NEWARK — The U.S. Attorney’s Office has reached a settlement with a Hammonton-based gymnastics program allowing a 6-year-old girl with a disability to participate in a class.
U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced Thursday an agreement resolved an ADA complaint filed in 2016 by the parents of the young girl, who has a medical disability that requires the use of a gastrointestinal feeding tube.
In the case, the parents alleged the business, Youth Fitness and Fun LLC, also doing business as Flyers’ Team, Flyers’ Academy and Flyers’ Gymnastics Academy, refused to modify the program to allow the 6-year-old to participate. According to court filings, the young girl was signed up for a trial class. On the liability waiver, the girl’s parents let staff know of the feeding tube, that the girl may require rest breaks, and that staff assisting in tumbling exercises should be aware of the feeding tube.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the child was active in other sports, including horseback riding, karate, soccer and dance, and was allowed by her physician to participate in the gymnastics program.
Administration with the gym said the girl’s medical needs were too severe for her to participate.
An investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office determined the youth gymnastics program was in violation of ADA Title III. The law requires businesses that serve the public, including gyms and other exercise and recreational programs, make reasonable modification to their policies when necessary to avoid discrimination on the basis of disability.
Youth Fitness and Fun LLC cooperated with the investigations and agreed to develop a program that complies with ADA and Department of Justice regulations and pay $1,000 in damages to the child.
People who believe they may have been victims of unfair discrimination can file a complaint with the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Civil Rights Complaint Hotline at 855-281-3339 or online at justice.gov/usao-nj/civil-rights-enforcement/ complaint.