ADA: Americans with Disabilities Act

Americans with Disabilities Act

Introduction to the ADA > Employment > Government / Public Transportation > Public Accommodation

Government > Take the Test > Definitions > Title II Requirements > Access to Programs > Becoming Accessible

Title II Requirements

A state or local government must provide full program access to people with disabilities. These public entities may not exclude a person from participating in a service, program or activity because the person has a disability. For example, a city may not exclude a person with epilepsy from a using its parks or swimming pools. A local government cannot exclude people with disabilities from public meetings by holding these meetings on the third floor of a building without an elevator. The local government does not have to install an elevator but can move the site of the public meeting to a first floor accessible room. Sending notes of the public meeting to those unable to attend because of inaccessibility is not an acceptable solution. It should be remembered that the ADA does not require retrofitting of inaccessible space, but it does require effective solutions to the removal of barriers.

A state or local government must provide programs and services to a person with a disability in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of that person unless separate or different measures are necessary to ensure equality.

A state or local government may not impose eligibility requirements for participation in programs that screen out people with disabilities unless the requirements are necessary for the provision of the service. For example a city cannot require driver's licenses as the only acceptable means of identification. Such a requirement would screen out people with disabilities who do not drive. On the other hand, requiring a vision test as part of an application for a driver's license is based on a need for good vision while driving rather than on stereotypes or generalizations about people with disabilities.

State and local governments must make reasonable modifications in policies, practices and procedures to ensure equal access by people with disabilities, unless such modifications would produce a fundamental alteration in the program. A fundamental alteration is a modification that is so significant that it alters the essential nature of the goods, services, facilities, etc. For example, city hall would have to modify its rule that says no animals are allowed in the building. Modification of this rule would allow service dogs to enter the building with their owners.

State and local governments must provide auxiliary aids and services when necessary to ensure effective communication, except if an undue burden or fundamental alteration would result.

To be considered an undue financial or administrative burden, the head of the state or local government or a designee with budgetary authority must make a decision that the modification is too costly. The decision may be documented in writing and should include a reason for the decision. Advocates should know who the person making the decision is so that they have recourse in cases where a decision is made not to make the modification.

State and local governments

Next: Access to Programs Provided by State and Local Governments

Mountain State Centers for Independent Living