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Betty Ford Center Owner Reaches Settlement with Justice Dept. to Improve Access For Those with Disabilities

            LOS ANGELES – Powered by LawFuel – The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation has entered into a settlement agreement with the United States in which it agrees to remove architectural barriers to access at the Betty Ford Center, a well-known drug and alcohol treatment facility it owns and operates in Rancho Mirage.

The settlement agreement, which was finalized today, resolves allegations that the Betty Ford Center violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits discrimination by places of public accommodation against individuals with disabilities. Hazelden, a Center City, Minnesota-based addiction treatment and advocacy organization, fully cooperated with the government’s investigation.

“People should never be deterred or impeded from seeking treatment for drug or alcohol addiction because of a physical disability,” said United States Attorney Nick Hanna. “Our office will enforce the rights of individuals with disabilities to access healthcare without barriers. We commend Hazelden for taking steps to comply with the ADA to ensure that the Betty Ford Center is accessible to all.”

            Under the settlement agreement, Hazelden must:

·         Remove existing barriers to access throughout the Betty Ford Center, including in-patient rooms, restrooms and common areas;

·         Ensure that any new buildings constructed on the Betty Ford Center campus are accessible;

·          Relocate equipment and furniture where necessary to provide equal access to facilities; and

·         Modify practices, policies and procedures to ensure that people with disabilities have full and equal access to all of the services offered by the Betty Ford Center.

            Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Nickell of the Civil Division’s Civil Rights Section handled this matter in conjunction with the Disability Rights Section of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

For more information on the ADA or this settlement agreement, please call the toll-free ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 or 800-514-0383 (TDD), or access the ADA website at http://www.ada.gov.

            Release No. 19-133

Gilbert Walker

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