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Wesley Township – Americans with Disabilities Act compliance failures could subject Township to Lawsuit.

Will Co. (ECWd) –

During the last township meeting, it was pointed out that there was no handicap parking or signage as required by Federal Law. Failure to have such parking and proper signage violate the Americans Disabilities Act.

From the US Access Board: Are accessible spaces required in temporary parking lots and in unpaved lots, such as gravel or grass lots?

Yes, the ADA Standards apply to both permanent and temporary facilities, including parking facilities (§201.3). In all parking facilities, including gravel or grass lots, parking spaces and access aisles must be marked and have firm, stable, and slip resistant surfaces as specified for accessible ground and floor surfaces (§302).

From the same publication:

Most loose materials, including gravel, will not meet these requirements unless properly treated to provide sufficient surface integrity and resilience.  Binders, consolidants, compaction, and grid forms may enable some of these materials to perform satisfactorily but require repeated maintenance.

The Wesley Township parking lot is gravel and is not treated to provide sufficient surface integrity and resilience, nor are there any signs designating such parking spaces for handicapped people which point to their not being compliant with ADA requirements

Of additional interest is the Township code as it relates to ADA compliance.

(60 ILCS 1/85-60)

Sec. 85-60. Americans with Disabilities Act coordinator; posting and publication.

(a) Within 90 days after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 96th General Assembly, each township that maintains a website must post on the township’s website the following information:
(1) the name, office address, and telephone number of the Americans with Disabilities Act coordinator, if any, employed by the township; and
(2) the grievance procedures, if any, adopted by the township to resolve complaints alleging a violation of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
(b) If a township does not maintain a website, then the township must, within 90 days after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 96th General Assembly, and at least once every other year thereafter, publish in either a newspaper of general circulation within the township or a newsletter published by the township and mailed to township residents the information required in item (1) of subsection (a) and either the information required in item (2) of subsection (a) or instructions for obtaining such information from the township.

It appears there is no requirement to have an ADA coordinator, but if you do, you must put their information on the website.  It also appears grievance procedures, at a minimum, must be made available since it outlines they are to be posted on the website and if no website available they need to publish instructions to people for obtaining the information related to a grievance.

Reviewing their website at this link, it does not take long to figure out there is no reference to any ADA information. I would place a bet that an FOIA for grievance procedures would result in no documents.

Failure to comply with ADA requirements can open up the township for a very costly Federal Lawsuit from those impacted by their failures.

We suggest they take appropriate steps to comply so that the taxpayers are protected from future litigation.

We also suggest the Supervisor submit her resignation immediately as her actions continue to point to a lack of knowledge and/or ability to perform her duties within the confines of the law.

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