John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that the U.S. Attorney’s Office has reached a settlement agreement with the New Haven Center for the Performing Arts, Inc., which owns and operates College Street Music Hall (“CSMH”) in New Haven, to resolve allegations that CSMH was not operating in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”).
The U.S. Attorney’s Office opened an investigation after receiving a complaint from an individual regarding lack of accessibility at CSMH. The settlement agreement requires that, over the next three years, CSMH will improve the accessibility of its entrances and access routes, increase the number of accessible seating, add accessible features to restrooms, reduce barriers for patrons to access ticket purchases, and ensure that all patrons have full and equal enjoyment of the facility.
Under federal law, entities that own or operate of places of “public accommodation” are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of disability. The ADA authorizes the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate complaints and undertake periodic reviews of compliance of covered entities. The Justice Department is also authorized to commence a civil lawsuit in federal court in any case that involves a pattern or practice of discrimination or that raises issues of general public importance, and to seek injunctive relief, monetary damages, and civil penalties.
“The ADA ensures that individuals are able to access and enjoy all places of public accommodation,” said U.S. Attorney Durham. “We appreciate the willingness of College Street Music Hall to increase the accessibility and usability of the theater for individuals with disabilities.”
Any member of the public who wishes to file a complaint alleging that any place of public accommodation or public entity in Connecticut is not accessible to persons with disabilities may contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office at 203-821-3700.
Additional information about the ADA can be found at www.ada.gov, or by calling the Justice Department’s toll-free information line at (800) 514-0301 and (800) 514-0383 (TTY). More information about the Civil Rights Division and the laws it enforces is available at www.justice.gov/crt.
This matter was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ndidi N. Moses of the District of Connecticut in coordination with the Disability Rights Section of the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division.