2000: 10th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES INITIATIVE TO ENSURE CIVIC ACCESS FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
WEDNESDAY, JULY 19, 2000
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Hailing a new initiative to ensure greater access for Americans with disabilities, Attorney General Janet Reno today announced agreements with ten communities that will improve access to all aspects of civic life including, courthouses, libraries, polling places, police stations, and parks.
The initiative, dubbed "Project Civic Access," is a wide-ranging effort to ensure that cities, towns, and villages comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act or "ADA." One aspect of the initiative includes investigators surveying villages, towns, cities, and counties across the country. Another aspect includes the distribution of two user-friendly guides to cities and towns explaining how to comply with the ADA.
"Access to civic life is a fundamental part of American society," said Attorney General Janet Reno, who addressed an event in Warm Springs, Georgia commemorating the upcoming 10th anniversary of the ADA. "The ADA promises people with disabilities the opportunity to enjoy all the goods and services of municipal government. The Justice Department initiated Project Civic Access to ensure that this promise is fulfilled.“
The ten communities that reached settlements today include Hot Springs, Arkansas; Windham, Connecticut; Mantorville, Minnesota; City Utilities of Springfield, Missouri; Springfield-Greene County Library District; Forsyth, Montana; the City of Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee; Summers County, West Virginia; Mt Vernon, Washington; and Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin.
Negotiations continue with cities and towns in 15 additional states. On-site investigations have concluded in another 25 states, which will be notified in the fall of the changes needed to ensure accessibility. Local government officials across the country have indicated a willingness to make changes to comply with the ADA and have cooperated with the Department's investigations. The project began last fall.