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Gainesville Florida Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Schools and Disabilities

A recent report showed some startling results about accessibility for the disabled in our nation’s schools.

The Americans with Disabilities Act, passed almost 30 years ago, prohibits government agencies and private businesses from discriminating against people with disabilities. This discrimination includes access to facilities by disabled individuals. In other words, public and private buildings need to be built in such a way that potential employees and visitors have the same access to the facility as anyone else.

The report focused primarily on the northeast part of the country and was part of an investigation by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. It revealed that nearly 83 percent of New York City elementary schools were not fully accessible.

After reviewing the report, three lawmakers – two in New York and one in Virginia – have asked the Government Accountability Office to review how accessible the nation’s schools are. They and advocates for the disabled are wondering if this is an isolated example or a sign of a national problem. They believe local school districts are undermining the law by limiting the number of schools that provided full access.

The lawmakers have asked GAO to develop and issue a report that reviews K-12 schools across the country to determine the level of accessibility. They are also asking the GAO to have school districts explain how they will remediate the problem if one exists in their district.



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