Eye on ADA: Architect, Senior Living Communities Face Violations

U.S. Justice Department sues firm, owners of 15 facilities over accessibility failures

December 18, 2020

Thirty years after the enactment of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), institutional and commercial facilities continue to feature barriers to accessibility for all visitors. And despite the role of healthcare facilities in caring for patients, some of them are part of the nation’s accessibility problem, thanks to an architectural firm that faces trouble with the federal government.

The U.S. Justice Department recently filed a disability discrimination lawsuit against a senior housing architectural design firm, as well as the former and current owners of 15 senior living communities in four states, for housing design failures, according to McKnight’s Senior Living.

J. Randolph Parry Architects PC, a Riverton, N.J.-based firm that specializes in adaptive reuse and senior housing design, and 15 senior living communities are accused of violating the Fair Housing Act and the ADA by “failing to design and construct housing units and related facilities to make them accessible to people with disabilities.”

The lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania alleges that at least 15 multifamily senior living properties have “significant accessibility barriers,” including inaccessible pedestrian routes to building entrances and amenities, inaccessible parking, door openings too narrow for wheelchairs, environmental controls too high or too low for individuals in wheelchairs, and inaccessible bathrooms and kitchens.

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