Louisiana Record

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

ATTORNEY'S OFFICE OF LOUISIANA: Justice Department and Dillard University Agree To Renewal and Extension of Settlement Agreement

By Press release submission | Jul 1, 2019

U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana issued the following announcement on July 24.

The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana announced the renewal and extension of a settlement agreement with Dillard University, a Historically Black College and University in New Orleans, Louisiana, under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

The settlement agreement consummates a 17-year effort to resolve a compliance review of the campus that devolved from a complaint lodged against Dillard regarding an inaccessible building. The campus-wide compliance review revealed that most of the buildings and facilities were not accessible to people with mobility impairments. The original 2002 settlement agreement the parties entered into called for self-surveying by Dillard of all of the inaccessible features of its campus and the formulation and funding of a plan to remediate them. Due to financial difficulties and the near destruction of the campus by Hurricane Katrina, the university was afforded extensions of time to fulfill the terms of the original settlement.

In 2016, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, with assistance from the Disability Rights Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, conducted another campus-wide survey to determine the accessibility of the Dillard campus. After receiving the results of the updated survey, Dillard made a vigorous and sincere commitment to making its campus fully accessible. With the aid of qualified ADA architects, Dillard devised a remediation plan with DOJ approval and identified funding to fulfill the plan within two years. Even prior to signing the settlement agreement, Dillard advertised and awarded the contract for the requisite renovations with work scheduled to begin during the summer of 2019.

Once the remediation plan is completed, Dillard will be one of only three HBCUs in the country with a fully accessible campus.

Original source can be found here.

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