Frio County ADA Intro

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Frio County Training


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Americans with Disability Act ADA Overview

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 Hello Elected Officials and Department Managers of the Frio County Government.  My name is Stephen Meyer. I am an Accessibility Consultant working with Frio County to assist help with the creation of the Title II transition plan Self Evaluation analysis Public Notices and program development with a designated ADA Coordinators of your organization.  For those of you that are familiar with the American Disability Act ADA Title II this may be a refresher however all points of view and experiences are greatly beneficial to the organization and development ahead of us. Introduction to the ADA

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How is this Presentation Organized In preparation of Title II requirements I was asked to present a brief overview of the Americans with Disability Act ADA and how it pertains to us with Frio County as Elected Officials Department Managers/Directors employees service providers and contractors. The Americans with Disability Act ADA law is one of the most complex and broad pieces of legislation ever passed. It is constantly evolving with litigation interpretation and of course amendments. It is however the Law of the Land and as society ages technology advancements and global expansion more and more issues are brought forth. Therefore the intent of this presentation is to serve only as an overview of our Title II ADA project. Additional information on the ADA can be obtained at the local library or through an internet search. The law itself is found at:

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History of the ADA The Americans with Disabilities Act ADA was signed into law on July 26 1990 by President George H.W. Bush. The ADA is one of Americas most comprehensive pieces of civil rights legislation that prohibits discrimination and guarantees that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else to participate in the mainstream of American life -- to enjoy employment opportunities to purchase goods and services and to participate in State and local government programs and services. Modeled after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race color religion sex or national origin and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 -- the ADA is an "equal opportunity" law for people with disabilities.

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July 27 2010 At a ceremony on the south lawn of the White House celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act ADA President Barack Obama announced the release of updated regulations and standards by the Department of Justice DOJ and other administrative initiatives to promote equality for people with disabilities. The new and revised standards were the first update in 20 years of the Americans with Disability Act. The new standards are based on revised minimum guidelines previously established by the Access Board that include supplements for certain types of facilities and sites not addressed before. Access to recreation facilities including play areas swimming pools sports facilities fishing piers boating facilities golf courses and amusement rides is addressed in the ADA and ABA standards

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The Department of Justice’s revised regulations for Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ADA were published in the Federal Register on September 15 2010. These regulations were adopted and revised to become the enforceable accessibility standards called the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design "2010 Standards." On March 15 2012 compliance with the 2010 Standards was required for new construction and alterations under Titles II and III. March 15 2012 is also the compliance date for using the 2010 Standards for program accessibility and barrier removal. March 15 2012

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Protected Class 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.

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The Law The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life including: ● Jobs ● Schools ● Transportation ● All public and private places that are open to the general public. The purpose of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. The ADA is divided into five titles or sections that relate to different areas of public life.

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The Five Titles of the ADA Title I Employment Title II-Public Services Title III-Public Accommodations Title IV-Telecommunications Title V-Miscellaneous Provisions

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Title I Employment Equal Employment Opportunity for Individuals with Disabilities Disability discrimination occurs when an employer or other entity covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act as amended or the Rehabilitation Act as amended treats a qualified individual with a disability who is an employee or applicant unfavorably because she has a disability. Disability discrimination also occurs when a covered employer or other entity treats an applicant or employee less favorably because she has a history of a disability such as cancer that is controlled or in remission or because she is believed to have a physical or mental impairment that is not transitory lasting or expected to last six months or less and minor even if she does not have such an impairment.

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Title I Employment Equal Employment Opportunity for Individuals with Disabilities The law requires an employer to provide reasonable accommodation to an employee or job applicant with a disability unless doing so would cause significant difficulty or expense for the employer "undue hardship". The law also protects people from discrimination based on their relationship with a person with a disability even if they do not themselves have a disability. For example it is illegal to discriminate against an employee because her husband has a disability If a complaint against a state or local government agency involves race color national origin sex religion or disability discrimination the agency is covered by the laws enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Commission EEOC For More Information:

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Title II Public Entities "Public entities" include any State or local government and any of its departments agencies or other instrumentalities. All activities services and programs of public entities are covered including activities of State legislatures and courts town meetings police and fire departments motor vehicle licensing and employment. Title II is the focus and will be expanded further in the presentation.

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Title II Public Entities Private entities that operate public accommodations such as hotels restaurants theaters retail stores dry cleaners doctors offices amusement parks and bowling alleys are not covered by title II but are covered by title III of the ADA and the Departments regulation implementing title III.

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Title III-Public Accommodations  Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability by Public Accommodations and in Commercial Facilities This title prohibits private places of public accommodation from discriminating against individuals with disabilities. Examples of public accommodations include privately-owned leased or operated facilities like hotels restaurants retail merchants doctor’s offices golf courses private schools day care centers health clubs sports stadiums movie theaters and so on. This title sets the minimum standards for accessibility for alterations and new construction of facilities.

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Title III-Public Accommodations  Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability by Public Accommodations and in Commercial Facilities It also requires public accommodations to remove barriers in existing buildings where it is easy to do so without much difficulty or expense. This title directs businesses to make "reasonable modifications" to their usual ways of doing things when serving people with disabilities. It also requires that they take steps necessary to communicate effectively with customers with vision hearing and speech disabilities. This title is regulated and enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice.

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Title IV Telecommunications This title requires telephone and Internet companies to provide a nationwide system of interstate and intrastate telecommunications relay services that allows individuals with hearing and speech disabilities to communicate over the telephone. This title also requires closed captioning of federally funded public service announcements. Title IV is regulated by the Federal Communication Commission

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Title V Miscellaneous Provisions  The final title contains a variety of provisions relating to the ADA as a whole including its relationship to other laws state immunity its impact on insurance providers and benefits prohibition against retaliation and coercion illegal use of drugs and attorney’s fees. This title also provides a list of certain conditions that are not to be considered as disabilities.

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Title II and Frio County  To assess how Frio County is meeting its requirements of providing services programs and activities an accessibility survey is conducted to identify any architectural building deficiencies:

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Architectural Barrier  If there is an architectural barrier to accessibility in a pre-ADA facility built before January 26 1992 the barrier may be removed using the ADA Standards for Accessible Design as a guide or you may choose to make the program service or activity located in the building accessible by providing “program access.”

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Program Access Program access allows you to move the program to an accessible location or use some way other than making all architectural changes to make the program service or activity readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. A primary goal of the ADA is the equal participation of individuals with disabilities in the "mainstream" of American society.

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The major principles of mainstreaming are -- 1 Individuals with disabilities must be integrated to the maximum extent appropriate. 2 Separate programs are permitted where necessary to ensure equal opportunity. A separate program must be appropriate to the particular individual. 3 Individuals with disabilities cannot be excluded from the regular program or required to accept special services or benefits.

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Example  A small town with few public buildings operates a museum featuring the history of the area. The museum is in a two story building built in 1970 which has no elevator. The town may either install an elevator or find other ways to make the exhibits accessible to people with mobility disabilities. One program access solution in this case might be to make a video of the second floor exhibits for people to watch on the first floor.

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Options  There are many ways to make a program service or activity accessible other than through architectural modifications. Keep in mind however that sometimes making architectural changes is the best solution financially or administratively or because it furthers the ADA’s goal of integration.

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After January 26 1992  Any facility built or altered after January 26 1992 must be “readily accessible to and usable by” persons with disabilities. For ADA compliance purposes any facility where construction commenced after January 26 1992 is considered “new” “newly constructed” or “post-ADA.” “Readily accessible to and usable by” means that the new or altered building must be built in strict compliance with the ADA Standards for Accessible Design.

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After January 26 1992  Altering renovating a building means making a change in the usability of the altered item. Examples of changes in usability include: changing a low pile carpet to a thick pile carpet moving walls installing new toilets or adding more parking spaces to a parking lot.  Any state or local government facility that was altered after January 261992 was required to be altered in compliance with the ADA Standards

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1991 Versus 2010  The 2010 revision of the original 1991 law was adopted and signed by President Obama in March of 2010 and became law in March 15 2012 enforceable by the Department of Justice.  The new provisions will be addressed in a future training and are not included in this presentation. The standards can be found at: 

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Preparing Frio County Government II-8.0000 ADMINISTRATIVE REQUIREMENTS I-8.1000 General. Title II requires that public entities take several steps to achieve compliance. II-8.2000 Self-evaluation. All public entities subject to title II of the ADA must complete a self- evaluation. II-8.3000 Transition plan. Where structural modifications are required to achieve program accessibility a public entity with 50 or more employees must do a transition plan by July 26 1992 that provides for the removal of these barriers. II-8.4000 Notice to the public. A public entity must provide information on title IIs requirements to applicants participants beneficiaries and other interested persons. The notice shall explain title IIs applicability to the public entitys services programs or activities. A public entity shall provide such information as the head of the public entity determines to be necessary to apprise individuals of title IIs prohibitions against discrimination. II-8.5000 Designation of responsible employee and development of grievance procedures. ADA Coordinator A public entity that employs 50 or more persons shall designate at least one employee to coordinate its efforts to comply with and fulfill its responsibilities under title II including the investigation of complaints. A public entity shall make available the name office address and telephone number of any designated employee.

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TASKS The self evaluation II-8.2000 is an assessment of the current policies an practices. The assessment is to identify and to correct those policies and practices that are inconsistent with the Title II requirements. The assess will analyze whether these policies and practices adversely affect the full participation of individuals with disabilities in its programs activities and services. In this regard although its policies practices and programs may appear harmless they may result in denying individuals with disabilities the full participation of its programs activities or services. SELF EVALUATION

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Moving Forward  Each Department is being contacted in the month of January 2015 to survey the programs activities and services provided by the Frio County Government. This also requires input from the public employees and any contracted services.  You may be contacted by email or at your county office whichever works best for you. 

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Additional Information Questions can be directed to: Stephen Meyer Accessibility Consultants 210-250-1651 or Dale Stein Frio County Engineer 830-334-0085

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