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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