State & Local Government Accessibility

A public entity must ensure that individuals with disabilities are not excluded from services, programs, or entities because existing buildings are inaccessible. A state or local government's programs, when viewed in their entirety, must be readily accessible to and usable by individual's with disabilities. This standard, known as "program accessibility," applies to facilities of a public entity that existed on January 26th, 1992. Public entities do not necessarily have to make their existing facilities accessible. They may provide program accessibility by a number of mehtods, including alteration of existing facilities, acquisition or construction of additional facilities, relocation of a service or program to an accessible facility, or provision of services at alternate accessible sites. The ADA does require that all new buildings constructed by a state or local government be accessible. In addition, when a state or local government undertakes alterations to a building, it must make the altered portions accessible. A state or local government will be in compliance with the ADA for new construction and alteration if it follows the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design. Effective March 15th, 2012, the 2010 ADA Standards must be used for new construction and alterations undertaken by state and local governments.

A self-evaluation is a public entity's assessment of its current policies and practices. The self-evaluation identifies and corrects those policies and practices that are inconsistent with Title II's requirements. All public entities should have completed a self-evaluation by January 26th, 1993. A public entity that employees 50 or more employees must retain its self-evaluation for three years. Other public entities are not required to retain their self-evaluations, but are encouraged to do so because these documents are evidence of a public entity's good faith efforts to comply with Title II requirements.