The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced a settlement agreement in the case under the Americans with Disabilities Act this afternoon.
“The settlement agreement also requires the ACSO to take remedial steps to bring itself into compliance with the ADA,” said a press release. “Significantly, the Arlington County Sheriff took several steps that improve the ADA compliance of the ACDF even before finalizing the settlement agreement.”
The full press release is below.
Today the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced a $250,000 settlement agreement under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with the Arlington County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) that it failed to provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services to an individual who is deaf.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office’s investigation began when it was made aware of allegations that during a 40-day incarceration at the Arlington County Detention Facility (ACDF), the ACSO, which operates ACDF, violated the ADA by failing to provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services, including sign language interpreter services, to a former detainee who is deaf during complex communications with the ACDF’s staff and its medical contractor. Further, the complainant, who is unable to read and write in English, alleged that the ACDF’s staff failed to furnish him with a telecommunication device that would ensure that he could communicate with individuals outside the detention facility, including his counsel.
“People who are deaf or hard of hearing must be able to communicate clearly with law enforcement officials,” said Tracy Doherty-McCormick, First Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Through this settlement agreement, the Arlington County Sheriff has taken important steps to ensure that the operations of the Arlington County Detention Facility are in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.”
Under the settlement, the ACSO will pay $250,000 to the aggrieved individual. The settlement agreement also requires the ACSO to take remedial steps to bring itself into compliance with the ADA, including the appointment of an ADA Coordinator who is familiar with the ADA’s requirements; providing ADA training to its staff; adopting specific policies and procedures to ensure that auxiliary aids and services are provided promptly to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing; procuring telecommunication devices usable by individuals who are deaf including videophones; providing hearing aid and cochlear implant processor batteries in the detention facility; ensuring that the ACSO responds promptly to disability related needs of its inmates; and adopting other policies consistent with the ADA. Significantly, the Arlington County Sheriff took several steps that improve the ADA compliance of the ACDF even before finalizing the settlement agreement.
This matter was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Gordon, who is the Civil Rights Enforcement Coordinator for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The Department of Justice has a number of publications available to assist law enforcement agencies in complying with the ADA on its web site, including “Communicating with People Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing: ADA Guide for Law Enforcement Officers,” at http://www.ada.gov/lawenfcomm.pdf. For more information on the ADA and to access this publication, visit http://www.ada.gov or call the Justice Department’s toll-free ADA information Line at 800-514-0301 or 800-514-0383 (TDD).
Update at 4:15 p.m. — Arlington County just released the following press release.
The Arlington County Sheriff’s Office has amended its policies and practices to ensure full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in its treatment of inmates with disabilities in a settlement reached with the Department of Justice.
The agreement settles a lawsuit brought by Abreham Zemedagegehu, a deaf Ethiopian immigrant who alleged that he was not provided appropriate accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act during a six-week stay in the County Detention Facility in 2014. The Department of Justice began an investigation in April 2015.
“The Arlington County Sheriff’s Office strives to treat all individuals committed to our detention facility with dignity and respect,” said Sheriff Beth Arthur. “These changes to our policies and practices will enable my staff to provide the means necessary for individuals with disabilities to benefit from all the programs and activities provided in our facility.”
Substantial changes already made
Arthur noted that the Sheriff’s Office began making substantial changes to its practices and policies in August 2015 to ensure compliance with the ADA. Technology in the detention facility has been upgraded to ensure that all individuals can communicate effectively. In the spring of 2016, the Sheriff’s Office completed extensive ADA training for all staff and contractors. Annual ADA training will be conducted to ensure that the Sheriff’s Office remains in compliance with the ADA.
Good Thursday evening, Arlington. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar. 🕗 News recap The following articles were published earlier today…
A look at the most and least expensive single-family homes sold in Arlington last month, November 2023.
Eighteen properties formerly within a special “revitalization district” in Cherrydale will soon officially be eligible for redevelopment with 2- to 6-unit homes. On Monday, the Arlington Planning Commission unanimously adopted…
Confused with federal paperwork? Statutes of Liberty breaks down agencies that are involved with immigration.
About Latinas Leading Tomorrow (LLT): Latinas Leading Tomorrow is a dynamic 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering young Latina women through education, mentorship, and leadership development. We are committed to fostering a community of future leaders who will make a significant impact to the community.
Job Description: We are seeking a passionate and dedicated Part-time Executive Director to lead our organization into its next phase of growth and impact. The ideal candidate will be a visionary leader who can oversee day-to-day operations, drive fundraising efforts, and cultivate relationships with stakeholders. This is a 1099 position; Remote position with ability to attend DMV events; 8-10 hours a week; $35-40/per hour.
Oversee program operations, including educational and community initiatives.
Ensure compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, maintaining trust and accountability.
Develop and execute a strategic vision aligned with our mission and values.
Lead fundraising efforts in partnership with the Board Members.
Cultivate relationships with community partners, schools, educators, and donors.
Demonstrate strong leadership skills, fostering a positive organizational culture.
Communicate effectively with diverse stakeholders and make compelling public presentations.
Promote inclusivity and collaboration throughout the organization.
Children’s Weekday Program (CWP) is a non-profit preschool rooted in a play-based philosophy. We focus on developing a love of learning and exploration, cooperation, empathy, and independence.
Our caring and experienced educators create opportunities for children 16 months to 5 years old to play, learn, and grow in a nurturing environment of child-centered and developmentally appropriate experiences.
Initially established more than 50 years ago in South Arlington, CWP continues to be a lauded program in the Northern Virginia area. We are extremely proud to have been recognized as a Best Preschool in Northern Virginia Magazine for the last 4 years.
Located now in North Arlington at 2666 Military Road, CWP offers a part-time parents day out and preschool program with options to extend care both before and after school. We offer a supportive and inclusive school community for children and parents alike and welcome all families to join our school!
Holiday Art Show featuring artists: Peter Fitzgerald, Claire Plante, Alanna Rivera, and Suzy Scollon. At the Barcroft Community House, 800 South Buchanan St., Arlington, VA. Dec. 8 from, 2 PM to 8 PM and Dec. 9 from 10 AM to