NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Department of Justice announced its settlement with the city on Tuesday to improve access for the disabled to comply with the federal American With Disabilities Act.
The North Adams Police Department lacks a handicapped entrance, which led to a further review from the Department of Justice to check for the city's compliance of the American With Disabilities Act.
"The city of North Adams is to be commended for its proactive commitment to ensuring that people with disabilities have full access to the city's facilities, programs, services and activities," said Thomas E. Perez, assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division.
The agreement was reached under Project Civic Access, the department's initiative to ensure compliance of the ADA that prompts the DOJ to survey state and local government facilities, services and programs nationwide. This agreement will remain in effect for three years or until the actions are completed and the DOJ will monitor the city's improvements. In addition, the city will submit a report to the DOJ in three months and then again on the anniversaries of the agreement, unless otherwise noted for specific changes.
The agreement focuses on improving handicapped access to public facilities and to improve communication, which includes upgrading the 911 system to better suit people who are hard of hearing. The city must also properly notify the public of the improvement progress.