The Champaign Public Library (the “Library”) is committed to complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) to ensure that individuals with disabilities do not encounter discrimination, including intentional exclusion, discriminatory effects, architectural discrimination, and attitudinal or communication barriers. This commitment is ongoing, proactive, and intended to reasonably meet the needs of a diversity of individuals. The Library’s policy is to maximize the full inclusion and integration of people with disabilities in all Library programs, services, and employment, so that when viewed in their entirety, they are readily and reasonably accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. The Library, as used in this policy, includes the employees, staff, volunteers, and the Board of Trustees of the Champaign Public Library.
I. Discrimination Prohibited
The Library will not unlawfully discriminate against patrons, employees, or applicants with disabilities. It is the Library’s policy not to unlawfully discriminate against any qualified employee or applicant in regard to any term or condition of employment because of such person’s disability or perceived disability so long as the employee can perform the essential functions of the job.
II. Compliance Coordinator
Implementation of this policy is the responsibility of all Library employees, staff, and Board members. The Library Director is appointed as the Library’s Compliance Coordinator. The Director may delegate the responsibilities of the Compliance Coordinator to a designee or designees in his/her discretion.
The Compliance Coordinator or designee is responsible for:
- Ensuring accessibility of the Library’s programs, services, and employment;
- Providing reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities;
- Making reasonable modifications in Library policies, practices, or procedures to reasonably accommodate individuals with disabilities;
- Documenting requests for reasonable accommodations or for reasonable modifications of Library policies, and the Library’s response to those requests;
- Maintaining the confidentiality of requests to the extent permitted by law;
- Ensuring that no surcharge will be placed on the requestor for reasonable accommodations; and
- Documenting, investigating, and responding to complaints of discrimination.
III. Requests for Reasonable Accommodations
In accordance with Title II of the ADA and Sections 5 and 6 of the Illinois Human Rights Act, upon request, the Library will make reasonable accommodation for the known disabilities of any applicant, employee, or patron to ensure that such individuals have access to the same Library activities, services, or programs as individuals without disabilities, unless the accommodation poses an undue burden, unless a fundamental alteration in Library goods and services would result, or unless doing so would compromise the health and safety of members of the Library community. The Library will take appropriate steps to ensure that Library communications with applicants, employees, and patrons with disabilities are reasonably as effective as communications with others, and will make reasonable accommodations in Library policies, practices, and procedures when necessary to avoid unlawful discrimination.
The Library will not unlawfully exclude individuals with a disability from participation in Library activities due to facility inaccessibility.
Any person seeking a reasonable accommodation should contact the Library’s Compliance Coordinator or designee. The request may be made by use of the ADA Request Form attached as Attachment A to this policy, or by any other means, including but not limited to oral requests, email, or written requests of any kind. The requester should, but is not required, to include a description of the desired accommodation or modification to meet the requester’s needs. If necessary, the Library will provide alternate means for requesting a reasonable accommodation, such as a personal interview or tape or digital recording, to a person with a disability. If the request for accommodation is made in a format other than in writing, the Library shall document the request in writing and confirm its accuracy with the requester.
After an individual requests a reasonable accommodation, the Library will make every appropriate effort to determine and provide a reasonable accommodation. Employees or applicants with disabilities who believe they require a reasonable accommodation to apply for a position or to perform the essential function of their job should contact their supervisor and/or the Compliance Coordinator. The Library will not place a surcharge on a person with a disability to cover the costs of making reasonable modifications or providing the accommodation.
Responses to requests for reasonable accommodation will be finalized as soon as possible. If it is determined that the specific accommodation requested is not necessary to provide equal access to Library activities, services or programs, or if the specific request would pose an undue burden, would fundamentally alter the nature of the goods and services of the Library, or would compromise the health and safety of members of the Library community, the requester will be consulted to determine if an alternative accommodation can be provided. In doing so, primary consideration will be given to the person making the request. If, after consulting with the individual, it is determined that the Library cannot provide the requested accommodation because it would pose an undue burden, would fundamentally alter the nature of the goods and services of the Library, or would compromise the health and safety of members of the Library community, and no alternate accommodation is possible, the requester will receive a written denial, with the reasons for the denial.
All requests will be handled privately to the extent permitted by law between the requester and the Compliance Coordinator or designee, and any other individuals that reasonably need to know about the request.
IV. Service Animals
The Library will provide reasonable equal access to persons with disabilities, including individuals who utilize service animals as defined by the ADA, and as required by the Service Animals Access Act (720 ILCS 5/48-8) and the White Cane Law (775 ILCS 30/1 et. seq.) (“Service Animals”). Service Animals are permitted in any area of the Library where members of the public are permitted to go and may not be segregated or excluded from such areas. Trainers are also permitted to accompany Service Animals in training in the Library. The work or task that the Service Animal has been trained to provide must be related to the person’s disability. Service Animals may wear special collars, harnesses, vests, or capes and some are licensed and certified and have identification papers. However, special identification and certification are not required by applicable law.
The Library may only ask an individual who accesses the Library with a Service Animal the following questions: (1) whether the animal is a Service Animal, and (2) what work or task the Service Animal has been trained to perform. The Library may not require identification for the Service Animal and may not ask about the individual’s disability.
A Service Animal may not be removed from the premises unless the presence of the Service Animal:
(1) fundamentally alters the goods, services, facilities, or accommodations of the Library, or (2) the Service Animal poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others. This shall include, but may not be limited to the following circumstances:
- The Service Animal is unreasonably disturbing the peace and the handler does not take effective action to control the Service Animal. Unreasonably disturbing the peace shall include for illustrative example but not be limited to making unreasonable levels of noise, such as barking, or approaching employees or patrons in unwanted ways, such as in a manner of aggression or attack.
- The Service Animal attacks a person or another Service Animal;
- The Service Animal is not housebroken; or
- The Service Animal is infested with vermin or parasites.
When there is a legitimate reason to remove a Service Animal, Library staff will offer the individual with the disability the opportunity to obtain Library materials or services without the Service Animal’s presence.
The handler of the Service Animal is solely responsible for the Service Animal’s care and supervision. The Library is not required to provide care, food, or a special location for the Service Animal in any circumstance. The Library may contact appropriate authorities in the event of reasonable concern of the welfare of a Service Animal.
V. Complaint Process
- Any person who believes the Library has discriminated against that person because of the person’s disability may file a written compliant with the ADA Compliance Coordinator within sixty (60) days of the alleged occurrence of discrimination. The complaint will provide information about the alleged discrimination, including the date, location, persons involved, and other particular information about the circumstances. The complaint will include the name and contact information of the person filing the claim and will include the complainant’s proposed resolution of the concern. A complaint in the form attached as Attachment B may be utilized to submit a complaint.
- Upon request, the Library will provide alternate means for filing a complaint, such as a personal interview or tape or digital recording, to a person with a disability.
- Within twenty-one (21) days of receipt of a complaint, the Compliance Coordinator or designee will contact and/or meet with the complainant with the purpose of receiving any additional information and seeking a mutually acceptable resolution of the complaint.
- Within twenty-one (21) days after the meeting, the Compliance Coordinator or designee will respond to the complainant, in writing or other appropriate format, stating the Library’s findings, response to the complaint, and proposed resolution of the complaint.
- Within twenty-one (21) days after receipt of the Library’s response, if the Library’s proposed resolution is not acceptable to the complainant, the complainant may submit a written appeal of the matter to the Library Board. The Board President will appoint a committee of no more than two (2) Board members to contact and/or meet with the complainant within twenty-one (21) days with the purpose of seeking a mutually acceptable resolution of the complaint.
- At a regular Board meeting, the committee will report its findings and recommendations to the Board. The Board will take action upon these findings and recommendations, if necessary. The Board will report its action to the complainant in writing or other appropriate format. The Board’s action will conclude the Library’s complaint and appeal procedure.
- The time constraints described in this policy may be reasonably extended by the Library if necessary for the full investigation, response, or resolution of the complaint or appeal.
- In addition to other remedies that may be available under the law, individuals may also file an administrative complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within 180 days of the alleged discrimination or may file a lawsuit for injunctive relief and/or damages.
- Any or all of these methods may be pursued at the same time.
- Individuals are protected from retaliation or coercion when pursuing their rights or responsibilities under the ADA.
VI. Retaliation Absolutely Prohibited
The Library will not coerce, intimidate, retaliate against, threaten, harass, or interfere with any individual exercising their rights under the ADA or other disability laws, including but not limited to filing an informal or formal complaint or charge alleging discrimination on the basis of disability, or because the individual aided or encouraged any other individual in these activities.
VII. Contractual Arrangements & Meeting Room Users
The Library will not enter a contractual arrangement or relationship which would subject qualified applicants, employees, or patrons with disabilities to unlawful discrimination. The Library has no responsibility for any third party or vendor of the Library that is found to have engaged in unlawful discrimination. Groups using meeting rooms and presenters at the Library are required to meet the requirements of the ADA. The Library offers its meeting room facilities as a service to the community but has no responsibility for the groups using the rooms.
VIII. Further Information
In accordance with Section 35.106 of the ADA’s Title II Regulations, all applicants, participants, beneficiaries, and other interested persons are advised that further information may be obtained from the Disability Rights Section, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C. 20530. Additional information may be obtained from the Illinois Department of Human Rights, or by contacting the Disability Rights Bureau at the Office of the Attorney General of Illinois.
IX. Existing Policies and Procedures
To the extent that any existing policies, procedures, or guidelines of the Library are inconsistent with this policy, this policy shall prevail.