Framingham, Mass., seems to have (almost) decided that now, 14 and a half years after the ADA's enactment, is finally the time to comply with the law. See this article
A new push is under way to take up a comprehensive review of the town's buildings and determine how to get them in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
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Polselli said he hopes the review, which will examine 50 town buildings, services and intersections across town, gets under way shortly after Town Meeting, if the funding is secured. July, he pointed out, will mark the 15th anniversary of the sweeping federal legislation.
The report, called a self-evaluation and transition plan, will identify problems and outline ways to fix them. Without it, Polselli warned, Town Meeting could be hit with a lawsuit.
"They need to realize this. We're all in this together so to speak," he said.
Framingham could also wind up getting targeted by the Department of Justice, which does spot checks of cities and towns, Polselli said. In fact, the department has reached settlements with at least two Massachusetts communities, Brookline and Springfield, to fix a host of service and access problems, according to its Web site. The agreements were reached following complaints filed against them.
It was not clear how extensive compliance problems are in Framingham. Building Commission Joseph Mikielian said most town buildings do not comply with the federal law except schools built within the last 10 years.