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YMCA Settles With Family Over Discriminatory Policy
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
August 5, 2004

NAZARETH, PENNSYLVANIA--The Nazareth YMCA has settled a federal discrimination lawsuit filed by The Arc of Pennsylvania and the family of a man with mental retardation. All of the parties agreed not to disclose the details of the July 14 settlement, according to Thursday's Morning Call.

In the suit filed this past April, William and Barbara Snyder accused the YMCA's board of writing a policy that discriminated against their son, Ian. That policy specifically required members with mental disabilities to pay for a parent or an aide to accompany them.

The Snyders, who want Ian to be as independent as possible, said the policy discriminated against him in violation of civil rights laws including the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act.

The suit asked the court to keep the YMCA from enforcing the policy, to require them to provide reasonable accommodations to people with mental disabilities, and to train the staff and board to understand laws protecting the civil rights of people with disabilities. It also requested damages for the alleged harm done to the family.

Before the settlement was agreed upon, the YMCA had filed papers with the court asking for parts of the suit to be dismissed. The case was settled before a judge could rule on that motion.

The board reportedly drafted the policy after Ian, who had been a member as early as 1989, had "misbehaved" on two separate occasions.


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