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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. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  2. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  3. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

  4. Well, I agree with you that the people need to wake up and see what our judges and politicians have done to our rights and freedoms. This DNA loophole in the statute of limitations is clearly unconstitutional. Why should dna evidence be treated different than video tape evidence for example. So if you commit a crime and they catch you on tape or if you confess or leave prints behind: they only have five years to bring their case. However, if dna identifies someone they can still bring a case even fifty-years later. where is the common sense and reason. Members of congress are corrupt fools. They should all be kicked out of office and replaced by people who respect the constitution.

  5. If the AG could pick and choose which state statutes he defended from Constitutional challenge, wouldn't that make him more powerful than the Guv and General Assembly? In other words, the AG should have no choice in defending laws. He should defend all of them. If its a bad law, blame the General Assembly who presumably passed it with a majority (not the government lawyer). Also, why has there been no write up on the actual legislators who passed the law defining marriage? For all the fuss Democrats have made, it would be interesting to know if some Democrats voted in favor of it (or if some Republican's voted against it). Have a nice day.

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