United States Reaches Settlement Agreement with Bucks County Summer Camp to Resolve Allegations of Disability Discrimination | USAO-EDPA

PHILADELPHIA – Acting United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced today that Briarwood Recreation, Inc., d/b/a Briarwood Day Camp (“Briarwood”), located in Furlong, PA, resolved allegations that it violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by denying a child the opportunity to participate in summer day camp programs because of his Type 1 diabetes (also known as insulin dependent diabetes).

The settlement resolves a complaint filed by parents of a young child alleging that, after the boy was diagnosed with Type I diabetes in 2017, Briarwood refused to permit him to continue to participate in the 2017 summer program, and also that Briarwood refused to consider and provide reasonable modifications that would allow the child to attend the 2018 summer day camp program. The complaint was filed under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Title III of the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by any person or entity, including any private camp or childcare program, that operates a place of public accommodation. Under the ADA, such entities must make reasonable modifications to their policies, practices or procedures when necessary to provide equal access to a child with a disability, unless a modification would fundamentally alter the nature of the goods and services. When a parent and a child’s physician determine that it is appropriate for a trained layperson to assist a child with diabetes care, a camp or childcare program must provide this as a reasonable modification under the ADA, unless doing so would fundamentally alter the program.

Briarwood submits that it remains committed to providing all children with diabetes an equal opportunity to attend the camp and to participate in all of its programs, services and activities. Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Briarwood will take certain remedial measures including:

  • train its staff on the ADA and on diabetes management and develop a sample diabetes medical management plan;
  • evaluate the application of each child with diabetes applying to attend the camp, on a case-by-case basis, and make reasonable modifications to permit children with diabetes to attend;
  • designate an ADA compliance officer who will monitor compliance with the agreement and review requests for reasonable modifications, among other duties;
  • pay $5,000 in compensation to the complainant; and,
  • report to the United States on its compliance annually for three years.

“Summer camps, like other child care programs, play a critical role in parents’ ability to go to work or take care of other responsibilities of life. Parents must feel assured that their children will be welcomed, and not be unlawfully denied access to a summer camp on the basis of a disability,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Williams. “We appreciate Briarwood working cooperatively with the United States Attorney’s Office to better understand its obligations under the ADA, and we will continue to work to ensure that summer camp and child care programs are in compliance with the ADA.”

The settled civil claims are allegations only. There has been no determination of civil liability.

Assistant United States Attorney Stacey L. B. Smith handled the case in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, working jointly with the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.

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