Justice Department Reaches Agreement to Remove Barriers on Brown Mackie College Campuses

2008-07-25 14:52:00

Justice Department Reaches Agreement to Remove Barriers on Brown Mackie College Campuses

    WASHINGTON, July 25 /EMWPresswire/ -- The Department of

Justice announced today a settlement agreement with the Education

Management Corporation (EDMC) under Title III of the Americans with

Disabilities Act (ADA). EDMC is a for-profit business that provides

education and training and is one of the largest providers of private

post-secondary education (primarily career-focused education) in North

America. The agreement covers 19 Brown Mackie campuses, which are operated

by EDMC and located in Ohio, Kentucky, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Georgia,

Florida, Indiana, Arizona and Oklahoma. Under the agreement, EDMC will make

these campuses more accessible to individuals with disabilities by removing

architectural barriers.



    This is the Department's first ADA agreement with a post-secondary

for-profit school, and the Department's first agreement with an education

provider that leases all of its campus facilities from another entity. EDMC

leases, but does not own, each of its Brown Mackie campus buildings.



    Under the settlement agreement, EDMC will, at each Brown Mackie campus:



    -- Create a plan of access to remove architectural barriers in existing

facilities where such removal is readily achievable;



    -- To the extent that EDMC's plan of access will require physical

changes to parts of facilities or spaces that EDMC - by virtue of the lease

- does not have exclusive control over, or does not have responsibility

for, EDMC will provide the landlord with a detailed listing of any

accessibility issues that EDMC believes the landlord is responsible for

rectifying and request that issues be rectified promptly. Following

negotiations between EDMC and its landlords, if any landlord refuses to

rectify any such accessibility issues, EDMC will notify the Department;



    -- Undertake alterations in such a manner that they are readily

accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities to the maximum extent

feasible;



    -- Ensure that assistive listening devices will be available in its

assembly areas;



    -- Establish and implement an emergency evacuation plan for individuals

with disabilities;



    -- Designate an ADA Compliance Officer who will have the authority and

responsibility for ensuring accessibility on the Brown Mackie campuses; and



    -- Reasonably modify policies, practices and procedures when necessary

to afford access to services and facilities to individuals with

disabilities.



    "We applaud EDMC for its effort to improve access at its Brown Mackie

campuses," said Grace Chung Becker, Acting Assistant Attorney General for

the Civil Rights Division. "We hope that other schools will follow suit."



    Title III of the ADA covers places of public accommodation, such as

private universities, hospitals and restaurants. Title III requires that

places of public accommodation remove barriers to access from existing

facilities where it is readily achievable to do so. It also requires that

no individual with a disability is discriminated against on the basis of a

disability in the full and equal enjoyment of the services and facilities

of a place of public accommodation.



    People interested in finding out more about the ADA or this agreement

can call the Justice Department's toll-free ADA information line at

1-800-514-0301 or 1-800-514-0383 (TTY), or access its ADA Web site at

http://www.ada.gov.





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