SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT BETWEEN

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

AND

THE UNIFIED GOVERNMENT OF

WYANDOTTE COUNTY AND KANSAS CITY, KANSAS

UNDER THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT

 

DJ 204-29-136


Press Release | Fact Sheet

BACKGROUND

SCOPE OF THE INVESTIGATION

The United States Department of Justice (Department) initiated this matter as a compliance review of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, (the Unified Government) 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 Unified Government receives 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.

The review was conducted by the Disability Rights Section of the Department’s Civil Rights Division and focused on the Unified Government’s compliance with the following title II requirements:

As part of its compliance review, the Department reviewed the following facilities, which – because construction or alterations commenced after January 26, 1992 – must comply with the ADA’s new construction or alterations requirements:

Willa Gill Soup Kitchen
Century Garage
Fire Station #10
Court Services Building
Building C

The Department’s program access review covered those of the Unified Government’s programs, services, and activities that operate in the following facilities:

Justice Complex
City Hall
Public Health Center
K.C.K. Fire Department Station #8
George C. Meyn Detention Center
Armourdale Recreation Center
Sunflower Hill Golf Course
Fire Headquarters
Police Headquarters
Bethany Recreation Center
Wyandotte County Park
Parking Garage C
Parking Lot A
Fire Station #11
Fire Station #20
Fire Station #16
Fire Station #17
Pierson Park
City Park
Kensington Recreation Center
Parkwood Recreation Center
George Dunn Animal Shelter
Fire Station #4
Fire Station #18
Fire Station #19
Argentine Recreation Center
Building B
Building A
Police Sation, Division 3
Fire Station #2
Pat Hanlon Center
Eisenhower Recreation Center
Fire Station #3
Memorial Hall
Wyandotte County Jail
James P. Davis Hall

The Department conducted a program access review of the following polling places:

Emmaus Lutheran Church
Edwardsville School
Lake of the Forest Clubhouse
Parkway Baptist Church
Piper Unified School District #203
Risen Lamb Church of the Nazarene Fellowship Hall
Grinter Place Visitor’s Center
Bethany Community Center
Forest Grove Missionary Baptist Church
Central States Conference Youth Center
Best Western Village Hall
Mt. Carmel Church
Mt. Zion Baptist Church
Parkwood Recreation Center
Edwardsville Community Center
Metropolitan Baptist Church
Bethel Presbyterian Church
Coalition for Independence
Wyandotte United Methodist Church
Judson Baptist Church Annex

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.

The Department reviewed the Unified Government’s policies and procedures regarding voting and sidewalk maintenance to evaluate whether persons with disabilities have an equal opportunity to utilize these programs.

Finally, the Department reviewed the Unified Government’s Police and Sheriff’s Departments’ policies and procedures regarding providing effective communication to persons who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.

Although the scope of this review would ordinarily have included a review of the Unified Government’s emergency management and disaster prevention program, services, and activities, this review did not occur because the Unified Government was in the process of revising its Emergency Operations Plan at the time of the review.

JURISDICTION

  1. The ADA applies to the Unified Government because it is a “public entity” as defined by title II. 42 U.S.C. § 12131(1).
  2. The Department is authorized under 28 C.F.R. Part 35, Subpart F, to determine the compliance of the Unified Government with title II of the ADA and the Department's title II implementing regulation, to issue findings, and, where appropriate, to negotiate and secure voluntary compliance agreements. Furthermore, the Attorney General is authorized, under 42 U.S.C. § 12133, to bring a civil action enforcing title II of the ADA should the Department fail to secure voluntary compliance pursuant to Subpart F.
  3. The Department is authorized under 28 C.F.R. Part 42, Subpart G, to determine the Unified Government’s compliance with section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, to issue findings, and, where appropriate, to negotiate and secure voluntary compliance agreements. Furthermore, the Attorney General is authorized, under 29 U.S.C. § 794 and 28 C.F.R. §§ 42.530 and 42.108-110, to suspend or terminate financial assistance to the Unified Government provided by the Department of Justice should the Department fail to secure voluntary compliance pursuant to Subpart G or to bring a civil suit to enforce the rights of the United States under applicable federal, state, or local law.
  4. The parties to this Agreement are the United States of America and the Unified Government.
  5. In order to avoid the burdens and expenses of an investigation and possible litigation, the parties enter into this Agreement.
  6. In consideration of, and consistent with, the terms of this Agreement, the Attorney General agrees to refrain from filing a civil suit in this matter regarding all matters contained within this Agreement, except as provided in the section entitled “Implementation and Enforcement.”

ACTIONS TAKEN BY THE UNIFIED GOVERNMENT

  1. The Unified Government has a designated ADA Coordinator.
  2. The Unified Government has adopted a Notice of ADA Rights and has posted it prominently throughout its facilities.
  3. The Unified Government has adopted an ADA grievance procedure for persons with disabilities to bring issues to the attention of the ADA Coordinator or his or her alternate, and to appeal decisions to the Disabled and Handicapped Advisory Committee.

REMEDIAL ACTION

NOTIFICATION

  1. The Unified Government has adopted the attached Notice (Attachment A); distributed it to all agency heads; published the Notice in a local newspaper of general circulation serving the Unified Government; posted the Notice on its Internet Home Page; and posted copies in conspicuous locations in its public buildings. It will refresh the posted copies, and update the contact information contained on the Notice, as necessary, for the life of this Agreement. Copies will also be provided to any person upon request.
  2. Within 6 months of the effective date of this Agreement, and on yearly anniversaries of this Agreement until it expires, the Unified Government will implement and report to the Department its written procedures for providing information for interested persons with disabilities concerning the existence and location of the Unified Government’s accessible programs, services, and activities.

GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

  1. The Unified Government has adopted the attached ADA Grievance Procedure (Attachment B), distributed it to all agency heads, and posted copies of it in conspicuous locations in each of its public buildings. It will refresh the posted copies, and update the contact information contained on it, as necessary, for the life of the Agreement. Copies will also be provided to any person upon request.

GENERAL EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION PROVISIONS

  1. Within 3 months of the effective date of this Agreement, the Unified Government will identify sources of qualified sign language and oral interpreters, computer assisted real-time transcription services (CART), and vendors that can put documents in Braille, and will implement and report to the Department its written procedures, with time frames, for fulfilling requests from the public for sign language or oral interpreters, CART services, and documents in alternate formats (Braille, large print, cassette tapes, electronic format, etc.).
  2. The Unified Government will take steps to ensure that all appropriate employees are trained and practiced in using the Kansas Relay Service to make and receive calls.
  3. 9-1-1

  4. Within 9 months of the effective date of this Agreement, the Unified Government will ensure that each 9-1-1 call station is equipped with a TTY or computer equivalent.
  5. Within 9 months of the effective date of this Agreement, the Unified Government will develop procedures for answering 9-1-1 calls that include training all call takers to use a TTY to take 9-1-1 calls, to recognize a “silent” open line as a potential TTY call and respond by TTY, and to ensure that TTY calls are answered as quickly as other calls received.
  6. The Unified Government will monitor its incoming 9-1-1 TTY calls to ensure they are answered as quickly and accurately as other calls received.
  7. The Unified Government will establish its personnel policies to include written disciplinary procedures for call takers who fail to perform TTY call-taking consistent with training and procedures. The Unified Government will implement and report to the Department its evaluation and procedures within 6 months of the effective date of this Agreement.
  8. LAW ENFORCEMENT AND EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION

  9. Within 6 months of the effective date of this Agreement, the Unified Governmentwill adapt for its own use and implement the Unified Government’s Policy Statement on Effective Communication with People Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing (Attachment C) and distribute to all police and sheriff department officers the Guide for Law Enforcement Officers When in Contact with People Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing (Attachment D).
  10. Within 15 months of the effective date of this Agreement, the Unified Governmentwill contract with one or more local qualified oral/sign language interpreter agencies to ensure that the interpreting services will be available on a priority basis, twenty-four hours per day, seven days a week, to both its Sheriff’s Department and its Police Department or make other appropriate arrangements (such as contracting directly with or hiring qualified interpreters).
  11. Within 15 months of the effective date of this Agreement, the Unified Government will ensure that each Sheriff’s Department and Police Department station or substation and each detention facility or other correctional facility is equipped with a working TTY to enable persons who are deaf, are hard of hearing, or have speech impairments to make outgoing telephone calls. Where inmate telephone calls are time-limited, the Unified Government will adopt policies permitting inmates who use TTYs a longer period of time to make those calls, due to the slower nature of TTY communications compared with voice communications.
  12. EMPLOYMENT

  13. Within 6 months of the effective date of this Agreement, the Unified Government will amend its employment policies, as necessary, to comply with title I of the ADA (as amended, including the ADA Amendments Act, effective January 1, 2009) and the regulations of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission implementing title I of the ADA, codified at 29 C.F.R. Part 1630. At minimum, those policies will provide that the Unified Government:
  14. Some of the Unified Government’s polling places may be owned or operated by other public entities subject to title II or by public accommodations subject to title III and, as such, would be subject to the obligation to provide program access or to remove barriers to accessibility under the ADA. This Agreement does not limit future enforcement action against the owners or operators of these polling places by any person or entity, including the Department.
  15. Before designating any site as a new polling place, the Unified Government will survey the site using the survey instrument at Attachment F to determine whether the site contains barriers to access by persons with disabilities in the parking, exterior route to the entrance, entrance, interior route to the voting area, or voting area. The Unified Government will not designate any such site as a polling place until all such barriers have been removed.
  16. The Department surveyed certain of the Unified Government's polling places. Barriers to access at such polling places owned by the Unified Government and the dates by which the Unified Government will remove barriers are noted in Attachments I, J, and K.
  17. Barriers to access at the polling places not owned by the Unified Government that were surveyed by the Department are noted in Attachment E. Within 3 months of the effective date of this Agreement, theUnified Government will request in writing that each of the owners and operators of the polling places listed in Attachment E remove the noted barriers to access for persons with disabilities within one year of the effective date of this Agreement. The Unified Government will provide a copy of the Department's ADA Checklist for Polling Places (www.ada.gov/votingck.htm) with the written request. The Unified Government will simultaneously send a courtesy copy of the request to the Department.
  18. Within 12 months of the effective date of this Agreement, the Unified Government will survey all facilities listed in Attachment E to determine whether the barriers noted have been removed. If not, for each polling place that still contains inaccessible parking, exterior route to the entrance, entrance, interior route to the voting area, or voting area, the Unified Government will identify within 24 months of the effective date of this Agreement an alternate location where these elements are accessible. That identification will utilize the survey instrument that appears as Attachment F to this Agreement. The Unified Government will then take immediate steps to change its polling place to the new location.
  19. Within 9 months of the effective date of this Agreement, using the survey instrument at Attachment F, the Unified Government will survey all polling places not surveyed by the Department to identify barriers to access by persons with disabilities in the parking, exterior route to the entrance, entrance, interior route to the voting area, and voting area. Within 24 months of the effective date of this Agreement, for each such polling place, the Unified Government will then either (1) ensure that all barriers to access by persons with disabilities have been removed or (2) identify an alternate polling place with no barriers to access by persons with disabilities. That identification of accessible polling places will utilize the survey instrument that appears as Attachment F to this Agreement. The Unified Government will then take immediate steps to change each new inaccessible polling place to a new accessible location.
  20. Within 6 months of the effective date of this Agreement, the Unified Government will provide opportunities for same-day balloting for voters with disabilities whose assigned polling place does not have accessible parking, exterior route to entrance, entrance, interior route to the voting area, and voting area. The method for providing these opportunities may include allowing the individual to vote at another nearby location that is accessible, allowing individuals with disabilities to vote by an absentee ballot that is accepted if postmarked on the day of the election (or picked up by election officials at the home of the voter on the same day as the election), providing curbside voting at the inaccessible polling place, or any other method that ensures that voters with disabilities have the same degree of information available to them when casting their ballots as others. If curbside assistance is provided and a polling place official is not stationed outside to provide assistance to persons with disabilities in curbside voting, it must include a reliable, effective mechanism by which individuals with disabilities can summon election officials to provide curbside assistance without leaving their vehicles and ensure prompt response and assistance with curbside voting from polling officials.
  21. Within 6 months of the effective date of this Agreement, the Unified Government will survey its voter registration locations for accessibility to persons with disabilities by using the form provided at Attachment F and will report the results of this survey to the Department. If barriers to access are identified, theUnified Government will implement and report to the Department its plan to provide program access, which may include allowing persons to register to vote through alternative means or at alternative locations.
  22. Within 15 months of the effective date of this Agreement, the Unified Government will make all voter registration materials available in alternate formats, including Braille, large print, audio tape, and computer disk.
  23. Within the month prior to the next election that utilizes the Unified Government's polling places, and at yearly anniversaries of the effective date of this Agreement until it expires, the Unified Government will train poll workers on the rights of persons with disabilities and the practical aspects of assuring those rights. The training will cover, at minimum, the need to maintain the physical accessibility of polling locations; how to assist persons with disabilities, as necessary; and how to operate any non-standard voting equipment or accessible features of standard equipment (particularly new, accessible equipment).

EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT PROCEDURES AND POLICIES

  1. The Department will work collaboratively with the Unified Government to ensure that the Unified Government’s Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) will be in compliance with ADA requirements. The touchstone for compliance with ADA requirements relating to emergency management is Chapter 7 of the Department’s ADA Best Practices Tool Kit for State and Local Governments (ADA Tool Kit), which addresses in detail key ADA obligations that apply to all aspects of emergency management, including planning, preparedness, evacuation, shelters, medical and social services, lodging and housing programs, recovery, and rebuilding.
  2. The Unified Government is committed to compliance with the ADA requirements as described in Chapter 7 of the ADA Tool Kit. Within 24 months of the effective date of this Agreement, the Unified Government will revise its EOP so that it conforms with Chapter 7 of the ADA Tool Kit, and the Unified Government will provide a copy of its revised EOP (including supporting documents) to the Department. The Department will review the revised EOP to ensure compliance with title II of the ADA and its implementing regulation.
  3. If the Unified Government contracts with another entity, such as the American Red Cross or another local government, to provide its emergency preparedness plans and emergency response services, the Unified Government will ensure that any such entity is in compliance with these provisions on its behalf.
  4. Within 6 months of the effective date of this Agreement, the Unified Government will implement and report to the Department its written procedures that ensure that it regularly solicits and incorporates input from persons with a variety of disabilities and those who serve them regarding all phases of its EOP (preparation, notification, response, and clean up).
  5. Within 24 months of the effective date of this Agreement, the Unified Government will implement and report to the Department its written procedures that ensure that its community evacuation plans enable those who have mobility disabilities, vision disabilities, hearing disabilities, cognitive disabilities, mental illness, or other disabilities to safely self-evacuate or be evacuated by others. Some communities are instituting voluntary, confidential registries of persons with disabilities who may need individualized evacuation assistance or notification. If the Unified Government adopts or maintains such a registry, its report to the Department will discuss its procedures for ensuring voluntariness, appropriate confidentiality controls, and how the registry will be kept updated, as well as its outreach plan to inform persons with disabilities of its availability. Whether or not a registry is used, the Unified Government’s plan should address accessible transportation needs for persons with disabilities.
  6. Within 24 months of the effective date of this Agreement, the Unified Government will implement and report to the Department its written procedures that ensure that emergency shelters have electrical power (such as a back-up generator) and ways to keep medications refrigerated (such as a refrigerator or cooler with ice). Access to back-up power and refrigeration at such shelters will be made available to persons whose disabilities require access to electricity and refrigeration, for example, for using life-sustaining medical devices, providing power to motorized wheelchairs, and preserving certain medications, such as insulin, that require refrigeration. The written procedures will include a plan for notifying persons of the location of such shelters.
  7. Within 24 months of the effective date of this Agreement the Unified Government, in concert with other relevant public entities with whom they share emergency management responsibilities, will develop implement, and report to the Department its plans for providing accessible post-emergency temporary housing to persons with disabilities. Within 24 months of the effective date of this Agreement, the Unified Government will ensure that it makes information available on accessible temporary housing (such as accessible hotel rooms within the community or in nearby communities) that could be used if persons with disabilities cannot immediately return home after a disaster if, for instance, necessary accessible features such as ramps or electrical systems have been compromised.

PHYSICAL CHANGES TO EMERGENCY SHELTERS

  1. Some of the Unified Government’s emergency shelters may be owned or operated by other public entities subject to title II or by public accommodations subject to title III and, as such, are subject to the obligation to provide program access or remove barriers to accessibility under the ADA. This Agreement does not limit such future enforcement action against the owners or operators of these facilities by any person or entity, including the Department.
  2. Within 6 months of the effective date of this Agreement, the Unified Government will identify for the Department all of the facilities within the Unified Government that have been designated to serve as emergency shelters. Within 18 months of the effective date of this Agreement, the Unified Government will survey each of the facilities designated as an emergency shelter and will submit a report to the Department detailing the access issues identified in the survey and the corrective actions proposed to resolve each issue. The Unified Government will use the survey instrument at Attachment N – the Department’s ADA Checklist for Emergency Shelters (www.ada.gov/pcatoolkit/chap7shelterchk.htm) – to conduct the survey. The survey will identify barriers to access by persons with disabilities in the areas of the facilities used by members of the public during an emergency, such as 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.
  3. Within 30 months of the effective date of this Agreement, for each emergency shelter identified under paragraph 41, above, the Unified Government will either (1) ensure that all barriers to access by persons with disabilities have been removed or (2) identify and designate a substitute emergency shelter with no barriers to access by persons with disabilities.
  4. Within 18 months of the effective date of this Agreement and until all emergency shelters have accessible parking, exterior routes, entrances, interior routes to the shelter area, and toilet rooms serving the shelter area, the Unified Government will identify and widely publicize to the public and to persons with disabilities and the organizations that serve them the most accessible emergency shelters.

SIDEWALKS

  1. Within 3 months of the effective date of this Agreement, the Unified Government will implement and report to the Department its written process for the following: (1) soliciting and receiving input from persons with disabilities regarding the accessibility of its sidewalks; (2) responding to the input it receives from persons with disabilities regarding sidewalk access; and (3) promptly revising its sidewalk program to incorporate input and requests from persons with disabilities, such as a request to prioritize installation of a curb ramp at a particular location. The Unified Government will provide multiple ways for individuals with disabilities to provide input, including but not limited to, a Unified Government website portal; a Unified Government telephone number, email address, and street address; and through public hearings and outreach to disability groups.
  2. Within 12 months of the effective date of this Agreement, the Unified Government will develop a list of actions it will take to comply with the sidewalk provisions of this Agreement (paragraphs 44 - 50). The list will identify all of the intersections where curb ramps and other sloped areas are needed to comply with the provisions of this Agreement, and will identify the order in which the Unified Government proposes to complete each curb ramp and other sloped area. This list will be made available to the public through several means, including but not limited to, posting the list on the Unified Government’s website, making it available at city hall and other government buildings, distributing the list to local disability groups and organizations, and by making it available upon request through a Unified Government phone number, email address, and street address. The Unified Government will refresh the list no less than annually throughout the life of this Agreement.
  3. Within 12 months of the effective date of this Agreement, the Unified Government will identify and report to the Department all streets, roads, and highways that have been constructed or altered since January 26, 1992. Paving, repaving, or resurfacing a street, road, or highway is considered an alteration for the purposes of this Agreement. Filling a pothole is not considered an alteration for the purposes of this Agreement. Within 10 years of the effective date of this Agreement, the Unified Government will provide curb ramps or other sloped areas complying with the Standards or UFAS at all intersections of the streets, roads, and highways identified under this paragraph having curbs or other barriers to entry from a street level pedestrian walkway.
  4. Beginning no later than 12 months after the effective date of this Agreement, the Unified Government will provide curb ramps or other sloped areas complying with the Standards or UFAS at any intersection having curbs or other barriers to entry from a street level pedestrian walkway, whenever a new street, road, or highway is constructed or altered.
  5. Within 12 months of the effective date of this Agreement, the Unified Government will identify all street level pedestrian walkways that have been constructed or altered since January 26, 1992. Paving, repaving, or resurfacing a walkway is considered an alteration for the purposes of this Agreement. Within 10 years of the effective date of this Agreement, the Unified Government will provide curb ramps or other sloped areas complying with the Standards or UFAS at all places where a street level pedestrian walkway identified under this paragraph intersects with a street, road, or highway.
  6. Beginning no later than 12 months after the effective date of this Agreement, the Unified Government will provide curb ramps or other sloped areas complying with the Standards or UFAS at all newly constructed or altered pedestrian walkways where they intersect a street, road, or highway.
  7. The Unified Government will submit to the Department on a yearly basis for the length of this Agreement a report detailing the actions taken to comply with the sidewalk provisions of this Agreement.
  8. WEB-BASED SERVICES AND PROGRAMS

  9. Within 3 month of the effective date of this Agreement, and on subsequent anniversaries of the effective date of this Agreement, theUnified Government will distribute to all persons – employees and contractors – who design, develop, maintain, or otherwise have responsibility for content and format of its website(s) or third party websites used by the Unified Government (Internet Personnel) the technical assistance document, Website Accessibility Under title II of the ADA, which is Attachment H to this Agreement (it is also available at www.ada.gov/websites2.htm).
  10. Within 12 months of the effective date of this Agreement, and throughout the life of the Agreement, the Unified Government will do the following:
    1. Establish, implement, and post online a policy that its web pages will be accessible and create a process for implementation;
    2. Ensure that all new and modified web pages and content are accessible;
    3. Develop and implement a plan for making existing web content more accessible;
    4. Provide a way for online visitors to request accessible information or services by posting a telephone number or e-mail address on its home page; and
    5. Periodically (at least annually) enlist persons with disabilities to test its pages for ease of use.

    NEW CONSTRUCTION, ALTERATIONS, AND PHYSICAL CHANGES TO FACILITIES

  11. The Unified Government will ensure that all buildings and facilities newly constructed after the effective date of the Agreement by or on behalf of the Unified Government’s are constructed in full compliance with the requirements of 28 C.F.R. § 35.151, including applicable architectural standards.
  12. The Unified Government will ensure that alterations made after the effective date of the Agreement to the Unified Government’s facilities are made in full compliance with the requirements of 28 C.F.R. § 35.151, including applicable architectural standards.
  13. The elements or features of the Unified Government’s facilities that do not comply with the Standards, including those listed in Attachments I, J, and K, prevent some persons with disabilities from fully and equally enjoying the Unified Government’s services, programs, or activities and constitute discrimination on the basis of disability within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 12132 and 28 C.F.R. §§ 35.149 and 35.150. This agreement shall not be construed as an admission of liability or discrimination by the Unified Government.
  14. The Unified Government will comply with the cited provisions of the Standards when taking the actions required by this Agreement.
  15. Within 12 months of the effective date of this Agreement, the Unified Government will install signage as necessary to comply with 28 C.F.R. § 35.163(b), after having surveyed all facilities that are the subject of this Agreement for the purpose of identifying those that have multiple entrances not all of which are accessible.
  16. Newly Constructed Facilities: In order to ensure that the following spaces and elements in the Unified Government’s facilities for which construction was commenced after January 26, 1992, are readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities, the Unified Government will take the actions listed in Attachments I and M.
  17. Altered Facilities: In order to ensure that the following spaces and elements in the Unified Government’s facilities for which alterations commenced after January 26, 1992, are readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities, the Unified Government will take the actions listed in Attachments J and M.
  18. Program Access in the Unified Government’s Existing Facilities: In order to ensure that each of the Unified Government’s programs, services, and activities operating at a facility that is the subject of this Agreement, when viewed in its entirety, is readily accessible to and usable by persons with mobility impairments, the Unified Government will take the actions listed in Attachments K and M.
  19. The Unified Government’s Facilities and Programs Not Surveyed by the Department: The Unified Government will review compliance with the requirements of title II of the ADA for those Unified Government facilities and programs that were not reviewed by the Department. Within 24 months of the effective date of this Agreement, the Unified Government will submit for review by the Department a detailed report listing the access issues identified during its review together with the corrective actions and completion dates proposed to resolve such issues. The review conducted by the Unified Government, the access issues identified, and the corrective actions and completion dates proposed will be consistent with the requirements of title II of the ADA; the review of Unified Government facilities and programs conducted by the Department for purposes of this Agreement; and the access issues, corrective actions, and completion dates reflected in Attachments I, J, K, and M.
  20. PROGRAMS FOR VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND ABUSE

  21. If the Unified Government owns or operates any Domestic Violence Programs, within 6 months of the effective date of this Agreement, it will do the following:
    1. Whatever written information is provided regarding its Domestic Violence Programs will also be provided in alternate formats, including Braille, large print, audio recording, and electronic formats, upon request.
    2. Enter into contracts or make other arrangements with qualified sign language and oral interpreters to ensure their availability when required for effective communication with persons who are deaf or hard of hearing. The type of aid that will be required for effective communication will depend on the individual’s usual method of communication, and the nature, importance, and duration of the communication at issue. In many circumstances, oral communication supplemented by gestures and visual aids, an exchange of written notes, use of a computer or typewriter, or use of an assistive listening device may be effective. In other circumstances, qualified sign language or oral interpreters are needed to communicate effectively with persons who are deaf or hard of hearing. The more lengthy, complex, and important the communication, the more likely it is that a qualified interpreter will be required for effective communication with a person whose primary means of communication is sign language or speech reading.
    3. If the Unified Government’s Domestic Violence Programs operate a hotline to take telephone calls of an emergency nature, the Unified Government shall ensure that it provides equivalent service for persons who use TTYs, including providing direct-connection service for TTY users with hotline operators, without requiring TTY users to call through a third party operator, such as through the state or local Telecommunication Relay Services. The Unified Government will obtain the necessary equipment, establish the written procedures, and provide the training necessary to ensure effective communication by Hotline staff with direct-connection callers using TTYs, as well as the training necessary to respond to callers who use the Telecommunication Relay Services.
    4. Survey facilities owned and operated by the Unified Government used as shelters or designated as potential shelters – or for counseling, job training, education, clothing or household provisioning, or other aspects of Domestic Violence Programs – to ensure that adequate arrangements are available for potential clients and family members with disabilities, including adults and children who have mobility impairments, who are blind or have low vision, and who are deaf or hard of hearing. Within one year of the effective date of this Agreement, modify each such facility to remove the barriers or, alternatively, procure another, fully accessible facility to ensure that potential clients and family members with disabilities have integrated options when participating in a sheltering or other Domestic Violence program. Nothing in this Agreement requires any modifications that would compromise the confidentiality of a shelter or counseling center. Until there is a sufficient stock of accessible housing and other facilities within the sheltering program, the Unified Government will implement written procedures ensuring that it has identified temporary accessible housing (such as accessible hotel rooms within the community or in nearby communities) and other facilities that could be used if persons with disabilities need sheltering or in-service access to a Domestic Violence Program. The cost to potential clients of being housed or otherwise served in alternate accessible facilities shall not exceed any costs normally attributed to clients of the Unified Government’s Domestic Violence Programs.
    5. Implement written procedures and modify, as appropriate, eligibility criteria, to ensure that no person with a disability is turned away from a shelter owned and operated by the Unified Government or otherwise denied the opportunity to benefit from the services of the Unified Government’s Domestic Violence Programs on the basis of disability.
    6. Implement written procedures to ensure that persons with disabilities who use service animals are not denied or discouraged from participating in Domestic Violence Programs, are able to be housed and served in an integrated environment, and are not separated from their service animals while participating in the Unified Government’s Domestic Violence Programs even if pets are normally not permitted in the facilities where such programs are conducted. The procedures will not unnecessarily segregate persons who use service animals from others but may take into account the potential presence of persons who, for safety or health reasons, should not be in contact with certain types of animals. If the Unified Government’s Domestic Violence Programs require clients to make any payments for shelter or other services they provide, clients shall not be required to make additional payments because they or their family members use service animals.
    7. Implement written procedures to ensure that reasonable modifications are made to the Unified Government’s Domestic Violence Programs when necessary for a client or family member with a disability to participate in such Programs, unless doing so would fundamentally alter the nature of the program.
    8. Implement written policies to ensure that despite any “drug-free” policy of the Unified Government’s Domestic Violence Programs, persons with disabilities who use medication prescribed for their use are able to continue using such medication while participating in such Programs or being housed in a shelter owned and operated by the Unified Government.
  22. If the Unified Government contracts with another entity to provide or operate programs that provide shelter, counseling, or other assistance or supportive services to victims of domestic violence or abuse and their families (hereafter referred to as “Domestic Violence Programs”), it will ensure that the other entity complies with the preceding provisions on its behalf. If that entity will not comply with the following provisions, the Unified Government will nonetheless take all necessary steps to ensure that its program is accessible to persons with disabilities.
  23. In the event that some of the of the Unified Government’s shelters are owned or operated by other public entities subject to title II or by public accommodations subject to title III, they would be subject to the obligation to provide program access or remove barriers to accessibility under the ADA. This Agreement does not limit such future enforcement action against the owners or operators of these facilities by any person or entity, including the Department.
  24. This Agreement shall not be construed to require the Unified Government to divulge confidential information relating to the location or existence of any Domestic Violence Programs, beyond what is otherwise required by applicable law or what is necessary for the Department to effectively enforce this Agreement.

MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

  1. Except as otherwise specified in this Agreement, at yearly anniversaries of the effective date of this Agreement until it expires, the Unified Government will submit written reports to the Department summarizing the actions the Unified Government has taken pursuant to this Agreement. Reports will include detailed photographs showing measurements, architectural plans, work orders, notices published in the newspaper, copies of adopted policies, and proof of efforts to secure funding/assistance for structural renovations or equipment.
  2. Throughout the life of this Agreement, consistent with the Agreement and 28 C.F.R. § 35.133(a), the Unified Government will maintain the accessibility of its programs, activities, services, facilities, and equipment, and will take whatever actions are necessary (such as routine testing of accessibility equipment and routine accessibility audits of its programs and facilities) to do so. This provision does not prohibit isolated or temporary interruptions in service or access due to maintenance or repairs. 28 C.F.R. § 35.133(b).
  3. Within 12 months of the effective date of this Agreement, the Unified Government will develop or procure a two-hour training program on the requirements of the ADA and appropriate ways of serving persons with disabilities. The Unified Government will use the ADA technical assistance materials developed by the Department and will consult with interested persons, including individuals with disabilities, in developing or procuring the ADA training program.
  4. Within 24 months of the effective date of this Agreement, the Unified Government will deliver its training program to all Unified Government employees who have direct contact with members of the public. At the end of that period, the Unified Government will submit a copy of its training curriculum and materials to the Department, along with a list of employees trained and the name, title, and address of the trainer.

IMPLEMENTATION AND ENFORCEMENT

  1. If at any time the Unified Government desires to modify any portion of this Agreement because of changed conditions making performance impossible or impractical or for any other reason, it will promptly notify the Department 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 Department to the proposed modification, the proposed modification will not take effect. These actions must receive the prior written approval of the Department, which approval will not be unreasonably withheld or delayed.
  2. The Department may review compliance with this Agreement at any time. If the Department believes that the Unified Government has failed to comply in a timely manner with any requirement of this Agreement without obtaining sufficient advance written agreement with the Department for a modification of the relevant terms, the Department will so notify the Unified Government in writing and it will attempt to resolve the issue or issues in good faith. If the Department is unable to reach a satisfactory resolution of the issue or issues raised within 30 days of the date it provides notice to the Unified Government, it may institute a civil action in federal district court to enforce the terms of this Agreement, or it may initiate appropriate steps to enforce title II and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
  3. For purposes of the immediately preceding paragraph, it is a violation of this Agreement for the Unified Government to fail to comply in a timely manner with any of its requirements without obtaining sufficient advance written agreement with the Department for an extension of the relevant time frame imposed by the Agreement.
  4. Failure by the Department 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 Department's right to enforce other deadlines and provisions of this Agreement.
  5. This Agreement is a public document. A copy of this document or any information contained in it will be made available to any person by the Unified Government or the Department on request.
  6. This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties on the matters raised herein, and no other statement, promise, or agreement, either written or oral, made by either party or agents of either party, that is not contained in this written Agreement (including its Attachments, which are hereby incorporated by reference), will be enforceable. This Agreement does not purport to remedy any other potential violations of the ADA or any other federal law. This Agreement does not affect the Unified Government’s continuing responsibility to comply with all aspects of the ADA and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
  7. This Agreement will remain in effect for four (4) years, or until the parties agree that all actions required by the Agreement have been completed, whichever is later, with the exception of the following paragraphs, which will remain in effect for eleven (11) years, or until the parties agree that all actions required by the Agreement have been completed, whichever is later: 10-12, 14, 17, 19-21, 24, 32, 44-50, 51-52, 62-63, 66-67, 70-78.
  8. The person signing for the Unified Government represents that he or she is authorized to bind the Unified Government to this Agreement.
  9. The effective date of this Agreement is the date of the last signature below.

 

For the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas:

By: ____________________________
JOE REARDON, Mayor

 

For the United States:

THOMAS E. PEREZ
Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights

JOHN L. WODATCH, Chief
JEANINE M. WORDEN, Deputy Chief
DOV LUTZKER, Special Counsel

By:_____________________________
NAOMI MILTON, Supervisory Attorney

By:_____________________________
PAULA N. RUBIN, Investigator
MICHELE ANTHONY MALLOZZI, Architect
Disability Rights Section - NYA
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530
(202) 307-0663
(202) 514-7821

 

Date: ___________________________ Date:                      04/07/2010                    

 


Project Civic Access | ADA Home Page




April 8, 2010