Mandatory ADA Self-Evaluations and Transistion Plans

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 not only reminds communities they must have self-evaluations and transition plans for their sidewalks and handicap ramps, but did you know this applies to all public entities whether or not they receive federal funding?

It is important that all communities take the time to Self-Evaluate your sidewalks and ramps and then complete the Transition Plan to show where and how you plan to schedule and pay to make corrections to meet ADA standards.

  • PROWAC (not Prozac).  The Proposed Accessibility Guidelines for Pedestrian Facilities in the Public Right-of-Way (PROWAC) has already been published in the Federal Register.  Its comment period closed (for a second time) February 2, 2012, so it is only a matter of time when it could become law.  The current ADA rules were more focused on architectural barriers for building standards.  The new guidelines will now target your rights-of-way.  Make sure you download and read this document from the U.S. Access Board at: http://www.access-board.gov/prowac/nprm.htm
  • Administrative Needs:
    • Key decision makers must staff and budget this process
    • Designate an ADA Coordinator
    • Develop procedures to handle grievances or complaints
    • Develop an ADA policy statement
  • Self-Evaluation (First Step of the Transition Plan)
    • Complete a self-evaluation of your sidewalks and ramps (incluidng physical obstacles) from the street to all public facilities, including places liek shopping areas, housing complexes and apartments
      • Public must have the opportunity to make comments
      • Must keep on file for at least 3 years
      • Must be open for public inspection
    • Resource:  http://www.ada.gov/pcatoolkit/toolkitmain.htm
  • Transition Plan
    • Outline steps to make your facilities accessible to the maximum extent possible
    • Complete a schedule to make the facilities accessible
    • Fund the improvements
    • Make the Transition Plan part of the regular planning process
    • Update as needs change