LaPorte County, Indiana
The Department initiated a compliance review of LaPorte County in November, 2005 in response to a complaint alleging that entrances, ramps, and toilet rooms in County buildings were not accessible to persons with disabilities. The Department conducted an on-site survey of County programs, services, activities, and facilities in May, 2006.
The agreement covers County programs, services, and activities housed in the following facilities: Circuit Courthouse; County Complex; County Jail; Community Corrections Center; Superior Courthouse; Juvenile Services Center; Small Animal Shelter; Luhr Park; County Historical Museum; Red Mill Park; and Eighth Street Office Complex.
The text of the settlement agreement specifies the particular modifications that LaPorte 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:
- Make physical modifications to its buildings and parks so that parking, entrances, routes, toilet rooms, courtrooms, assembly areas, service counters, and drinking fountains are accessible to persons with disabilities;
- Post, publish, and distribute a notice to inform members of the public of the provisions of title II and their applicability to County programs, services, and activities;
- Amend its employment policies, as necessary, to comply with the regulations of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission implementing the employment provisions of title I of the ADA;
- Provide auxiliary aids necessary to ensure effective communication with persons who are deaf or hard of hearing and persons who are blind or have low vision;
- Ensure that each 9-1-1 call station is equipped with a TTY or computer equivalent and that TTY calls are answered correctly;
- Implement the Sheriff Department's Policy on Effective Communication with People Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing by providing interpreters and auxiliary aids that are necessary to ensure effective communication with individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing;
- Provide physically accessible polling places;
- Implement emergency management policies and procedures that ensure equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in all aspects of the County's emergency management program, including preparation, notification, sheltering and response;
- Make modifications necessary to County sidewalks and curb ramps to provide accessible routes for persons with disabilities, including individuals who use wheelchairs; and
- Ensure that the County's official website is accessible to persons with disabilities, including people who are blind or have low vision.
LaPorte County, founded in 1832, is located in northwestern Indiana near the Chicago metropolitan area. More than 16 percent of the population in LaPorte County have disabilities and will benefit from this agreement.
The settlement agreement will remain in effect for 3 years from October 28, 2009, or until all actions required by the agreement have been completed, whichever is later. The Department will monitor compliance with the agreement until required actions are completed.
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