"ADA Enforcement Update - December 7, 2001"
As part of his New Freedom Initiative, President Bush committed to full enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act. And he is standing by his promise. A new report shows that the Justice Department is enforcing the ADA aggressively. The following is just a sample of the cases the Justice Department has been involved in since July:
Justice intervened in two more cases seeking to defend the constitutionality of the ADA (in Hawaii and in Texas); the Department has now filed briefs defending the constitutionality of various aspects of the ADA in a number of courts across the country.
Justice filed suit against a major cruise line that had a policy discriminating against people who are blind. According to the suit, the cruise line required blind people to travel with a sighted companion, obtain a note from a doctor prior to traveling, and assume liability for travel risks. Justice settled the case after the cruise line agreed to pay $65,000 in compensatory damages and civil penalties.
Justice signed settlement agreements with six cities that require these cities to remove barriers to all aspects of community life, including courthouses, libraries, polling places, police stations, and parks.
Justice signed a settlement agreement with a hospital, resolving a complaint that alleged that a patient who was deaf was denied a sign language interpreter when she came to the emergency room (she was later diagnosed with meningitis). The hospital agreed to compensate the patient, as well as institute broad new policies to ensure that patients and family members with hearing impairments will receive effective communication in the future.
Again, this is just a sample of the cases the Justice Department has been investigating and resolving over the past several months. If you would like to view the entire report, you can find it on the Justice Department's website: