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Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Transition Plan

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Overview of ADA Transition Plan

An ADA Transition Plan is a strategic document designed to ensure that public entities adhere to the accessibility standards outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It serves as a roadmap for identifying and addressing barriers to access for individuals with disabilities within public facilities, programs, services, and activities. The plan outlines steps for conducting self-evaluations, identifying barriers, developing strategies for removal, establishing timelines for implementation, and implementing ongoing monitoring and updates. By creating and implementing an ADA Transition Plan, public entities demonstrate their commitment to inclusivity and compliance with federal accessibility regulations, ultimately fostering a more equitable and accessible environment for all members of the community.

City of Oxford, NC: Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Transition Plan Community Engagement Survey

Benefits of Compliance

Compliance with ADA Transition Plans offers numerous benefits for both public entities and the communities they serve. These benefits include:

  • Improved Access for Individuals with Disabilities: By identifying and removing barriers to access, ADA compliance ensures that individuals with disabilities can fully participate in public facilities, programs, services, and activities. This fosters a more inclusive and equitable society where everyone has equal opportunities to engage and contribute.

  • Enhanced Community Inclusivity: Accessible environments benefit not only individuals with disabilities but also the entire community. Compliance with ADA standards promotes social inclusion, diversity, and a sense of belonging for all residents, visitors, and stakeholders.
  • Positive Public Image: Public entities that prioritize accessibility and ADA compliance often enjoy a positive reputation in the community. Demonstrating a commitment to accessibility can enhance public trust, support, and goodwill among residents, businesses, and advocacy groups.

  • Increased Economic Opportunities: Accessible public facilities and services can attract a broader customer base, including individuals with disabilities and their families. This can lead to increased patronage of businesses, tourism revenue, and economic growth within the community.

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What is ADA Title II?

The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in many areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and many public and private places that are open to the public. The purpose of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. The law was passed on January 26, 1990. The ADA is divided into five titles (or sections) that relate to different areas of public life.

Title II applies to State and local government entities and protects qualified individuals with disabilities from discrimination based on disability in services, programs, and activities provided by State and local government entities. Compliance with ADA Title II went into effect January 26, 1992.

What are the administrative requirements of ADA Title II?

Title II requires that public entities take several steps designed to achieve ADA compliance. These include completing an ADA self-evaluation and providing notice to the public about Title II requirements for the entity’s services, programs, and activities.

Public entities with fifty or more employees are also required to:

  • Develop a grievance procedure
  • Designate an individual to oversee Title II compliance (often referred to as an ADA Coordinator)
  • Develop a transition plan if structural changes are necessary for achieving program accessibility.

What is an ADA Self-Evaluation?

A self-evaluation is a public entity’s assessment of its current policies and practices. It involves a comprehensive review of all programs, activities, and services to verify ADA Title II compliance with general nondiscrimination provisions, communications, program and facility accessibility, and website accessibility. This evaluation helps ensure individuals with disabilities can fully participate in the Title II entity’s programs, activities, or services.

What is an ADA Transition Plan?

When structural or architectural modifications are required to achieve program accessibility, a public entity with fifty or more employes should develop a transition plan. A transition plan includes:

  • A list of the physical barriers in a public entity’s facilities that limit access to its programs, activities, or services
  • A detailed outline of the methods for removing the barriers to increase accessibility of the facilities
  • The schedule for addressing these barriers
  • The individuals and departments responsible for implementing and monitoring compliance with the transition plan.

Are public entities required to involve the public in the self-evaluation and transition planning process?

Yes! Public entities are required to accept comments from the public on the self-evaluation and are strongly encouraged to consult with individuals with disabilities and organizations that represent the disability community to assist with the self-evaluation process. Individuals with disabilities have unique perspectives on a public entity’s programs, activities, and services. They can provide valuable information about barriers preventing full access within the community.

How should a public entity address non-structural accessibility barriers?

An ADA self-evaluation may identify program barriers that do not involve structural changes to buildings or facilities. For example, a public entity’s website may be inaccessible to individuals using assistive technology. The ADA Title II regulations do not include a planning process to fix these non-architectural barriers. We recommend developing an Action Plan to address non-structural barriers impacting program access for people with disabilities. Like a transition plan, the action plan identifies the program barriers, outlines solutions to remove those barriers, provides a schedule for correction, and designates the responsible individual or department.

When should a public entity complete an ADA self-evaluation and transition plan?

Technically, public entities, regardless of size, were required to complete an ADA self-evaluation by January 26, 1993 – one year after the ADA regulations went into effect. Transition plans were required to be completed by July 26, 1992, and structural modifications were required by January 26, 1995.

The U.S. Department of Justice has since implemented updated ADA Standards for Accessible Design, including accessibility requirements for recreation areas and public rights-of-way. It is recommended that public entities periodically reassess their facilities to determine if the original transition plan was followed, if the entity complies with the updated standards, and whether additional access improvements are needed.

Copies of the self-evaluation and transition plan should be retained and made available to the public for review upon request.

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ADA Press Release1 document

  • PRESS RELEASE - ADA TP Announcement.pdf
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