Sayre, feds settle allegations of disability discrimination
Issue arose in 2016 complaint under Americans with Disabilities Act
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ/Press Release) – The United States has reached a settlement with Sayre School, a Lexington-based private school, resolving allegations of disability discrimination and taking steps to ensure individuals with disabilities have equal access to the school’s facilities.
The settlement agreement resolves a compliance review, initiated in 2016 by the United States, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), after receiving a complaint about physical access barriers for individuals with mobility disabilities, at Sayre’s Lower School. Sayre is a private, nonsectarian school in Lexington that serves more than 600 students from pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. As a private elementary and secondary school, Sayre is a “public accommodation” that is subject to the requirements of Title III of the ADA.
Following an on-site architectural assessment of Sayre’s campus, the United States concluded that numerous buildings on Sayre’s campus contained physical barriers to access in violation of the ADA. As part of the resolution between the parties, Sayre:
- Has taken broad remedial action to remove architectural barriers in school buildings across its campus, to ensure access for individuals with disabilities;
- Consulted with the United States during construction of its new Lower School to ensure the building was ADA-compliant; and
- Will renovate its playground facilities to ensure that they are readily accessible to, and usable by, children with disabilities.
“Under federal law, public accommodations like Sayre School have an obligation to provide facilities that do not discriminate against students with disabilities,” said Carlton S. Shier, IV, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky. “Though this settlement, Sayre has agreed to address access barriers on its campus and safeguard ongoing compliance. The Department of Justice remains committed to doing its part to ensure that children with disabilities have equal access to their school facilities.”
“Sayre School appreciates the opportunity to work with the Department of Justice to ensure that our campus is inclusive and accessible to all students, faculty, and visitors,” said a statement released by Sayre. “By improving the accessibility of our campus, we have further enhanced our learning environment.”
This matter was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Hydee Hawkins and Carrie Pond, in consultation with the Civil Rights Division’s Disability Rights Section.