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Speedway agreement pledges ADA compliance

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Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced Thursday it will pursue full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act in what an attorney involved in the matter said could be the largest settlement agreement under the 1990 law.

IMS has signed a settlement agreement in which it will be fully ADA compliant within 30 months, Joe Hogsett, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, said at a news conference. “This has been no small feat,” he said, noting the nature and size of the more than century-old venue.

Attorney Greg Fehribach of Doninger Tuohy & Bailey LLP represented Dan Ward, a disabled patron who filed a complaint against the Speedway in 1999 after being denied access to the pit area during a practice session, even though he held a pit pass. Ward was prevented from entering the pits because he was in a wheelchair.

“We appreciate everyone’s hard work in accomplishing this agreement,” Fehribach said, praising the efforts of Hogsett’s office and the Speedway to reach a resolution. Fehribach said he was aware of no other ADA compliance settlement agreement for such a large facility. Indianapolis Motor Speedway has the largest seating capacity of any sporting venue in the world.

Hogsett said there were more than 360 features that had been identified where corrective action was needed to assure accessibility. “Most of those identified issues have already been addressed,” he said.

Items on the list include projects to redesign or refurbish IMS corporate headquarters, three major parking areas, vista and grandstand areas, concession stands, restrooms and other facilities.

By mid-2015, Hogsett said, the accessibility project checklist included in the agreement will be completed. Debra Richards has been the lead U.S. attorney working on the agreement, and IMS officials will provide her quarterly updates on progress.

“We believe the settlement agreement is something that’s going to set a standard for the nation,” Richards said.

IMS Director of Engineering Kevin Forbes said the agreement takes into consideration the size, historic landmark status and unique nature of the Speedway, whose grandstands and other facilities were constructed long before accessibility was a consideration.

Forbes said the experience was bittersweet but renewed the Speedway’s commitment to accessibility. “This was a great opportunity for us to shine,” he said. He did not provide estimates about the cost of improvements.

“Today’s announcement serves as a reminder that the march toward equality continues, and the office remains dedicated to defending the civil rights of all Indiana residents,” Hogsett said in a statement. “For more than a century, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been a treasured symbol for all Hoosiers, and this agreement ensures that it will be now accessible to all Hoosiers.”

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  1. The is an unsigned editorial masquerading as a news story. Almost everyone quoted was biased in favor of letting all illegal immigrants remain in the U.S. (Ignoring that Obama deported 3.5 million in 8 years). For some reason Obama enforcing part of the immigration laws was O.K. but Trump enforcing additional parts is terrible. I have listed to press conferences and explanations of the Homeland Security memos and I gather from them that less than 1 million will be targeted for deportation, the "dreamers" will be left alone and illegals arriving in the last two years -- especially those arriving very recently -- will be subject to deportation but after the criminals. This will not substantially affect the GDP negatively, especially as it will take place over a number of years. I personally think this is a rational approach to the illegal immigration problem. It may cause Congress to finally pass new immigration laws rationalizing the whole immigration situation.

  2. Mr. Straw, I hope you prevail in the fight. Please show us fellow American's that there is a way to fight the corrupted justice system and make them an example that you and others will not be treated unfairly. I hope you the best and good luck....

  3. @ President Snow - Nah, why try to fix something that ain't broken??? You do make an excellent point. I am sure some Mickey or Minnie Mouse will take Ruckers seat, I wonder how his retirement planning is coming along???

  4. Can someone please explain why Judge Barnes, Judge Mathias and Chief Judge Vaidik thought it was OK to re weigh the evidence blatantly knowing that by doing so was against the rules and went ahead and voted in favor of the father? I would love to ask them WHY??? I would also like to ask the three Supreme Justices why they thought it was OK too.

  5. How nice, on the day of my car accident on the way to work at the Indiana Supreme Court. Unlike the others, I did not steal any money or do ANYTHING unethical whatsoever. I am suing the Indiana Supreme Court and appealed the failure of the district court in SDIN to protect me. I am suing the federal judge because she failed to protect me and her abandonment of jurisdiction leaves her open to lawsuits because she stripped herself of immunity. I am a candidate for Indiana Supreme Court justice, and they imposed just enough sanction so that I am made ineligible. I am asking the 7th Circuit to remove all of them and appoint me as the new Chief Justice of Indiana. That's what they get for dishonoring my sacrifice and and violating the ADA in about 50 different ways.

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