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Litigation Spotlight

DRP Obtains Consent Decree Requiring Significant Modifications of Middle School to Provide Accessibility for Student Who Uses Wheelchair in Federal Court Lawsuit

DRP successfully resolved a federal lawsuit brought on behalf of a current elementary school student, who uses a wheelchair, to compel the School District of Upper Dublin to make its middle school program accessible to the student as required by Title II of the Americans With Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Sandy Run Middle School, the District’s only middle school, currently consists of two buildings, the Annex and the Main Building, built in 1965 and 1967. The middle school contains significant physical barriers to wheelchair accessibility, including stairs, the absence of a single wheelchair-accessible bathroom or locker room, and narrow doorways. Pursuant to the terms of the Consent Decree, the District must close the Annex to all students, install modular classrooms and bathrooms, install a new bus entrance for students, and make significant modifications to physical aspects of the interior and exterior of the Main Building as well as programmatic changes. Failure to make required modifications prior to the opening of school for the 2019-20 school year will result in (1) the imposition of an automatic fine of $1,000 per day on the District; (2) the District paying for a teacher to educate S.F. in his home until the deficiencies are corrected; and (3) the possibility of additional sanctions to be imposed upon the District. The District also plans to build a new middle school facility, which is required to meet the 2010 ADA Standards.

The lawsuit is captioned S.F. v. School District of Upper Dublin, Civ. A. No. 17-4328 (E.D. Pa.). Click here to read the Consent Decree entered by the Court that sets forth the District’s obligations to provide S.F. with access to its middle school program.