SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – The Utah Republican Party announced it reached a settlement agreement in an Americans with Disabilities Act lawsuit.
The federal case involved claims against the Utah Republican Party and the Utah County Republican Party for not complying with the ADA during the 2016 election cycle.
The plaintiffs in the case claimed that the party failed to provide reasonable accommodations to individuals who are deaf and use a wheelchair.
According to a press release issued by Todd Weiler, legal counsel for the Utah Republican Party, the parties reached an agreement where the Utah Republican Party will update its policies and training to ensure that the state and county parties comply with the ADA.
As part of the settlement, the Utah Republican Party has agreed that there will only be standing votes at meetings, caucuses, and conventions where reasonable accommodations have been provided to those with special needs.
The Utah Republican Party recently amended its governing documents to ensure future compliance with the ADA.
Weiler said the Utah Republican Party has amended its bylaws to include Section 12.0 which reads, “Each county party shall comply with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, as set forth in Bylaw Section 12.0, by providing full and equal access to caucus activities. Compliance by the county parties shall include providing reasonable accommodations for any individual who desires to participate in the caucus. The participant should provide 7 days’ advance written notice to the county party advance of the request to provide an accommodation. Such request shall contain information sufficient for the party to determine how to best accommodate the individual in their desire to fully participate in the caucus.”
The parties said they hope this settlement will encourage other political parties to comply with the ADA and otherwise consider the needs of their disabled members so that they may fully participate in the political process.
“The Utah Republican Party is committed to fully complying with the ADA,” said Weiler. “The Party has already undertaken efforts to ensure that volunteers across the state are trained to provide reasonable accommodations for their friends and neighbors who may have special needs.”
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