[tabi] two Department of Justice Announcements re the ADA

  • From: "Allison and Chip Orange" <acorange@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 5 May 2011 21:44:16 -0400

From: White House Disability Group
Sent: Friday, April 29, 2011 11:40 AM
Subject: Two Department of Justice Announcements

Please circulate these announcements that again demonstrate 
this administration's commitment to enforcing and protecting the 
civil rights of people with disabilities.


Agreement also reached with Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department announced today its 
participation in two related settlement agreements involving the 
accessibility of the Law School Admission Council’s (LSAC) 
online application service, which is used by law schools 
nationwide for their application processes.  As a result of these 
agreements, LSAC’s online application service, and the online 
application process of the nation's law schools, will be 
accessible to individuals who are blind.

Under the first agreement, which resolves a lawsuit filed against 
LSAC by the National Federation of the Blind, LSAC will take 
critical steps to ensure that its online application website, 
www.lsac.org, will be fully accessible to individuals who use 
screen readers by the beginning of the fall 2012 application 
cycle.  Application through the LSAC website offers several 
convenient features to applicants—including LSAC’s “Common 
Information Form;” bundling of applications into the required 
LSAC Credential Assembly Service, which eliminates the need to 
obtain multiple transcripts, letters of recommendations and 
evaluations for applicants to more than one school; and online 
payment of the application fee.  The department is a signatory to 
this agreement, which signifies that the steps the LSAC will 
undertake for its website will satisfy, in part, the law 
schools’ obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act 
(ADA) to make their application processes equally accessible to 
individuals who are blind.

The second agreement is between the department and Atlanta’s 
John Marshall Law School.  It requires the law school to modify 
its own website to notify potential applicants of a process they 
may use to apply to the law school until the LSAC electronic 
application process has been made fully accessible.  
Specifically, the notice will state that LSAC currently provides 
telephone assistance free of charge to individuals completing 
applications.  The law school will also post current policies of 
non-discrimination on the basis of disability on its application 
website.  Finally, the law school will cease using the LSAC 
electronic application process for the fall 2012 application 
cycle if the LSAC website is not fully accessible under the terms 
reached in the agreement involving the National Federation of the 
Blind (NFB), LSAC and the department.  The agreement is the 
result of an investigation following a complaint from the NFB 
about the school’s use of the LSAC website.  The department is 
working with other law schools to reach similar agreements.

“Increased use of the Internet or other electronic technologies 
may enhance convenience for law schools and applicants alike, but 
the rights of individuals with disabilities may not be violated 
in the process,” said Thomas E.  Perez, Assistant Attorney 
General for the Civil Rights Division.  “In this case, blind 
students were denied an equal opportunity to apply to law school.  
The ADA requires equal access to educational opportunities, and 
the Civil Rights Division is committed to vigorous enforcement of 
the ADA.”

In passing the ADA and the recent ADA Amendments Act, Congress 
found that individuals with disabilities were uniquely 
disadvantaged in critical areas, including education.  The ADA 
prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by public 
accommodations and covers discrimination by private educational 
facilities, including law schools and other post-graduate 
institutions.  Those interested in seeking information about ADA 
rights and responsibilities may access the department’s ADA 
website at www.ada.gov or call the Justice Department’s 
toll-free ADA Information Line at (800) 514-0301 or (800) 
514-0383 (TDD).  For the full agreements, visit 
www.ada.gov/LSAC.htm and www.ada.gov/john-marshall-lawsch.htm.


WASHINGTON - The Justice Department today announced an agreement 
with the city of Independence, Kan., to improve access to all 
aspects of civic life for people with disabilities.  The 
agreement was reached under Project Civic Access (PCA), the 
department’s wide-ranging initiative to ensure that cities, 
towns and counties throughout the country comply with the 
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

“Individuals with disabilities must have the opportunity to 
participate in local government programs, services and activities 
on an equal basis with their neighbors,” said Thomas E.  Perez, 
Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.  “We 
applaud Independence officials for their commitment to improving 
access for all residents and visitors with disabilities to the 
full range of city programs and facilities, including the zoo, 
library, aquatic center and city hall.”

“I hope Kansans will take note of this settlement,” said 
Barry Grissom, U.S.  Attorney for the District of Kansas.  “It 
is time to recognize the right of Americans with disabilities to 
the care and services they need.”

PCA was initiated to ensure that persons with disabilities have 
an equal opportunity to participate in civic life, a fundamental 
part of American society.  As part of the PCA initiative, Justice 
Department investigators, attorneys and architects survey state 
and local government facilities, services and programs in 
communities across the country to identify the modifications 
needed for compliance with ADA requirements.  The agreements are 
tailored to address the steps each community must take to improve 
access.  This agreement is the 189th under the PCA initiative.  
According to census data, the city population is 9,846, and 23 
percent of Independence residents have a disability.

Under the agreement announced today, the city of Independence 
will take several important steps to improve access for 
individuals with disabilities, such as:

* Making 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;

* Surveying other facilities and programs and making 
modifications wherever necessary to achieve full compliance with 
ADA requirements;
* Ensuring that buildings and outdoor facilities that will be 
built or altered by or on behalf of the city comply with the 
ADA’s architectural requirements;

* Posting, publishing and distributing a notice to inform members 
of the public of the provisions of Title II and their 
applicability to the city’s programs, services and activities;

* Officially recognizing the Kansas 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;

* Undertaking 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 

* Developing a method for providing information for interested 
persons with disabilities concerning the existence and location 
of the city’s accessible services, activities and programs;

* Installing 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;

* Implementing a plan to improve the accessibility of city 
sidewalks and provide for the installation of accessible curb 
ramps throughout the city; and

* Adopting a grievance procedure to deal with complaints of 
disability discrimination relating to city programs and services.

Today’s agreement was reached under Title II of the ADA, which 
prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities by 
state and local governments.  The agreement requires most actions 
to be completed within three years.  For the required 
accessibility modifications to sidewalks, pedestrian crossings, 
transportation stops and curb ramps, the city will work with the 
disability community to prioritize and complete these 
modifications within five years.  The department will actively 
monitor compliance with the agreement until it has confirmed that 
all required actions have been completed.

People interested in finding out more about the ADA, today’s 
agreement with the city of Independence, the Project Civic Access 
initiative, or the ADA Best Practices Tool Kit for State and 
Local Governments can access the ADA website at www.ada.gov 
<http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2010/April/www.ada.gov>  or call 
the toll-free ADA Information Line at (800) 514-0301 or (800) 
514-0383 (TTY).



The White House · 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW · Washington DC 
20500 · 202-456-1111

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