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DOJ-ADA Presentation by Steve Healow of FHWA Dec. 4, 2013

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Presentation by Steve Healow of the Federal Highway Administration on recent rulings by the U.S. Department of Justice on Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility issues and how they may …

Presentation by Steve Healow of the Federal Highway Administration on recent rulings by the U.S. Department of Justice on Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility issues and how they may impact paving projects.

Published in: Technology, Design

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  • 1. 04‐Dec‐13 ADA and local agencies California Asphalt Pavement Association Technical Committee Meeting San Leandro, CA Dec. 3, 2013  Steve Healow FHWA California Division Basic outline • ADA intro/background/timeline • Responsibilities pursuant to ADA – DOJ – FHWA – State and local agencies • DOJ/DOT Joint Technical Guidance on Title II DOJ/DOT Joint Technical Guidance on Title II  of ADA • Conclusions 1
  • 2. 04‐Dec‐13 Timeline  • Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 facilities designed, built, altered, or leased with federal  funds shall be accessible to the public, including those with physical handicaps.  (P.L. 90– 480, 42 U.S.C. § 4151)  • Rehabilitation Act of 1973 includes Section 504 “Non‐discrimination of handicapped  persons under federal grants”  (P.L. 93‐112, 29 U.S.C. §794)  • Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits discrimination, ensures equal opportunity  for persons with disabilities in employment (Title I) , state and local gov’t services (Title II),  public accommodations, commercial facilities and transportation (Title III). (P.L. 101‐336,       42 U.S.C. §§ 12131‐12164 • ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (P.L. 110‐325) • July 2010 final regulations revising DOJ ADA regulations includes ADA standards for  acceptable design (a.k.a. the 2010 standards) • March 2011 28 CFR 35.151 DOJ Title II regulations:  “New construction and alterations by  public entities…residential units…correctional facilities…” 28 CFR 36 DOJ Title III  regulations:  “…places of public accommodation and commercial facilities to be designed,  constructed, and altered in  compliance with the accessibility standards established by this  part…” • June 28, 2013 Guidance:  “Department of Justice/DOT Joint Technical Assistance on the  Title II of the ADA Requirements to Provide Curb Ramps when Streets, Roads, or Highways  are Altered through Resurfacing” What does the Department of Justice  do pursuant to ADA? • The ADA addresses State and local government services, activities and  policy‐making under the Department of Justice's ADA Title II  implementing regulations.  The ADA, under Title II, Subpart A, covers  public rights‐of‐way.  The Department of Justice (DOJ) has rulemaking  authority and enforcement responsibility for Title II authority and enforcement responsibility for Title II . 2
  • 3. 04‐Dec‐13 • U.S. Dept. of Justice, Civil Rights Division responsibilities pursuant to ADA: – Technical Assistance – Enforcement – Mediation – Regulations – Certification of State and Local Building Codes What does FHWA do pursuant to  ADA? • For federal‐funded surface transportation projects, where a pedestrian  facility exists, ensure that – Public rights‐of‐way and facilities are  accessible to persons with disabilities – Pedestrians with disabilities have equitable opportunities to use the transportation  system and public rights‐of‐way in an accessible and safe manner;  – Recipients of Federal funds and State and local entities that are responsible for  roadways and pedestrian facilities do not discriminate on the basis of disability in any  highway transportation program, activity, service or benefit they provide to the  general public;  – P j t Projects are planned, designed and constructed to provide pedestrian access for  l d d i d d t t dt id d ti f persons with disabilities; – All complaints filed under Section 504 or the ADA are processed in accordance with  established complaint procedures (28 CFR 25.170). 3
  • 4. 04‐Dec‐13 What is required of state and local  agencies pursuant to ADA Title II? • Any project for construction or alteration of a facility that provides  access to pedestrians must be made accessible to persons with  disabilities.   (e.g. widening aisles and doorways, installing ramps and  railings, install signs in alternative formats such as Braille.) • Prepare and maintain a transition plan in accordance with 28 CFR  § §35.150(d) ( ) Transition Plan • The ADA requires public agencies with more than 50 employees to make a  transition plan.  [28 CFR §35.150(d)] – The transition plan must include a schedule for providing access features,  including curb ramps for walkways.  The schedule should first provide for  including curb ramps for walkways The schedule should first provide for pedes‐trian access upgrades to State and local government offices and  facilities, transporta‐tion, places of public accommodation, and employers,  followed by walkways serving other areas.  The transition plan should  accomplish the following four tasks: • identify physical obstacles in the public agency's facilities that limit the  accessibility of its programs or activities to individuals with disabilities; describe in detail the methods that will be used to make the facilities  • describe in detail the methods that will be used to make the facilities accessible; • specify the schedule for taking the steps necessary to upgrade  pedestrian access to meet ADA and Section 504 requirements in each  year following the transition plan; and • indicate the official responsible for implementation of the plan 4
  • 5. 04‐Dec‐13 Define Terms for purposes of this  policy • Disability:  A physical or mental impairment that  substantially limits one or more major life activities of an  substantially limits one or more major life activities of an individual. • Alteration:  “…a change that affects the use of all or part of a  facility…” – e.g. reconstruction, rehabilitation, resurfacing, widening,  • Maintenance:  “…treatments that serve solely to seal and  protect the road surface, improve friction, control splash and  spray…do not significantly affect public access or usability…” – e.g. crack sealing, surface seals, joint repairs, patching  potholes 5
  • 6. 04‐Dec‐13 Conclusions  The 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a broad civil rights statute that prohibits  discrimination against people with disabilities in all areas of public life.  For example, ADA Title II requires state and local gov’ts to ensure that persons with  disabilities have access to pedestrian routes in the public right‐of‐way.  Similarly, ADA Title III requires  public accommodations, e.g. restaurants, banks, parks,  theaters, stores and so on to provide access to disabled persons. theaters stores and so on to provide access to disabled persons.  In California <1,000 civil lawsuits/year and <20 ADA complaints filed/year against local  agencies.  Top 10 ADA Access Violations 1) Signs: Outdated or incorrect signage  2) Parking: Slope too steep or wrong dimensions  3) Access Routes: Wrong signs steep slopes or other hazards Access Routes: Wrong signs, steep slopes or other hazards  4) Curb Ramps: Steep Slopes  5) Pedestrian Ramps: No handrails, landings not level or no ramp  6) Bathrooms: Too small or fixtures out of reach  7) Stairs: No hazard striping or handrails, rails at wrong height and uneven steps  8) Seating: No access for people with disabilities  9) Doorways: Clearance issues or improper door handles  10) Exits: No exit or no signs showing exits  6
  • 7. 04‐Dec‐13 The end Steve Healow FHWA California Division 650 Capitol Mall, #4‐100 Sacramento, CA 95814 916‐498‐5849 Steve.healow@dot.gov References • http://www.ada.gov/2010_regs.htm • http://www ada gov/q%26aeng02 htm http://www.ada.gov/q%26aeng02.htm • http://www.ada.gov/pubs/adastatute08.pdf • http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/civilrights/programs/ada.cfm • (Q&A)  http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/civilrights/programs/ada_sect504qa.cfm • h // i http://witness2013.acec.org/userfiles/file/20130730_BRIEF_ADA_Resurf 2013 / fil /fil /20130730 BRIEF ADA R f acing_Technical_Assistance.pdf • http://www.news10.net/news/article/264475/2/News10‐Investigates‐ ADA‐Lawsuits 7