|Picture from the DC gov't webspace showing a shelter in Washington DC that was being toured before opening in 2003.|
The case relates to access to shelters and homeless-services by disabled Americans. While the case applies solely to Washington, D.C., it is certain that advocates for disabled people in communities throughout America will take notice and seek similar access provisions in their area that DC citizens will soon start receiving. Possibly, elements of the settlement will impact shelters and homeless-service providers in the Sacramento area within a few years.
Grablogger quotes the press releases from the Department of Justice and the D.C. Attorney General, summarizing the settlement as follows:
"The terms of the settlement require the District to increase the accessibility of its shelter program by:
- Developing a comprehensive plan to ensure that persons with disabilities have equal access to the District's homeless shelter facilities;
- Implementing specific policies, practices and training to ensure that individuals with disabilities have equivalent access to all services and activities of the shelter program;
- Improving notice and procedures to ensure that shelter applicants and residents are aware of their rights under the ADA;
- Enhancing effective communication with shelter applicants and residents who have disabilities related to speech, vision or hearing;
- and Enhancing oversight of private contractors and subcontractors that provide homeless shelter services in the District"