Americans with Disabilities Act
The City Manager’s Office works closely with the City Attorney’s Office, the Public Works Department, and the ADA Consultant to refine the implementation and monitoring of the City’s ADA Compliance Transition Plan.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a comprehensive civil rights law for people with disabilities. According to the United States Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, “To be protected by the ADA, one must have a disability, which is defined by the ADA as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment.
The ADA does not specifically name all of the impairments that are covered. The full text version of the Americans with Disabilities Act can be found here https://www.ada.gov/pubs/adastatute08.htm.
The Department of Justice enforces the ADA's requirements in three areas:
Title I: Employment practices by units of State and local government
Title II: Programs, services, and activities of States and local government (CLR)
Title III: Public accommodations and commercial facilities
Some of the City's ADA activity updates include having worked closely with the Public Works Department and the City Attorney’s Office to continue the implementation of the City’s ADA Compliance Transition Plan, refined the City-wide database for the management and tracking of the ADA curb ramp construction program, and installation of 259 additional ADA curb ramps to bring total curb ramps installed from 1999-2004 to 1,777.
Through lawsuits and both formal and informal settlement agreements, the U.S. Department of Justice has achieved greater access for individuals with disabilities in hundreds of cases. Under general rules governing lawsuits brought by the Federal Government, the U.S. Department of Justice may not file a lawsuit unless it has first unsuccessfully attempted to settle the dispute through negotiations.
The Department of Justice may file lawsuits in Federal court to enforce the ADA and may obtain court orders including compensatory damages and back pay to remedy discrimination. Under title III the Department may also obtain civil penalties of up to $50, 000 for the first violation and $100, 000 for any subsequent violation.
The ADA requires the Department of Justice to provide technical assistance to entities and individuals with rights and responsibilities under the law. The Department encourages voluntary compliance by providing education and technical assistance to businesses, governments, and members of the general public through a variety of means. Our activities include providing direct technical assistance and guidance to the public through our ADA Information Line, ADA Home Page, and Fax on Demand, developing and disseminating technical assistance materials to the public, undertaking outreach initiatives, operating an ADA technical assistance grant program, and coordinating ADA technical assistance government-wide.
Additional ADA resources can be found here.