Friday, January 30, 2015

Justice Department orders Texas County to improve accessibility to "civic life"

The Justice Department today (Jan. 30) announced a settlement agreement with Nueces County of Texas to improve access to all aspects of civic life for people with disabilities.

he agreement was reached under Project Civic Access, the Justice Department’s wide-ranging initiative to ensure that cities, towns and counties throughout the country comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Under the agreement, the County will take steps to improve access for people with disabilities, such as: physically modifying facilities surveyed by the Department so that parking, routes into the buildings, entrances, service areas and counters, restrooms, and drinking fountains are accessible to people with disabilities; posting, publishing and distributing notices to inform members of the public of the provisions of the ADA and their applicability to the City’s programs, services and activities. 

Notably, under the terms of the agreement, the County will ensure that its websites and all online services, including those websites or online services provided by third parties upon which the County relies to provide services or content,comply with, at minimum, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.0.  The County will also officially recognize the Texas telephone relay service as a key means of communicating with individuals who are deaf, are hard-of-hearing, or have speech impairments and train staff in using the relay service for telephone communications; and, develop a method for providing information for interested persons with disabilities concerning the existence and location of the County’s accessible services, activities and programs.

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