December 22, 2008

Accessibility in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area

The following announcement was just released on a lawsuit to make Golden Gate National Recreation Area accessible.


GOLDEN GATE NATIONAL RECREATION AREA AND PLAINTIFFS REACH A STAY IN LITIGATION CONCERNING ACCESSIBILITY

In January 2008, Plaintiffs Lori Gray, Peter Mendoza and Ann Sieck filed
suit against Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) in the United
States District Court for the Northern District of California (Gray et
al. v. GGNRA, et al.) under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of
1973, 29 U.S.C. 794(a). In their lawsuit, Plaintiffs alleged that they
were denied their right to full and equal access to, and use and
enjoyment of, the programs, services, activities and facilities of GGNRA
because of physical and other access barriers.

Plaintiffs and GGNRA are pleased to report that on November 12, 2008,
they reached a stay in the litigation regarding the lawsuit. The parties
have successfully negotiated a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that
details a process to identify and correct accessibility deficiencies
that may exist at GGNRA, and to improve information for the public
regarding access opportunities. Additionally, the MOU provides the
structure for negotiating a phased resolution of issues raised by
Plaintiffs.

Plaintiff Lori Gray stated, "I am pleased that we have a plan for moving
forward with respect to equal access and that people with disabilities,
like everyone else, will soon have the opportunity to experience all
other programs and facilities of GGNRA."

Brian O'Neill, Superintendent of GGNRA, has stated, "The Golden Gate
National Recreation Area is committed to ensuring that visitors receive
the highest reasonable level of accessibility. Ensuring physical and
programmatic accessibility allows the park to share this special urban
national park experience with all visitors. We strive to provide equal
access in as many programs, activities, services, and facilities as
possible."

If the parties' shared cooperative approach to resolving the lawsuit is
not successful, they may resume litigation of the lawsuit.

Further information or inquiries on this stay may be addressed to Larry
Paradis
at Disability Rights Advocates, lparadis@dralegal.org or Rich
Weideman
, rich_weideman@nps.gov at GGNRA.

Posted by rollingrains at December 22, 2008 09:19 PM