When the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed 31 years ago, it provided historic civil rights protections for disabled Americans. Grounded in the four core outcomes of full participation, equal opportunity, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency, the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in many contexts of American life: public accommodations, employment, transportation, and community living. However, Americans with disabilities still face barriers in fully participating in many aspects of their lives.
Department of Justice and Dunlap School District Reach Agreement to Provide Fully Accessible Elementary School Playground
The Department of Justice has reached a settlement pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with Dunlap Community Unit School District No. 323, located in Dunlap, Illinois, ensuring that Banner Elementary School’s outdoor playground is accessible to all children, including children with disabilities.
The settlement agreement resolves an ADA complaint filed by parents of a child with a disability at Banner Elementary. The complaint alleged that a child with a disability was routinely unable to access Banner’s existing playground to play with peers and had to play alone, outside of the play area and separate from peers without disabilities. The complaint prompted an investigation by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of Illinois and the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. Title II of the ADA prohibits places of public accommodation, including school districts, from discriminating against individuals with disabilities and requires them to remove architectural barriers to access.