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Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art Improves Access After Lawsuit

April 19, 2006

News Source: Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel at

Direct link to news article: at,0,7754207.story?coll=sfla-news-broward

In response to a federal lawsuit, the Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art has made its popular King Tut exhibit more accessible to blind, deaf and physically disabled visitors.

However, Joshua Entin, who represents a group of blind and disabled individuals who sued the museum, said the settlement reached last week did not accomplish all of his clients' goals.

"The case is not over," Entin said.

The group sued the museum and exhibit organizers in February. They accused the museum of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act, a 1990 law requiring public buildings to take reasonable measures to accommodate disabled patrons.

Under the settlement, the museum agreed to provide guided tours, allow service animals into the museum and make other changes to assist disabled visitors. For example, signs with large letters must be put up directing visitors to the service desk. Notebooks containing photographs and descriptions of all the items on display must be provided.

The changes come even as the King Tut exhibit prepares to close Sunday.

Lawyers for the museum said some of the policies have been in place for several weeks.

"Within a week of the lawsuit being filed, we started talking about things that could be implemented that would benefit disabled visitors," said attorney Robert Fine.

Entin said the settlement did not address issues related to structural barriers at the museum or set out what policies will be in place when the exhibit travels to Chicago, Philadelphia and London. Both matters remain the subject of litigation.

The King Tut exhibit features more than 130 ancient Egyptian artifacts taken from King Tut's tomb and other gravesites. Thousands of people have visited the exhibit since it opened in December.

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