United States Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced today that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of the Virgin Islands will continue to play a critical role in the Department of Justice’s enforcement efforts under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). “The ADA was signed into law on July 26, 1990, and remains the nation’s preeminent civil rights law for providing access and equal opportunity for people with disabilities,” Shappert said.
Since the passage of the ADA in 1990, the U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO) has worked to bring numerous Virgin Islands’ institutions into compliance with the ADA, through court- approved consent decrees and voluntary compliance agreements. The USAO sought ADA compliance in order to eliminate barriers to access in places of public accommodation.
The USAO also has enforced ADA regulations that require businesses to alter or amend policies or procedures, and agree to welcome service animals. In addition, the USAO has required the government to make public services and facilities more accessible to people with disabilities. Where businesses and local governments have failed to comply with federal law, the ADA has compelled those who discriminate against people with disabilities to remedy their conduct and compensate victims. Representatives from the USAO also collaborate with disability rights organizations to exchange strategies, knowledge and resources.
“The significance of the ADA is its wide-ranging efforts to eliminate disability discrimination across a wide range of services, programs, and activities that many Americans take for granted, but for too long were largely inaccessible to individuals with disabilities,” Shappert said. “In employment, civic life, and our day-to-day activities, the ADA requires that we take those steps necessary to ensure access for all.”
For more information about the 30th Anniversary of the ADA, visit www.ada.gov.
To file a complaint with the Department, please visit the Civil Rights Division’s portal at https://civilrights.justice.gov/report/.
For more information about the ADA, call the Department’s toll-free ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 or 800-514-0383 (TTY).