San Francisco State University, Established 1899, 1600 Holloway Ave. SF, CA 94132

SFSU Public Affairs Press Release

Published by the Public Affairs Office at San Francisco State University, Diag Center.

#042--November 4, 1999; FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ligeia Polidora
San Francisco State
phone: 415/338-1665

Larry Paradis
Disability Rights Advocates
phone: 510/451-8644

Guy Wallace
Legal Aid Society of San Francisco
phone: 415/864-8848

San Francisco State University and Plaintiffs Successfully Resolve Lawsuit

SAN FRANCISCO, November 4, 1999---San Francisco State University (SFSU) and a class of students and faculty with disabilities jointly announce the successful resolution of an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) lawsuit, which was scheduled to go to trial on November 1.

Under the settlement agreement, SFSU has made a renewed commitment to serving the needs and advancing the interests of students and faculty with disabilities by intensifying campus-wide capital renovations designed to enhance the accessibility of its programs, services and activities. The university also will augment its existing disability resources and services by adding a full-time ADA Coordinator who is an expert in disability access. The ADA coordinator will continuously evaluate and monitor the accessibility of SFSU's campus from the standpoint of persons with disabilities, making recommendations for potential renovations and alterations to campus facilities as needed. The ADA Coordinator will report to SFSU's President, Robert Corrigan.

"I am pleased that the university and the plaintiffs were able to resolve this case amicably," said Corrigan. "This settlement reflects our dedication to continually addressing the needs of persons with disabilities on our cam pus. I look forward to working collaboratively with the disabled community to achieve greater success in integrating and supporting students and faculty with disabilities."

The plaintiffs were represented by three firms: Disability Rights Advocates, a non-profit public interest law firm headquartered in Oakland, California; the Legal Aid Society of San Francisco/Employment Law Center, a non-profit public interest firm specializing in civil rights litigation; and Leonard, Carder, Nathan, Zuckerman, Ross, Chin & Remar LLP of San Francisco, California. One of the plaintiffs' counsel, Larry Paradis of Disability Rights Advocates, commended SFSU for accepting the obligations contained in the settlement agreement.

Paradis stated, "We are very pleased that SFSU has committed to a comprehensive , long-term program to improve access throughout the university for students and faculty with mobility and vision disabilities."

Guy Wallace, co-counsel for plaintiffs, emphasized the importance of this settlement to people with mobility and vision disabilities. He stated that "this settlement represents a major step forward for persons with disabilities. It is vital that persons with mobility impairments and persons with visual impairments have access to basic facilities such as classrooms, laboratories, and restrooms. This settlement goes a long way toward fulfilling the ADA's goal of equal access to higher education."

Elizabeth Campos, the named plaintiff in the lawsuit, said, "Our goal in bringing this lawsuit was to make San Francisco State University truly accessible to persons with disabilities. We are glad that this settlement will give students with disabilities the access that they need."

The settlement will be presented to Judge Maxine Chesney of the U.S. District Court for approval.


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