Wednesday, January 7, 2009

ADA Case Settlement May Impact Sac'to Homeless-Service Providers

Picture from the DC gov't webspace showing a shelter in Washington DC that was being toured before opening in 2003.
Grablogger of E-HAG blog [HAG stands for "Housing Advocacy Group."] writes, in "ADA Case vs Shelter Providers Settled in DC," about the national implications of the Dec. 10, 2008, settlement of an ADA [Americans with Disablities Act] case in the District of Columbia.

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"
More information about the settlement, with links to the full settlement text and Department of Justice findings, can be found in the E-HAG blogpost.

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