Settlement Agreement between the United States of America


The City of Des Moines, Iowa


The City of Des Moines Public Library


On March 2, 2011, the Department of Justice entered into a settlement agreement with the City of Des Moines, Iowa, and the City of Des Moines Public Library, 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, as well as 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 Department of Justice initiated a compliance review of Des Moines, Iowa, (including the Des Moines Public Library) under Project Civic Access, a Departmental initiative to ensure greater access for persons with disabilities to state and local government programs, services, activities, and facilities.  This review included an on-site survey of city buildings, programs, and services.  city 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: City Hall, 3rd and Court Street Garage, 8th and Mulberry Street Garage, Brook Run Park, Center Street Park and Ride, Greenhouses, Fire Station #10, Forest Avenue Library, Cownie Soccer Park, New Central Library, Principal Park, Softball Complex, Nahas Aquatic Center (SouthTown), Teachout Aquatic Center, Waveland Tennis Complex, the Center Street Park and Ride, A.H. Blank Golf Course, Pioneer Columbus Community Center, Birdland Park, Botanical Center, Blank Park Zoo, East Side Library, Gray's Lake Park, Greenwood Park, Union Park, Westchester Park, the 4th and Grand Parking Garage, Argonne Armory, Birdland Aquatic Center, Birdland Sports Complex, Ewing Park, Four Mile Community Center, Franklin Avenue Library, Grandview Golf Course, Grandview Park, Logan Community Center, North Side Library, Park and Recreation Administration, Police Station, Prospect Park, South Side Library, South East Community Center, Waveland Golf Course, and Northwest Aquatic Center.

The compliance review included the Department's review of the city's policies and procedures regarding sidewalk maintenance, 9-1-1 emergency services, and web-based services and programs to evaluate whether persons with disabilities have an equal opportunity to utilize these programs.  The Department also reviewed the city's Police Department's policies and procedures regarding providing effective communication to persons who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.

Under the agreement announced today, Des Moines, Iowa will take several important steps to improve access for individuals with disabilities.  The text of the settlement agreement specifies the particular modifications that Des Moines 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 city has agreed to:

Des Moines, incorporated in 1851, is the capital and the most populous city in the state of Iowa.  It is located just south of the center of the state.  Over 20 percent of Des Moines residents have a disability and will benefit from this agreement.

Most of the actions required by the settlement agreement will be completed within 3 years from March 2, 2011.  The city will work with the disability community to prioritize modifications required to make sidewalks, pedestrian crossings, and transportation stops accessible, including the installation and/or modification of large numbers of curb ramps throughout the city, which will be completed within 7 years.  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

March 2, 2011