University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name United States and Washington County Agreement DR-UT-0002
Docket / Court docket unknown ( No Court )
State/Territory Utah
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
On December 14, 2004, the United States Department of Justice and Washington County, Utah, reached a settlement to resolve the Department’s ongoing compliance review of the County under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12131–12134, and Section 504 of the ... read more >
On December 14, 2004, the United States Department of Justice and Washington County, Utah, reached a settlement to resolve the Department’s ongoing compliance review of the County under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12131–12134, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. § 794. The Department’s review was designed to determine whether the County’s programs and services were accessible to persons with disabilities and whether the County provided persons with disabilities with proper notice of their rights to accessible services from the County. It was part of Project Civic Access, a program run by the Disability Rights Section of the Civil Rights Division that has brought over 200 municipalities into full compliance with Title II using settlement agreements. (See the related cases for more information.)

In the settlement, the County agreed to wide-ranging reforms to achieve ADA compliance:
Voting. The settlement contained detailed provisions designed to ensure that persons with disabilities could reach polling places. It identified deficiencies in existing polling places and described what steps the owners of the polling places had to take to fix the problems, from creating van-accessible parking to adding more signs identifying accessible parking. And the agreement required the County to find alternatives to polling places that failed to change within eighteen months.

The agreement also required changes inside the polling place. The County agreed to figure out a way for blind voters to vote privately within two years. It also agreed to install at least one accessible voting machine at each precinct each time it updates its voting machines and train poll workers to help people with disabilities at least once per year. Finally, the County agreed to offer voter registration materials in formats like Braille and large print within three months.

Physical Facilities. The County agreed to modify its buildings that failed to meet ADA requirements. The settlement provided a detailed list of required changes to individual facilities. See Attachment H (buildings built after 1992), Attachment I (buildings built before but altered after 1992), and Attachment J (services within buildings). Examples of required modifications include installing grab bars at toilets, increasing the width of access isles in accessible parking spaces, and adjusting the height of computer workstations.

Employment. The County agreed not to discriminate against persons with disabilities in hiring. Specifically, it agreed not to ask applicants about disabilities, make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities upon request, and not use an applicant’s disability as a pretext to deny them employment. The settlement provided that the County would implement these changes within three months.

Law Enforcement. The Sheriff’s Department agreed to change how it interacted with persons with disabilities. It agreed to hire full-time interpreters within three months and equip its jails and prisons with text telephones within nine months. The settlement also required the Sheriff’s Department to distribute notice of its responsibilities to the public and provide additional information to its officers about serving persons with disabilities within three months.

Emergency Management. The County agreed to provide the Department with extensive reports on its emergency management plans within three months. Specific topics included the extent to which the County solicits feedback on its emergency plans from persons with disabilities, addresses the needs of persons with disabilities when crafting evacuation plans, alerts persons with disabilities of threats in ways besides audible sirens, and protects service animals. The County also agreed to survey emergency shelters in its jurisdiction and demand changes from the owners of inaccessible shelters. Moreover, it agreed to find new shelters if existing shelters failed to remove barriers to accessibility within eighteen months.

Websites. The settlement provided that the County would make all of its websites and online content accessible. The County agreed to implement an accessibility policy for online content within three months and test its pages for ease of use at least once per year.

Administrative Reforms. The County appointed an ADA coordinator while the Department’s investigation was ongoing. The settlement provided that the ADA coordinator would investigate individual complaints about discrimination. It also required the County to provide sign language and oral interpreters as well as documents in alternate formats like Braille and large print. Finally, the County agreed to distribute a notice outlining its responsibilities under the ADA and the settlement within three months.

Implementation. The agreement lasted for four years and required the County to make annual reports to the Department. There is no evidence that there were problems implementing the settlement, so the matter is presumably closed.

Timothy Leake - 08/02/2019


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Discrimination Prohibition
Follow recruitment, hiring, or promotion protocols
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Monitor/Master
Monitoring
Reasonable Accommodation
Recordkeeping
Reporting
Required disclosure
Training
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Law-enforcement
Disability
disability, unspecified
Hearing impairment
Mental impairment
Mobility impairment
Visual impairment
Discrimination-area
Accommodation / Leave
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Access to public accommodations - governmental
Access to public accommodations - privately owned
Barrier Removal
Bathing and hygiene
Bathrooms
Buildings
Effective Communication (ADA)
Government Services (specify)
Reasonable Accommodations
Reasonable Modifications
Record-keeping
Screen readers and similar accessibility devices
Sidewalks
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Transportation
TTY/Close Captioning/Videophone/etc.
Voting
Voting access
Website
Medical/Mental Health
Intellectual disability/mental illness dual diagnosis
Intellectual/Developmental Disability
Mental Disability
Mental Illness, Unspecified
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Special Case Type
Out-of-court
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
Defendant(s) Washington County, Utah
Plaintiff Description United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division
Indexed Lawyer Organizations U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Order Duration 2004 - 2008
Filing Year 2004
Case Ongoing No reason to think so
Case Listing DR-OH-0002 : Project Civic Access Settlement Agreement between United States Department of Justice and the City of Toledo, OH (No Court)
Additional Resources
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  Project Civic Access Fact Sheet
https://www.ada.gov/civicfac.htm
Date: August 2019
(Department of Justice)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Settlement Agreement Between the United States of America and Washington County, Utah Under the Americans with Disabilities Act
DR-UT-0002-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/14/2004
Source: U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section
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Plaintiff's Lawyers Acosta, R. Alexander (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
DR-UT-0002-0001
Mendelsohn, Josh (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
DR-UT-0002-0001
Mobley, Mary Lou (Colorado) show/hide docs
DR-UT-0002-0001
Wodatch, John L. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
DR-UT-0002-0001
Worden, Jeanine M (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
DR-UT-0002-0001

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