1. This matter was initiated by a complaint filed under title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. §§12131-12134, within the United States Department of Justice ("Department of Justice") against the City of San Bernardino, California ("City"). The complaint alleges that the San Bernardino City Council ("City Council") does not provide sign language interpreters at its meetings; does not provide its materials in alternate formats such as braille, large type, or audio tape for individuals with visual impairments; nor does the City provide Assistive Listening Devices ("ALDs") for use during City Council meetings for individuals who are hard of hearing.
2. The Department of Justice is authorized under 28 C.F.R. Part 35, Subpart F, to investigate fully the allegations of the complaint in this matter to determine the City's compliance with title II of the ADA and the Department of Justice's implementing regulation, issue findings, and, where appropriate, negotiate and secure voluntary compliance agreements. Furthermore, the Attorney General is authorized under 42 U.S.C. §12133, to bring a civil action to enforce title II of the ADA should the Department of Justice fail to secure voluntary compliance pursuant to subpart F.
3. The parties to this Agreement are the United States of America and the City of San Bernardino, California. In consideration of the terms of this Agreement as set forth below, the Attorney General agrees to refrain from undertaking further investigation or from filing civil suit in this matter. Without admission of any wrongdoing or violation of law, and in the interest of securing compliance by voluntary means, the parties hereby agree as follows:
4. The ADA applies to the City because it is a public entity as defined in the Department of Justice's regulation implementing title II. 28 C.F.R. §35.104.
5. Title II of the ADA provides that no qualified individual with a disability shall, on the basis of disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of a public entity, or be subjected to discrimination by any public entity. 28 C.F.R. §35.130(a).
6. Title II of the ADA states that a public entity shall take appropriate steps to ensure that communications with applicants, participants, and members of the public with disabilities are as effective as communications with others. 28 C.F.R. §35.160(a).
7. Title II also requires a public entity to furnish appropriate auxiliary aids and services where necessary to afford an individual with a disability an equal opportunity to participate in, and enjoy the benefits of, a service, program, or activity conducted by a public entity. 28 C.F.R. §35.160(b)(1).
8. In determining what type of auxiliary aid and service is necessary, title II requires that a public entity shall give primary consideration to the requests of the individual with disabilities. 28 C.F.R. §35.160(2).
9. The purpose of this Agreement is to ensure that communications with applicants, participants, and members of the of the public with disabilities are as effective as communications with others. 28 C.F.R. §35.160(a).
10. Since August of 1994, the City has agreed to provide, and will continue to provide ALDs to individuals, upon request, for use during City Council meetings.
11. Within thirty (30) days of the effective date of this Agreement, the City agrees to install signage in prominent locations throughout the City Council Chambers notifying individuals of the availability of the ALDs which includes the international symbol of access for hearing loss. Such signage shall comply with §4.30.7(4), fig. 43(d) of the Standards for Accessible Design, ("Standards"), 28 C.F.R. Part 36, appendix A.
12. Since August of 1994, the City has agreed to provide, and will continue to provide qualified sign language interpreters during City Council meetings for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing upon forty-eight (48) hours notice by the individual in advance of the City Council meeting.
13. Since August of 1994, the City has agreed to provide, and will continue to provide, within forty-eight (48) hours of a request, any and all written materials provided by the City Council in Braille.
14. Since August of 1994, the City has agreed to provide, and will continue to provide, within forty-eight (48) hours of a request, any and all written materials provided by the City Council in large-type print and/or on audio cassette.
15. Within thirty (30) days of the effective date of this Agreement, the City agrees to train all appropriate City employees regarding the requirements of the ADA, the policy of the City regarding effective communication, the different means available to achieve effective communication, and the procedure for accepting requests for auxiliary aids or services.
16. Since August of 1994, the City has agreed to provide, and will continue to provide the following notice, or its equivalent, on all City Council meeting agendas:
The City of San Bernardino recognizes its obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 to provide equal access to individuals with disabilities. Please contact the Director of Facilities Management at (384-5244) at least two (2) working days prior to the meeting with requests for reasonable accommodation, including requests for a sign language interpreter.
17. This Agreement is a public document. A copy of this document or any information contained in it may be made available to any person by any party to the Agreement. The City will provide a copy of this Agreement to any person upon request.
18. The Department of Justice may review compliance with this Agreement at any time. If it determines that this Agreement or any requirement thereof has been violated, it may institute civil action seeking specific performance of the provisions of this Agreement in an appropriate Federal court.
19. Failure by the Department of Justice to enforce this entire Agreement or any provision thereof with respect to any deadline or any other provision herein will not be construed as a waiver of the Department of Justice's right to enforce other deadlines and provisions of this Agreement.
20. The effective date of this Agreement is the date of the last signature below.
21. 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, will be enforceable. This Agreement is limited to the facts set forth in the first paragraph, and it does not purport to remedy any other potential violations of the ADA or any other Federal law. This Agreement does not affect the City's continuing responsibility to comply with all aspects of title II of the ADA.
22. The signer of this document for the City represents that he or she is authorized to bind the City to this Agreement.
For the United States:
Bill Lann Lee
Acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights
Renee Wohlenhaus, Acting Deputy Chief
Disability Rights Section
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
P.O. Box 66118
Washington, D.C. 20035-6118
For the City of San Bernardino:
July 24, 1998