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February 2, 2021Advocacy Matters

Amtrak Enters into Accessibility Agreement and Establishes “Americans with Disabilities Act Claims Fund” 

Disability Matters with Joyce Bender 

Tuesday, February 2, 2021 


#AdvocacyMatters Segment 

Amtrak Enters into Accessibility Agreement and Establishes “Americans with Disabilities Act Claims Fund 

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On December 2, 2020, Amtrak entered into a Settlement Agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice to resolve claims from an Americans with Disabilities Act lawsuit.  The lawsuit was brought by the Department of Justice.  The lawsuit focused on Title II of the ADA and involved alleged violations of accessibility at existing train stations as well as intercity rail systems that Amtrak oversees Amtrak denied the allegations but entered into the Settlement Agreement and stated they are, and have been, committed to complying with the ADA. 

The Settlement Agreement ( set aside a $2.25 million dollar fund to compensate eligible individuals who have been harmed because of accessibility barriers at certain train stations.  The Settlement Agreement includes 68 train stations across the country.  There are 5 Amtrak stations in Pennsylvania that are a part of this agreement.  They include Coatesville, Downingtown, Johnstown, Lewistown, and Parkesburg.  The complete list can be found at and included with this #AdvocacyMatters segment at 

Last week, Amtrak began accepting claims for monetary compensation by eligible individuals who were harmed by accessibility barriers at certain Amtrak stations between July 27, 2013, and December 2, 2020.  How is an eligible individual defined by the agreement? There are 5 criteria.  (1) The individual has a mobility impairment. (2) The individual was harmed because of accessibility at the station(s) listed between July 27, 2013, and December 2, 2020. (3) The Administrator is satisfied that the individual lived at, visited, or desired to visit a place closer to the Issue Station(s) than an accessible, alternative Amtrak station within the application period.  (4) The individual declares under penalty of perjury that the information they have provided in the Claim Form and/or to the Administrator is true and correct.  (5) The individual executes the release of claims. 

Individuals have 120 days to file their claims.  The time period for filing claims ends May 29, 2021.   

There is an online form to submit a claim.  Individuals can also submit the form via email or by mail.   

There are other important aspects to the Settlement Agreement.  Amtrak has to modify policies, practices, and procedures to bring its rail system into compliance with the ADA.  Amtrak will inform agents, vendors, contractors, and service providers that they must comply with Title II of the ADA.  There will be training of Amtrak employees on the ADA.  Any new Amtrak station construction must comply with the ADA and be readily accessible and useable by individuals with disabilities.  Amtrak must make existing stations readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities.   


Amtrak had 20 years to comply with the ADA.  Now 30 years after the ADA, our community and Amtrak are still working to ensure accessible rail travel across the country and in our communities.  

If you need assistance to understand the terms of this Settlement Agreement and want more information, contact your Protection and Advocacy agency, like Disability Rights Pennsylvania.  You can find the complete list of P&As at  In Pennsylvania, you can call Disability Rights Pennsylvania at 800-692-744.  You can also contact Amtrak directly at 888-334-6165. 


Important Links: 




Call Amtrak: 888-334-6165 



List of stations related to the Settlement Agreement 

Alabama: Tuscaloosa (TCL) 

Arizona: Yuma (YUM) 

Colorado: Fort Morgan (FMG), Glenwood Springs (GSC), and Granby (GRA) 

Connecticut: Old Saybrook (OSB), Windsor (WND), and Windsor Locks (WNL) 

Delaware: Newark (NRK) 

Georgia: Gainesville (GNS), Jesup (JSP), and Toccoa (TCA) 

Iowa: Burlington (BRL), Creston (CRN), and Mount Pleasant (MTP) 

Illinois: Centralia (CEN), Effingham (EFG), Gilman (GLM), Homewood (HMW), Mattoon (MAT), Plano (PLO), Princeton (PCT), Rantoul (RTL), and Summit (SMT) 

Indiana: Connersville (COI), Crawfordsville (CRF), Elkhart (EKH), Hammond-Whiting (HMI), and Waterloo (WTI) 

Kansas: Newton (NEW), and Topeka (TOP) 

Kentucky: Maysville (MAY) and South Shore-South Portsmouth (SPM) 

Louisiana: Lake Charles (LCH) 

Maryland: Aberdeen (ABE) and Cumberland (CUM) 

Michigan: Niles (NSL) 

Minnesota: Detroit Lakes (DLK), St. Cloud (SCD), and Staples (SPL) 

Missouri: Kirkwood (KWD), La Plata (LAP), and Poplar Bluff (PBF) 

Mississippi: Picayune (PIC) 

Montana: Cut Bank (CUT), East Glacier Park (GPK), and Malta (MAL) 

North Dakota: Devils Lake (DVL) 

Nebraska: Holdrege (HLD) 

Nevada: Elko (ELK) 

New York: Hudson (HUD), Plattsburgh (PLB), and Port Henry (POH) 

Pennsylvania: Coatesville (COT), Downingtown (DOW), Johnstown (JST), Lewistown (LEW), and Parkesburg (PAR) 

Rhode Island: Westerly (WLY) 

South Carolina: Dillon (DIL) 

Texas: Alpine (ALP), Marshall (MHL), and McGregor (MCG) 

Utah: Helper (HER) 

Virginia: Ashland (ASD), Clifton Forge (CLF), Petersburg (PTB), and Richmond Staples Mill Road (RVR) 

Vermont: Castleton (CNV and Montpelier (MPR) 

Washington: Bingen-White Salmon (BNG), Kelso-Longview (DEL), and Wishram (WIH) 

Wisconsin: Columbus (CBS) and Tomah (TOH) 

West Virginia: Charleston (CHW), Harpers Ferry (HFY), and Hinton (HIN)