SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT BETWEEN
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
THE CITY OF NORTH LAS VEGAS, NEVADA
UNDER THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT
SCOPE OF THE INVESTIGATION
The United States Department of Justice (Department) initiated this matter as a compliance review of the City of North Las Vegas, Nevada, 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. Because the City receives financial assistance from the Department of Justice, the review was also conducted under the authority of 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.
The review was conducted by the Disability Rights Section of the Department’s Civil Rights Division and focused on the City’s compliance with the following title II requirements:
- to conduct a self-evaluation of its services, policies, and practices by July 26, 1992, and make modifications necessary to comply with the Department’s title II regulation, 28 C.F.R. § 35.105;
- to notify applicants, participants, beneficiaries, and other interested persons of their rights and the City’s obligations under title II and the Department’s regulation, 28 C.F.R. § 35.106;
- to designate a responsible employee to coordinate its efforts to comply with and carry out the City’s ADA responsibilities, 28 C.F.R. § 35.107(a);
- to establish a grievance procedure for resolving complaints of violations of title II, 28 C.F.R. § 35.107(b);
- to operate each program, service, or activity so that, when viewed in its entirety, it is readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, 28 C.F.R. § 35.150, by:
- delivery of services, programs, or activities in alternate ways, including, for example, redesign of equipment, reassignment of services, assignment of aides, home visits, or other methods of compliance or, if these methods are not effective in making the programs accessible,
- physical changes to buildings (required to have been made by January 26, 1995), in accordance with the Department’s title II regulation, 28 C.F.R. § 35.151, and the ADA Standards for Accessible Design (Standards), 28 C.F.R. pt. 36, App. A, or the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS), 41 C.F.R. § 101-19.6, App. A.
- to ensure that facilities for which construction or alteration was begun after January 26, 1992, are readily accessible to and usable by people with disabilities, in accordance with 1) the Department’s title II regulation and 2) the Standards or UFAS, 28 C.F.R. § 35.151;
- to ensure that communications with applicants, participants, and members of the public with disabilities are as effective as communications with others, including furnishing auxiliary aids and services when necessary, 28 C.F.R. § 35.160;
- to provide direct access via TTY (text telephone) or computer-to-telephone emergency services, including 9-1-1 services, for persons who use TTY’s and computer modems, 28 C.F.R. § 35.162;
- to provide information for interested persons with disabilities concerning the existence and location of the City’s accessible services, activities, and facilities, 28 C.F.R. § 35.163(a); and
- to provide signage at all inaccessible entrances to each of its facilities, directing users to an accessible entrance or to information about accessible facilities, 28 C.F.R. § 35.163(b).
As part of its compliance review, the Department reviewed the following facilities, which because construction or alterations commenced after January 26, 1992 must comply with the ADA’s new construction or alterations requirements:
- Public Works/Brooks Annex
- Silver Mesa Recreation Center and Pool
- Utilities Department
- Goynes Park
- Detention Center
- Civic Center Complex
- Community Development Center
- City Hall
- Sea Strand Park
- Public Safety Department
- Flores Park
The Department’s program access review covered those of the City’s programs, services, and activities that operate in the following facilities:
- Municipal Courthouse
- Public Works
- Community Golf Course
- Joe Kneip Park
- Hartke Park
- Neighborhood Recreation Center
- Monte Vista Park
The Department reviewed the City’s policies and procedures regarding sidewalk maintenance to evaluate whether persons with disabilities have an equal opportunity to utilize this program.
Finally, the Department reviewed the City Police Department’s policies and procedures regarding providing effective communication to persons who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. The Department did not review or determine the merits of any complaints made by individuals with disabilities relating to the City Police Department's provision of effective communications, and this Agreement does not cover or relate to any such claims.
1. The ADA applies to the City because it is a “public entity” as defined by title II. 42 U.S.C. § 12131(1).
2. The Department is authorized under 28 C.F.R. Part 35, Subpart F, to determine the compliance of the City with title II of the ADA and the Department's title II implementing regulation, to issue findings, and, where appropriate, to negotiate and secure voluntary compliance agreements. Furthermore, the Attorney General is authorized, under 42 U.S.C. § 12133, to bring a civil action enforcing title II of the ADA should the Department fail to secure voluntary compliance pursuant to Subpart F.
3. The Department is authorized under 28 C.F.R. Part 42, Subpart G, to determine the City’s compliance with section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, to issue findings, and, where appropriate, to negotiate and secure voluntary compliance agreements. Furthermore, the Attorney General is authorized, under 29 U.S.C. § 794 and 28 C.F.R. §§ 42.530 and 42.108-110, to suspend or terminate financial assistance to the City provided by the Department of Justice should the Department fail to secure voluntary compliance pursuant to Subpart G or to bring a civil suit to enforce the rights of the United States under applicable federal, state, or local law.
4. The parties to this Agreement are the United States of America and the City of North Las Vegas, Nevada.
5. In order to avoid the burdens and expenses of an investigation and possible litigation, the parties enter into this Agreement. By signing this Agreement, the City makes no admission of liability under title II of the ADA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, or any other statute.
6. In consideration of, and consistent with, the terms of this Agreement, the Attorney General agrees to refrain from filing a civil suit in this matter regarding all matters contained within this Agreement, except as provided in the section entitled “Implementation and Enforcement.”
ACTIONS TAKEN BY THE CITY OF NORTH LAS VEGAS
7. Following notification by the Department of the results of its Project Civic Access compliance review of the City's programs and facilities, the City worked cooperatively with the Department, took prompt action to address many issues identified by the Department, and has already taken a large number of steps to further improve the accessibility of its programs and facilities.
8. The City completed Transition Plans on July 1, 1992 and July 15, 1992, and conducted Self Evaluations from November 10, 1993 to September 22, 1995. Subsequent to the Transition Plan, the City has spent approximately $1,440,354on curb ramp improvements and allocated a total of $655,000 for such projects during FY2005-2006.
9. The City appointed its first ADA Coordinator in 1993 and appointed Larry E. Mundy, Safety Officer/Training Manager, as its ADA Coordinator in January, 2004. Since 1993, the ADA Coordinator has monitored implementation of the Transition Plan in conjunction with the City’s annual budget process and worked to improve access to the City programs and facilities for persons with disabilities. Since February, 2004,the City has spent approximately $80,000 to improve accessibility in the City and provide ongoing ADA training.
10. The City's Parks and Recreation Department provides reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities to encourage their participation in the programs it offers.
11. The City's Police Department instituted a Memphis Model Crisis Intervention Team to prepare its officers to better serve the City's mentally ill population and their families.
12. The City has qualified sign language interpreters and assistive listening devices available for effective communication with the public.
13. The Police Department, Detention Services, Municipal Court, and Public Library have a TTY for communicating with the public, and include the TTY telephone number on their letterhead.
14. All documents provided to the public are made available by the City Clerk, upon request, in alternate format, such as compact disc, large print or Braille.
15. The City conspicuously displays the Notice Under the Americans with Disabilities Act in City facilities, describing the non-discrimination obligations of the City under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
16. The City provides a training program for all employees regarding Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
17. The City allows absentee voting for any reason, which can be done by mailing in the ballot or returning it in person to the City Clerk’s Office. Absentee ballots can be requested and returned up until the polls close on Election Day.
18. On all City Council, Planning Commission and Redevelopment Agency agendas, the City provides public notice that auxiliary aids, such as sign language interpreters and assistive listening devices, are available upon request for such meetings.
19. In FY 2004-2005, the City conducted three full days of training on ADA compliance and accessibility.
20. To address immediate accessibility needs of residents with disabilities, the City has installed curb ramps at various locations throughout the City at the request of residents who use wheelchairs.
21. On job announcements, the City states that reasonable accommodations will be made for individuals with disabilities and that the City does not discriminate on the basis of disability in its hiring or employment practices.
22. The City’s 9-1-1 call center, which is located in the Police Department’s Dispatch Center, call-takers stations have been equipped with TTY's and/or TTY- capable computerized call-taking equipment.
ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN BY THE CITY OF NORTH LAS VEGAS
23. Within six months of the effective date of this Agreement, the City will adopt the attached Notice (Attachment A); distribute it to all agency heads; publish the Notice in a local newspaper of general circulation serving the City ; post the Notice on its Internet Home Page; and post copies in conspicuous locations in its public buildings. It will refresh the posted copies, and update the contact information contained on the Notice, as necessary, for the life of this Agreement. Copies will also be provided to any person upon request.
24. Within six months of the effective date of this Agreement, and on yearly anniversaries of this Agreement until it expires, the City will implement and report to the Department its written procedures for providing information for interested persons with disabilities concerning the existence and location of the City’s accessible programs, services, and activities.
25. Within six months of the effective date of this Agreement, the City will adopt the attached ADA Grievance Procedure (Attachment B), distribute it to all agency heads, and post copies of it in conspicuous locations in each of its public buildings. It will refresh the posted copies, and update the contact information contained on it, as necessary, for the life of the Agreement. Copies will also be provided to any person upon request.
GENERAL EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION PROVISIONS
26. Within six months of the effective date of this Agreement, the City will identify sources of qualified sign language and oral interpreters, real-time transcription services, and vendors that can put documents in Braille, and will implement and report to the Department its written procedures, with time frames, for fulfilling requests from the public for sign language or oral interpreters, real-time transcription services, and documents in alternate formats (Braille, large print, cassette tapes, etc.).
27. The City will take steps to ensure that all appropriate employees are trained and practiced in using the Nevada Relay Service to make and receive calls.
LAW ENFORCEMENT AND EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION
28. Within six months of the effective date of this Agreement, the City will adapt for its own use and implement the City of North Las Vegas’ Police Department’s Policy Statement on Effective Communication with People Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing [Attachment C] and distribute to all police officers the Guide for Law Enforcement Officers When in Contact with People Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing [Attachment D].
29. Within six months of the effective date of this Agreement, the City will contract with one or more local qualified oral/sign language interpreter agencies to ensure that the interpreting services will be available on a priority basis, twenty-four hours per day, seven days a week, to its police department or make other appropriate arrangements (such as contracting directly with or hiring qualified interpreters).
30. Within six months of the effective date of this Agreement, the City will ensure that each police station or substation and each jail or detention facility is equipped with a working TTY to enable persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, or who have speech impairments to make outgoing telephone calls. Where inmate telephone calls are time-limited, the City will adopt policies permitting inmates who use TTY’s a longer period of time to make those calls, due to the slower nature of TTY communications compared with voice communications.
31. Within six months of the effective date of this Agreement, the City will amend its employment policies, as necessary, to comply with the regulations of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission implementing title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, codified at 29 C.F.R. Part 1630. At minimum, those policies will provide that the City.
- will not discriminate on the basis of disability in its hiring or employment practices.
- will not ask a job applicant about the existence, nature, or severity of a disability. Applicants may be asked about their ability to perform specific job functions. Medical examinations or inquiries may be made, but only after a conditional offer of employment is made and only if required of all applicants for the position.
- will make reasonable accommodations for the known physical or mental limitations of a qualified applicant or employee with a disability upon request unless the accommodation would cause an undue hardship on the operation of the City’s business. If an applicant or an employee requests a reasonable accommodation and the individual's disability and need for the accommodation are not readily apparent or otherwise known, the City may ask the individual for information necessary to determine if the individual has a disability-related need for the accommodation.
- will maintain any employee’s medical records separate from personnel files and keep them confidential.
- will make an individualized assessment of whether a qualified individual with a disability meets selection criteria for employment decisions. To the extent the City’s selection criteria have the effect of disqualifying an individual because of disability, those criteria will be job-related and consistent with business necessity.
32. Within one year of the effective date of this Agreement, the City will implement and report to the Department its written process for soliciting and receiving input from persons with disabilities regarding the accessibility of its sidewalks, including, for example, requests to add curb cuts at particular locations.
33. Within one year of the effective date of this Agreement, the City will review its available records to identify and report to the Department all streets, roads, and highways that have been constructed or altered since January 26, 1992. Paving, repaving, or resurfacing a street, road, or highway is considered an alteration for the purposes of this Agreement. Filling a pothole is not considered an alteration for the purposes of this Agreement. Within five years of the effective date of this Agreement, the City will provide curb ramps or other sloped areas complying with the Standards or UFAS at all intersections of the streets, roads, and highways identified under this paragraph having curbs or other barriers to entry from a street level pedestrian walkway.
34. Beginning no later than six months after the effective date of this Agreement, the City will provide curb ramps or other sloped areas complying with the Standards or UFAS at any intersection having curbs or other barriers to entry from a street level pedestrian walkway, whenever a new street, road, or highway is constructed or altered.
35. Within one year of the effective date of this Agreement, the City will review existing records to identify all street level pedestrian walkways that have been constructed or altered since January 26, 1992. Paving, repaving, or resurfacing a walkway is considered an alteration for the purposes of this Agreement. Within five years of the effective date of this Agreement, the City will provide curb ramps or other sloped areas complying with the Standards or UFAS at all places where a street level pedestrian walkway identified under this paragraph intersects with a street, road, or highway.
36. Beginning no later than six months of the effective date of this Agreement, the City will provide curb ramps or other sloped areas complying with the Standards or UFAS at all newly constructed or altered pedestrian walkways where they intersect a street, road, or highway.
WEB-BASED SERVICES AND PROGRAMS
37. Within six months of the effective date of this Agreement, and on subsequent anniversaries of the effective date of this Agreement, the City will distribute to all persons employees and contractors who design, develop, maintain, or otherwise have responsibility for content and format of its website(s) or third party websites used by the City (Internet Personnel) the technical assistance document, “Accessibility of State and Local Government Websites to People with Disabilities,” which is Attachment E to this Agreement (it is also available at www.ada.gov/websites2.htm).
38. Within one year of the effective date of this Agreement, and throughout the life of the Agreement, the City will do the following:
A. Establish, implement, and post online a policy that its web pages will be accessible and create a process for implementation;
B. Ensure that all new and modified web pages and content are accessible;
C. Develop and implement a plan for making existing web content more accessible;
D. Provide a way for online visitors to request accessible information or services by posting a telephone number or e-mail address on its home page; and
E. Periodically (at least annually) enlist disability groups to test its pages for ease of use.
PHYSICAL CHANGES TO FACILITIES
39. The elements or features of the City’s facilities that do not comply with the Standards, including those listed in Attachments F, G, and H, prevent some persons with disabilities from fully and equally enjoying the City’s services, programs, or activities and constitute discrimination on the basis of disability within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 12132 and 28 C.F.R. §§ 35.149 and 35.150.
40. The City will comply with the cited provisions of the Standards when taking the actions required by this Agreement.
41. Within six months of the effective date of this Agreement, the City will install signage as necessary to comply with 28 C.F.R. § 35.163(b), after having surveyed all facilities that are the subject of this Agreement for the purpose of identifying those that have multiple entrances not all of which are accessible.
42. Newly Constructed Facilities: In order to ensure that the spaces and elements in City facilities, for which construction was commenced after January 26, 1992, are readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities, the City will take the actions listed in Attachment F.
43. Altered Facilities: In order to ensure that the spaces and elements in City facilities, for which alterations commenced after January 26, 1992, are readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities, the City will take the actions listed in Attachment G.
44. Program Access in City Existing Facilities: In order to ensure that each of the City’s programs, services, and activities operating at a facility that is the subject of this Agreement, when viewed in its entirety, is readily accessible to and usable by persons with mobility impairments, the City will take the actions listed in Attachment H.
45. Except as otherwise specified in this Agreement, at yearly anniversaries of the effective date of this Agreement until it expires, the City will submit written reports to the Department summarizing the actions the City has taken pursuant to this Agreement. Reports will include documentation satisfactory to the Department showing those actions. Such documentation will include, for example, detailed photographs showing measurements, architectural plans, work orders, notices published in the newspaper, copies of adopted policies, and proof of efforts to secure funding/assistance for structural renovations or equipment.
46. Throughout the life of this Agreement, consistent with 28 C.F.R. § 35.133(a), the City will maintain the accessibility of its programs, activities, services, facilities, and equipment, and will take whatever actions are necessary (such as routine testing of accessibility equipment and routine accessibility audits of its programs and facilities) to do so. This provision does not prohibit isolated or temporary interruptions in service or access due to maintenance or repairs. 28 C.F.R. § 35.133(b).
47. Within six months of the effective date of this Agreement, the City will develop or procure a two-hour training program on the requirements of the ADA and appropriate ways of serving persons with disabilities. The City will use the ADA technical assistance materials developed by the Department and will consult with individuals with disabilities, in developing or procuring the ADA training program.
48. Within one year of the effective date of this Agreement, the City will deliver its training program to all City employees whose duties normally involve direct contact with members of the public. At the end of that period, the City will submit a copy of its training curriculum and materials to the Department, along with a list of employees trained and the name, title, and address of the trainer.
IMPLEMENTATION AND ENFORCEMENT
49. If at any time the City desires to modify any portion of this Agreement because of changed conditions making performance impossible or impractical or for any other reason, it will promptly notify the Department in writing, setting forth the facts and circumstances thought to justify modification and the substance of the proposed modification. Until there is written Agreement by the Department to the proposed modification, the proposed modification will not take effect. These actions must receive the prior written approval of the Department, which approval will not be unreasonably withheld or delayed.
50. The Department may review compliance with this Agreement at any time. If the Department believes that the City has failed to comply in a timely manner with any requirement of this Agreement without obtaining sufficient advance written agreement with the Department for a modification of the relevant terms, the Department will so notify the City in writing and it will attempt to resolve the issue or issues in good faith. If the Department is unable to reach a satisfactory resolution of the issue or issues raised within 30 days of the date it provides notice to the City, it may institute a civil action in federal district court to enforce the terms of this Agreement, or it may initiate appropriate steps to enforce title II and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
51. For purposes of the immediately preceding paragraph, it is a violation of this Agreement for the City to fail to comply in a timely manner with any of its requirements without obtaining sufficient advance written agreement with the Department for an extension of the relevant time frame imposed by the Agreement.
52. Failure by the Department to enforce this entire Agreement or any provision thereof with regard to any deadline or any other provision herein will not be construed as a waiver of the Department's right to enforce other deadlines and provisions of this Agreement.
53. This Agreement is a public document. A copy of this document or any information contained in it will be made available to any person by the City or the Department on request.
54. 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 (including its Attachments, which are hereby incorporated by reference), will be enforceable. This Agreement 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 the ADA and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
55. This Agreement will remain in effect for a period of three years, except for paragraphs 33 and 35, which shall remain in effect for a period of five years.
56. The person signing for the City represents that he or she is authorized to bind the City to this Agreement.
57. The effective date of this Agreement is the date of the last signature below.
| For the City of North Las Vegas, Nevada:
||For the United States:
MICHAEL L. MONTANDON
KAREN L. STORMS, CMC
BRADLEY J. SCHLOZMAN,,
Acting Assistant Attorney General
JOHN L. WODATCH, Chief
JEANINE WORDEN, Deputy Chief
MARY LOU MOBLEY, Senior Counsel
NAOMI MILTON, Supervisory Attorney
CHARLES HARVEY, Investigator
MICHELE ANTONIO MALLOZZI, Architect
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Disability Rights Section - NYA
Washington, DC 20530
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