Statement By Attorney General Eliot Spitzer Regarding The 10th Anniversary Of The Americans With Disabilities Act

During the past decade, we have made great strides in enabling persons with disabilities to be treated equally and have full access in society. The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) is responsible for much of this progress.

As Attorney General, I have sought to vigorously enforce ADA protections. My office has engaged in extensive educational outreach, and entered into several agreements that ensure greater access for thousands of New Yorkers who have disabilities.

The office is now working with private hospitals to achieve compliance with ADA provisions for the use of sign language interpreters.

Last year, my staff conducted a survey of more than 100 polling sites throughout the state to determine accessibility for persons with disabilities. It was alarming that less than 10 percent of sites were in full compliance with federal and state standards. The ability to vote is a fundamental right, and no citizen should be denied this right. We are working cooperatively with numerous local officials where polling places failed to meet the state election law and ADA requirements. Our goal is to bring these polling places into full compliance prior to this year's presidential election.

The ADA has made a tremendous difference in the lives of many New Yorkers. I am committed to continuing the progress of the past decade and ensuring that New Yorkers with disabilities are treated equally under the law.