ADA Accessibility Compliance

ADA access is one of the most important state and federal mandates governing employment and public accessibility. Although the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has been in effect for two decades, many public entities are not in compliance with ADA accessibility requirements. It is well-known that the ADA prohibits discrimination against disabled employees who are able to perform essential job functions with reasonable accommodation. But many public agencies have not fully recognized and taken steps to abide by the affirmative mandate of the ADA requiring that public facilities and services be accessible to persons with disabilities.Our attorneys help our clients to comply with both the letter and the spirit of the ADA and to avoid becoming a litigation target by meeting the ADA’s core requirements:

  • Self Evaluations: Public entities must conduct a thorough self-evaluation of their facilities, services, policies, communications and practices to determine whether any modifications are required to make facilities, programs, communications and services accessible to persons with disabilities.
  • Transition Plan: Once the self-evaluation process is complete, public entities must adopt a transition plan, describing the alterations that will ensure accessibility and the timeline for completing such changes.
  • Public Input: During the self-evaluation and transition plan processes, public entities must obtain public input, particularly from persons with disabilities and organizations that represent them. To monitor compliance with the ADA’s non-discrimination and accessibility requirements, a public entity must designate at least one person to act as its ADA Coordinator. That person must promptly investigate and respond to ADA complaints. A public entity must also adopt and publish a grievance procedure for the resolution of complaints alleging ADA violations.
  • Training: The ADA recommends that employees be trained regarding accommodation and accessibility under the ADA in order to ensure employees are aware of the entity’s legal obligations.
  • Voting Place Accessibility: Certain public entities are also required to ensure the accessibility of voting polling places. This extends not only to physical access to polling sites, but to making voter registration materials and equipment accessible to persons with disabilities.
  • Emergency Preparedness: In the wake of natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, public entities must also take proactive measures to ensure that their emergency preparedness plans adequately address the needs of the disabled community.

Other ADA Issues

Our Employment Law & Litigation practice will help ensure public agency compliance with ADA reasonable accommodation requirements as they relate to disabled employees. In collaboration with the preeminent California workers’ compensation law firm, Laughlin Falbo Levy and Moresi, our firm also advises clients on the “cross-over” issues of workers’ compensation laws and the ADA.