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Hilton agrees to improve facilities for the disabled

By Terry Frieden, CNN Justice Producer
  • U.S. Justice Department announces the agreement
  • Hotels built since the 1993 passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act are covered
  • The accusations include a failure to provide enough disabled-accessible rooms

Washington (CNN) -- The Hilton hotel chain has reached an agreement with the federal government to make changes in about 900 hotels nationwide to further accommodate guests and visitors with disabilities, the Justice Department announced Tuesday.

The agreement covers the Hilton hotels built since passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act in 1993. It includes making changes to Hilton-owned hotels under a variety of trade names including the Waldorf Astoria, Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn, Doubletree and Homewood Suites.

Government lawyers had alleged Hilton failed to provide an adequate number of accessible rooms, failed to disperse accessible rooms among the various categories of available accommodations and failed to provide individuals with disabilities the ability to reserve accessible rooms through its reservation system. The allegations also claimed Hilton facilities had failed at times to provide individuals with disabilities the accessible sleeping accommodations that they had reserved.

The Americans With Disabilities Act "protects the right of people with disabilities to stay in accessible hotel rooms, and to reserve those hotel rooms through the same convenient systems as everyone else," Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Thomas Perez said in a statement.

The Justice Department stressed that Hilton had cooperated throughout the investigation.

In a statement released by the corporation, its top executive promised to take steps to enhance accessibility "at hotels with the Hilton Worldwide network, on its websites, and through its reservation system."

"Hilton Worldwide is pleased to take further steps to provide our guests with disabilities the accessibility in accommodations they expect from an industry leader," said Christopher Nassetta, president and CEO of Hilton Worldwide.