Helping Communities with ADA Compliance

Sain Associates is currently assisting multiple municipalities across the state to achieve compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements within public rights-of-way.

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 is a wide-ranging civil rights law that is intended to protect against discrimination based on disability. A portion of this law governs the steps a City must take to achieve compliance with its existing facilities which have been constructed to serve the public. This includes facilities such as public buildings, parks, sidewalks, trails, and public parking areas.

Every city must have an ADA coordinator. If there are only two or three employees for the city, this job could fall to someone like the city clerk. There are a lot of different folks who can be designated as the ADA coordinator — anyone from a building inspector to a fire chief to a public works director. It just depends on what resources the city has available. Since many coordinators have no background in engineering or construction, they may need some training and education to understand their responsibilities.  Sain can provide this training and education if needed, as we’ve previously done in partnership with the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham (RPCGB).

Preparation, maintenance and updating of an ADA Transition Plan is one of the key duties of an ADA coordinator. A Transition Plan sets a framework and schedule for addressing ADA compliance deficiencies, and it will typically include an inventory of the City’s facilities and a summary of deficiencies to be addressed. These documents need to be checked every few years to make sure they are up to date, and progress is being made toward full ADA compliance.

Sain’s role in assisting cities has varied from being a technical advisor and training ADA coordinators, to preparing ADA Transition Plans for cities. Since many of the cities throughout Alabama have prepared ADA Transition Plans within the last 5-10 years, now is a good time for ADA coordinators to evaluate where your community stands relative to its plan. If updates need to be made, or if additional inventory needs to be completed, we would be glad to assist and answer questions. If design or construction inspection services are needed to bring infrastructure up to code, we are glad to provide those services too.

It’s also worth noting that in some cases infrastructure upgrades to achieve ADA compliance qualify for Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) funding, which is available through ALDOT. Applications for TAP funding will likely be available from ALDOT in the spring and due in the summer, and your community may be a good candidate for this funding.