According to the Cuba superintendent of schools, improvements have been made to bring the school district in compliance with ADA standards.
Superintendent Johnny Thompson informed the Cuba Board of Education in January that the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) had inspected the school facilities and offered a checklist of items that needed to be done, in order to be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The federal legislation sets certain accessibility standards that must be met, so that those disabled persons—in this case, students—have the same freedom of access and movement as those without a physical or mental handicap.
According to Superintendent Thompson, a parent with a special needs child filed a complaint that some of the buildings did not meet ADA requirements. “We did find some things that needed to be changed, after they were brought to our attention,” Thompson told the Cuba Free Press, “and so we’ve been working on those items and making the necessary changes.”
Thompson said he feels confident that the checklist presented to him by OCR has been completed and the recommended guidelines for ADA standards are now met. Representatives from OCR were to return to the school district for a review of the changes on February 5. Their initial review was done in October.
Thompson told school board members last month that he felt satisfied the requirements were met and that the issue could be put to rest. According to him, none of the renovations could be considered major, but the district took all of them very seriously.
The checklist, as the superintendent described it, was “building specific in nature” and included items such a handrails being too short, restroom hand dryers being poorly positioned on the wall, classroom numbers not having Braille signs in place, and some self-closing room doors being too heavy to push open and requiring a simple pressure adjustment.
“It was a lot of little things, really,” said Thompson, “but we feel we’ve met everything on the OCR list that was given to us.”