The Justice Department today announced that it reached a settlement agreement with the Iowa City Community School District (School District), Iowa, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  The agreement resolves a complaint filed by parents of children with disabilities alleging that playgrounds in the school district are not accessible to children who use wheelchairs or other mobility devices.  Based on the complaint, the Justice Department surveyed playgrounds at twelve school district elementary schools and identified elements of those playgrounds that did not meet the applicable ADA Standards for Accessible Design. 

Under the agreement, the school district will ensure that its playgrounds comply with Title II of the ADA and the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design.  The school district will remedy violations related to play components; play area amenities, such as benches and picnic tables; accessible routes to play areas; and routes connecting play components.  

“Nearly thirty years after passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, no child with a disability should be prevented from accessing a playground because it has been constructed in violation of the ADA,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division.  “This settlement agreement will ensure that children with disabilities can access their school’s playground and play alongside their classmates.  We commend the Iowa City Community School District for its ongoing cooperation with this matter, as well as the significant steps it has already taken to ensure that its playgrounds are accessible.”

2020 marks the ADA’s 30th anniversary.  The Justice Department continues to advance the nation’s goal of equal opportunity, integration, full participation, inclusion, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for people with disabilities.  Through its enforcement and technical assistance tools, the Justice Department strives to eliminate unlawful discrimination against individuals with disabilities. 

To read the settlement agreement, please click  For more information on the Civil Rights Division, please visit  For more information about the ADA, please call the Justice Department’s toll-free ADA information line at 800-514-0301 (TDD 800-514-0383) or visit


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