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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. Indianapolis employers harassment among minorities AFRICAN Americans needs to be discussed the metro Indianapolis area is horrible when it comes to harassing African American employees especially in the local healthcare facilities. Racially profiling in the workplace is an major issue. Please make it better because I'm many civil rights leaders would come here and justify that Indiana is a state the WORKS only applies to Caucasian Americans especially in Hamilton county. Indiana targets African Americans in the workplace so when governor pence is trying to convince people to vote for him this would be awesome publicity for the Presidency Elections.

  2. Wishing Mary Willis only God's best, and superhuman strength, as she attempts to right a ship that too often strays far off course. May she never suffer this personal affect, as some do who attempt to change a broken system: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QojajMsd2nE

  3. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  4. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  5. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

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