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Walgreens Agrees to Make Stores More Handicap Accessible

DEERFIELD, Ill. - The Walgreen Co. has reached an agreement with Illinois attorney general Lisa Madigan, resolving a lawsuit she filed last year alleging that many of the chain's stores had barriers that limited access for disabled individuals.

According to news reports, the settlement is the largest ever negotiated under Illinois laws that govern access to facilities by people with physical disabilities, and will result in new parking spaces closer to store doors, signs designating parking spots for consumers with disabilities, new curb cuts for wheelchair access, decreased slopes for existing curb cuts, the removal of such obstructions as concrete barriers and trash cans, and other changes.

Walgreens will pay an independent monitor $150,000 to inspect its Illinois stores, to ensure they are complying with the agreement. All Walgreens stores will be made accessible to people with physical disabilities as required by state law. Additionally, Walgreens will pay $350,000 to settle the case with the Illinois attorney general.

"Customers with disabilities are no different than customers without disabilities: They need to pick up soap, buy notebook paper for their kids, or fill prescriptions," Madigan said. "No customer should face barriers that are inconvenient and illegal. I commend Walgreens for working with my office to reach this settlement, which I hope will serve as a nationwide model."
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