DENVER – United States Attorney Jason R. Dunn announced that yesterday, Sunday, July 26, 2020, marked the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (the ADA), a critical civil rights law that aims to eliminate discrimination against people with disabilities.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado is proud to play a critical role in the Justice Department’s enforcement efforts under the ADA, which was signed into law on July 26, 1990, and is the nation’s preeminent civil rights law for providing access and equal opportunity for people with disabilities.
“By making sure that the talents and perspectives of individuals with disabilities are included in daily life, we are all made better,” said U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn. “I’m proud of the contributions that our office has made in enforcing the ADA so that the promise of this law — and all our citizens — can be fully realized.”
In recent years the U.S. Attorney’s Office has investigated and resolved a number of ADA cases, including:
- CITY OF TRINIDAD: In 2018, the Office entered into a settlement agreement with the City of Trinidad to improve accessibility to government programs and services. As part of Project Civic Access, an initiative by the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, the City of Trinidad agreed to fix a wide range of government buildings to comply with the ADA’s physical accessibility requirements, to modify its programs and services to make them accessible for individuals with disabilities, and to provide auxiliary aids and services where necessary.
- LARIMER COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE: In 2017, the Office entered into a settlement agreement with Larimer County Sheriff’s Office to provide effective communication for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. The agreement required the Sheriff’s Office to revise policies and procedures surrounding the provision of auxiliary aids and services, train its deputies, and to track its interactions with individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.
- DENVER SHERIFF DEPARTMENT: In 2018, the Office, along with the Disability Rights Section of the Civil Rights Division, entered into a settlement agreement to compensate a Sheriff’s deputy with Type 1 diabetes who alleged that the Sheriff’s Department failed to provide reasonable accommodations for his disability, and retaliated against him when he complained.
- COLORADO RUSH SOCCER CLUB: Earlier this year, the Office entered into a settlement agreement with Colorado Rush Soccer Club to require the youth soccer organization to provide auxiliary aids and services for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. The club also paid nearly $6,000 to the family of a player who is deaf and alleged that Colorado Rush violated the ADA when it did not provide these services to the player.
- FRANCIS HEIGHTS SENIOR LIVING COMMUNITY: In 2019, the United States reached a settlement with Francis Heights Senior Housing, an apartment complex in Denver, to resolve allegations that the complex was inaccessible to persons with physical disabilities. The settlement required the complex owner, Mercy Housing Management Group, to make changes to physical features in common areas, including parking lots, bathrooms, and passageways.
- BBVA: In 2019, the Office executed a Letter of Resolution for BBVA, a national retail bank, to make its websites accessible to individuals with disabilities.
- ROCKY MOUNTAIN VIPASSANA ASSOCIATION: In 2018, the Office executed a Letter of Resolution where the Association agreed to provide individualized consideration for individuals with disabilities who apply to its meditation retreat.
- PIKE’S PEAK PREP: In 2018, the Office negotiated compensation for a family that alleged that the K-12 school had not provided reasonable modifications for their first-grade student with diabetes to eat food when necessary, and to receive diabetes medication.
The promise of the ADA is its wide-ranging efforts to eliminate disability discrimination across the range of services, programs, and activities that most Americans take for granted, but were largely inaccessible to individuals with disabilities prior to the law’s enactment. Whether in employment, areas of civic life, or in the day-to-day activities and access to goods and services that we all enjoy – the ADA ensures that individuals with disabilities enjoy the same opportunities as all Americans to participate in everything this nation has to offer.
Over the past 30 years, the United States has undertaken the challenge of changing perceptions about disability, tearing down barriers to equality, and altering the systems that have historically excluded people with disabilities. Today, the Justice Department commemorates the many ways that the ADA has transformed society—by replacing exclusion with access, segregation with integration, and limitations with self-determination.
For more information about the 30th Anniversary of the ADA, please visit www.ada.gov. To file a complaint with the Department, please visit the Civil Rights Division’s portal at https://civilrights.justice.gov/report/. For more information about the ADA, call the Department’s toll-free ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 or 800-514-0383 (TTY).
The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.