Seymour Theater to Make Changes to Comply with Americans with Disabilities Act
(STL.News) – John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that the U.S. Attorney’s Office has reached a settlement agreement 165 Main Street, Inc., doing business as the Strand Theater in Seymour, to resolve allegations that the theater facility is not in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”).
The settlement agreement resolves an ADA complaint filed by an individual with disabilities alleging that the Strand Theater’s facility is not fully accessible for individuals with physical disabilities. The theater is in the process of making the changes required by the settlement agreement, which include remediating the designated accessible entrance, adding accessible signage, remediating the accessible toilet room, ensuring accessible wheelchair seating, and acquiring assistive listening devices for use by theater patrons.
Under federal law, private entities that own or operate places of “public accommodation,” including theaters, are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of disability. The ADA authorizes the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate complaints and undertake periodic reviews of compliance of covered entities. The Justice Department is also authorized to commence a civil lawsuit in federal court in any case that involves a pattern or practice of discrimination or that raises issues of general public importance, and to seek injunctive relief, monetary damages, and civil penalties.
U.S. Attorney Durham noted the cooperation of the owners of the Strand Theater for their cooperation with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and their commitment to addressing the issues raised by the ADA investigation without litigation.
This matter was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica H. Soufer of the District of Connecticut in coordination with the Disability Rights Section of the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division.
Any member of the public who wishes to file a complaint alleging that any place of public accommodation or public entity in Connecticut is not accessible to persons with disabilities may contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office at 203-821-3700. Additional information about the ADA can be found at www.ada.gov, or by calling the Justice Department’s toll-free information line at (800) 514-0301 and (800) 514-0383 (TTY).
Earlier this week, the Justice Department announced the launch of the Civil Rights Reporting Portal. This new online tool will make it easier for the public to report a civil rights violation. The new Civil Rights Reporting Portal – located at www.civilrights.justice.gov – will consolidate over 30 unique reporting pathways. The portal will dramatically ease the burden on victims of civil rights violations to identify the proper reporting channel. The form is fully accessible to people with disabilities. It is also available in both English and Spanish, with more languages to be added over the next year.
Individuals who believe that they may have been victims of civil rights violations should contact the department by visiting www.civilrights.justice.gov. Those who believe they are a victim of criminal violation of their civil rights, such as misconduct by law enforcement officers, a hate crime, or human trafficking, should contact their local FBI office.