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Brooklyn school to pay $35,000 for not accommodating service dog

By Karen Florin

Publication: theday.com

Published March 19. 2013 3:00PM   Updated March 19. 2013 3:32PM

A private school in Brooklyn, Conn., has agreed to pay $35,000 to the family of a child who was denied access to the school with his service animal, according to the office of U.S. Attorney David B. Fein.

The Learning Clinic, a private boarding school and day school, has also agreed to train its employees and adopt new policies to ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The Department of Justice initiated an investigation after the boy’s parents alleged the school had denied their child access to the campus with his service dog. Federal prosecutor Ndidi Moses, with assistance from the Disability Rights and Housing sections of the U.S. Department of Justice’s civil right division, found that the school had not provided modifications to permit the child to attend school accompanied by his service dog and to live with his service dog in his room on campus.

Under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, schools are places of public accommodation and must reasonably modify policies, practices, and procedures to allow children with disabilities equal access to education, school services, and school facilities. In addition, the Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in school housing based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, and familial status.

Individuals who believe that they may have been victims of discrimination can file a complaint with the U.S. Attorney’s Office by calling (203) 821-3700. Additional information about the ADA can be found at www.ada.gov, or by calling the Department’s toll-free information line at (800) 514-0301 or (800) 514-0383 (TDD).

Complaints about housing discrimination can also be made by phone to the Housing Discrimination Tip Line at (800) 896-7743 or by email at fairhousing@usdoj.gov.

More information about the Civil Rights Division and the laws it enforces is available at www.justice.gov/crt.

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