compliance with this Agreement at any time. If the United States believes that Shopsmith has failed to comply in a timely manner with any requirement of this Agreement without obtaining sufficient advance written agreement with the United States for a modification of the relevant terms, the United States will so notify Shopsmith in writing and it will attempt to resolve the issue or issues in good faith. If the United States is unable to reach a satisfactory resolution of the issue or issues raised within 30 days of the date it provides notice to Shopsmith, it may institute a civil action in a federal district court to enforce the terms of this Agreement or title III and may, in such action, seek any relief available under law.

16. For purposes of the immediately preceding paragraph, it is a violation of this Agreement for Shopsmith to fail to comply in a timely manner with any of its requirements without obtaining sufficient advance written agreement with the United States for an extension of the relevant time frame imposed by the Agreement.

17. Failure by the United States to enforce this entire Agreement or any provision thereof with regard to any deadline or any other provision herein will not be construed as a waiver of the United States's right to enforce other deadlines and provisions of this Agreement.

18. A copy of this document or any information contained in it will be made available to any person by the United States on request.

19. Shopsmith represents and warrants that the person signing for Shopsmith is authorized to bind Shopsmith, Inc., to this Agreement.

20. This Agreement will remain in effect for three years from the effective date of this Agreement.

21. The effective date of this Agreement is the date of the last signature below.

FOR SHOPSMITH, INC.:

FOR THE UNITED STATES:
BY: ___________________
ROBERT FOLKERTH
President
Shopsmith, Inc.
6530 Poe Avenue
Dayton, Ohio 45414
GRACE CHUNG BECKER
Acting Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division

BY: ____________________________
JOHN L. WODATCH, Chief
PHILIP L. BREEN, Special Legal Counsel
ROBERT J. MATHER, Trial Attorney
Disability Rights Section - NYA Bldg.
950 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530
(202) 307-2236
robert.mather@usdoj.gov


Dated:                    11/18/2008                       
Dated:                     12/01/2008                       


 

 

EXHIBIT 1

SHOPSMITH, INC.’S POLICY ON EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION WITH INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES

To ensure effective communication with customers who are deaf or hard of hearing, we provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services free of charge, such as qualified interpreters, note takers, written materials, assistive listening devices and systems, real-time transcription services, and captioning.

Upon request, and when necessary to ensure effective communication with persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, Shopsmith will provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services, including qualified interpreters, for live presentations at the Training Academy.

Shopsmith agrees to comply with the requirements of 28 C.F.R. § 36.303, with respect to the closed captioning of video programming and DVDs.


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January 14, 2009