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ADA: City Settles Lawsuit Over Accessibility


By Ryan Berlin ADA
man using wheelchair on a city street

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1990 and prohibits discrimination based on disability. After 28 years, some facilities and governments still struggle to fully comply with the law’s guidelines, The most recent example is the city of Colorado Springs, Colo., which will pay $19,000 to a veteran with a disability who sued over the city's lack of ADA compliance, according to a city news release.

Christopher Sweeney, who uses a wheelchair, had complained of inaccessible city sidewalks, curb ramps and bus stops in his Stetson Hills neighborhood, where cars often blocked his path because driveways were built too short, according to The Colorado Springs Independent.

While the city did not admit liability or wrongdoing, the statement says it will "increase enforcement of sidewalk obstructions in the Sweeneys' Stetson Hills neighborhood in recognition that sidewalk obstructions can pose unique and disproportionate burdens on individuals with disabilities and that parking on or over a sidewalk in the City is illegal by City ordinance."

One concern disability advocates brought to KOAA News 5’s attention revolves around non-compliant parking lots in the region. News 5 Investigates discovered that the city and regional building agency do not inspect business parking lots. This problem is independent of the allegations brought forward in the lawsuit against the City.

According to the city news release, leaders have agreed to receive public input on future ADA improvement plans and will host quarterly public forums to get ideas and suggestions from the community on ADA issues.

This Quick Read was submitted by Ryan Berlin, managing editor of Facility Maintenance Decisions.

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