The Justice Department on Wednesday announced a deal with the city of Killeen to bring 21 of its public facilities into line with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Killeen must give people with disabilities, including veterans, equal access to its programs, services, facilities and activities, according to a press release. Killeen is home to a large population of disabled veterans, active military personnel, retirees and their families.
“The city of Killeen will comply with this agreement and make the required improvements,” said Killeen spokeswoman Hilary Shine on Wednesday evening. “The staff are currently working on an action plan and will provide more information as it becomes available. These improvements will make many of our facilities and programs more accessible, and we look forward to providing better service to our residents. “
The agreement is part of the department’s commitment to ensure civil facilities comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a press release said Wednesday.
Under the agreement, the City of Killeen will remove barriers to entry in buildings such as town hall, police stations, libraries, technology centers, community centers and recreational areas.
The agreement named 21 city-owned facilities, including Lions Club Park, Family Recreation Center Athletic Complex, and Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport.
“The City of Killeen is committed to removing barriers to civic participation for people with disabilities, including the many veterans who call our district home,” said US Attorney Ashley Hoff for the Western District of Texas. “Our office remains dedicated to supporting efforts to improve access and inclusion for people with disabilities.”
The agreement obliges the city to change its facilities so that parking spaces, paths into the buildings, entrances, toilets, signage, service counters and drinking fountains are accessible for people with disabilities and lecture halls and arenas have the necessary wheelchair and accompanying seats in the press release.
The agreement also obliges the city to provide aids and services to ensure effective communication for people with hearing impairments, to establish accessible emergency shelters and services, to ensure that their websites are accessible for people with disabilities, and a plan for the accessibility of sidewalks and Implement curb cuts within the city.
“The Americans with Disabilities Act requires people with disabilities to have equal access to citizen programs, services and facilities,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Civil Rights Department works to ensure that cities and other public institutions remove physical and communication barriers that prevent people with disabilities from fully participating in community life.
“We commend the city of Killeen for their commitment to working with the Civil Rights Division to ensure equal access for people with disabilities, including veterans.”