Settlement Agreement between the United States of America
and the Town of Pomfret, Connecticut
On July 20, 2010, the Department of Justice entered into a settlement agreement with the Town of Pomfret, Connecticut, 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.
After receiving a complaint alleging that the Town Hall was inaccessible to people with disabilities, the Department of Justice initiated an investigation of the Town of Pomfret in December, 2008, as part of Project Civic Access, a Department initiative to ensure greater access for persons with disabilities to state and local government programs, services, activities, and facilities. An on-site survey of the Town's buildings, programs, and services was conducted in September, 2009. Town staff worked cooperatively with the Department throughout the review process in order to reach an agreement.
Facilities covered by the agreement include: Town Hall, Pomfret Public Library, Pomfret Recreation Park, and Pomfret Community School (polling only).
Other Town facilities are covered by the settlement agreement and will be surveyed and modified for compliance with ADA requirements by the Town.
The text of the settlement agreement specifies the modifications that the Town will be making to its programs, services, and facilities. Among other things, the Town has agreed to:
- Make physical modifications to facilities surveyed by the department so that parking, routes into the buildings, entrances, service areas and counters, restrooms, public telephones, and drinking fountains are accessible to people with disabilities;
- Survey other facilities and programs and making modifications wherever necessary to achieve full compliance with ADA requirements;
- Ensure that buildings and outdoor facilities that will be built or altered by or on behalf of the Town comply with the ADA's architectural requirements;
- Post, publish, and distribute a notice to inform members of the public of the provisions of title II and their applicability to the Town's programs, services and activities;
- Officially recognize the Connecticut telephone relay service as a key means of communicating with individuals who are deaf, are hard-of-hearing, or have speech impairments and training staff in using the relay service for telephone communications;
- Undertake the required planning and modifications to ensure equal, integrated access to emergency management for individuals with disabilities, including emergency preparedness, notification, evacuation, sheltering, response, clean up, and recovery;
- Develop a method for providing information for interested persons with disabilities concerning the existence and location of the Town's accessible services, activities and programs;
- Install signs at any inaccessible entrance to a facility directing individuals with disabilities to an accessible entrance or to information about accessing programs and services at other accessible facilities;
- Adopt a grievance procedure to deal with complaints of disability discrimination relating to Town programs and services; and
- Amend its employment policies, as necessary, to comply with the regulations of the U.S. Employment Opportunity Commission implementing title I of the ADA, codified at 29 C.F.R. Part 1630.
The settlement agreement will remain in effect for 3 years from July 21, 2010, or until all required actions have been completed, whichever is later.
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