On June 28, 2011, the Department of Justice entered into a settlement agreement with Van Buren County, Arkansas under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).
The Department of Justice initiated this matter as a compliance review of Van Buren County, Arkansas, under Project Civic Access, an initiative of the Department of Justice to ensure greater access for persons with disabilities to state and local government programs, services, activities, and facilities.
Facilities and programs surveyed by the Department and covered by the agreement include: Van Buren County Courthouse, Van Buren County Courthouse Annex, Van Buren County Animal Shelter, Van Buren County Detention Center, Van Buren County Child Care Center, Van Buren County Juvenile Court Office, Van Buren County Library, Van Buren County Prosecutor’s Office, Van Buren County Health Department, and Van Buren County Solid Waste and Recycling Center.
The compliance review included the Department’s review of the County’s policies and procedures regarding emergency management, voting, and sidewalk maintenance to evaluate whether persons with disabilities have an equal opportunity to utilize these programs. The Department also reviewed the County Police Department’s policies and procedures regarding providing effective communication to persons who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.
Under the agreement announced today, Van Buren County will take several important steps to improve access for individuals with disabilities. The text of the settlement agreement specifies the particular modifications that Van Buren County will make to each of the programs, services, and facilities covered by the agreement as well as the timeframes for making each change. Among other things, the County has agreed to:
Van Buren County, Arkansas, established in 1833, is located in north central Arkansas approximately 70 miles from Little Rock. The County was named after President Martin Van Buren and the County seat is Clinton. The County is located in the Ozark Mountain region and contains the nationally known Natural Bridge of Arkansas which is 100 feet long, 50 feet high, and 4 feet thick. Approximately 28.6 percent of Van Buren County residents have a disability and will benefit from this agreement.
The settlement agreement will remain in effect for three years from June 28, 2011, or until all actions required by the agreement have been completed, whichever is later. The Department will actively monitor compliance with the agreement, which will remain in effect until the Department has confirmed that all required actions have been completed.
Project Civic Access | ADA Home Page
June 28, 2011