KANKAKEE, Ill. (WCIA) — The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of Illinois recently announced that it reached a settlement agreement with a Kankakee hotel and its owner regarding violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Officials said the settlement resolves an ADA complaint that accused the Economy Inn of Kankakee of refusing to rent a room to an individual with a disability. A hotel employee supposedly told the individual that it was the hotel’s policy not to rent rooms to people with walkers and wheelchairs because the hotel could not be “liable” for them. The complaint further claimed that the individual had nowhere else to stay at the time.
The complaint prompted an investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The ADA requires that hotels provide access to individuals with disabilities, including those who use a wheelchair, walker or other movement-assisting device.
“It is illegal for people with disabilities to be treated differently because of their disability and that includes when renting a room from a hotel,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua I. Grant for the Central District of Illinois. “People with disabilities often face barriers that make living more difficult, but one barrier that should no longer exist is simply finding a place to stay. I encourage all hotels in the Central District of Illinois to review their policies and facilities to ensure they are accessible to all.”
Under the settlement agreement, the Economy Inn will establish written policies ensuring that all individuals with disabilities can rent rooms from the hotel and enjoy equal access to its services. The hotel will also provide ADA training to its staff.
Without admitting to an AA violation, the Central District of Illinois also agreed to a monetary payment to the individual identified in the complaint to fully resolve the matter.