Justice Department Reaches Agreement with Two Community Colleges to Improve Access for Students with Disabilities
(STL.News) The Justice Department announced today the signing of two agreements with community colleges to remove barriers experienced by students with disabilities, including veterans. The agreements, reached with Central Texas College of Killeen (CTC), located in Killeen, Texas, and Tidewater Community College (TCC), located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, are part of the department’s commitment to ensure that educational institutions comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Both colleges have high populations of servicemembers who have returned from active duty.
Under the agreements announced today, CTC and TCC will remove barriers to accessibility in facilities, such as classrooms, dormitories, libraries, technology centers and places of recreation. The agreements require CTC and TCC to make physical modifications so that parking, entrances, restrooms, service counters, drinking fountains and routes to and within buildings are accessible to people with disabilities. The colleges also must ensure that assembly areas, such as auditoriums, have the required wheelchair and companion seating. The agreements further require these colleges to implement a plan for the accessibility of sidewalks and curb cuts within their borders.
“College students, including returning servicemembers, should not face barriers in education due to their disabilities,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Pamela S. Karlan for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Civil Rights Division is committed to enforcing the rights of all students with disabilities, many of whom are veterans who have made great sacrifices while serving our country.”
“The Western District of Texas is proud to be the home of many veterans and the location of numerous colleges and universities,” said U.S. Attorney Ashley Hoff for the Western District of Texas. “Protecting the rights of veterans and students with disabilities is a priority in this district. We remain committed to ensuring that educational facilities are accessible to servicemembers and Texans with disabilities.”
“Through the protections enshrined in the Americans with Disabilities Act, it is essential that we work together to remove barriers to education and uphold the civil rights of every member of our community,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Raj Parekh for the Eastern District of Virginia. “We must ensure that all individuals with disabilities, including veterans who have sacrificed so much for our country, have equal opportunity and equal access to educational services.”