Introduction and Background
The City of Ridgefield is committed to providing equal access to all its public programs, services and activities for citizens with disabilities. This plan will be used to help guide future planning and implementation of necessary accessibility improvements. The City will update the plan periodically and is always seeking public comments on necessary changes and improvements.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires cities with fewer than fifty employees that is a recipient or subrecipient of Federal financial assistance to prepare a self-evaluation and ADA Program Access Plan.
The U.S. Congress signed the ADA in 1990, and it went into effect in 1992. The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in access to jobs, public accommodations, government services and programs, public transportation and telecommunications.
Title I of the ADA prohibits local governments from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in job application procedures, hiring, employment termination, job promotion, compensation, job training and other terms, conditions and privileges of employment. The City of Ridgefield is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) employer and adheres to the requirements of Title I.
Title II of the ADA adopts the general prohibitions against discrimination contained in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, but applies to all state and local governments regardless of whether or not they receive federal funding. It prohibits the City from denying persons with disabilities the equal opportunity to participate in its services, programs or activities, either directly or indirectly through contractual arrangements.
The administrative requirements contained in Title II that apply to the City are:
- Designation of an ADA Coordinator responsible for overseeing Title II compliance,
- Development of an ADA grievance/complaint procedure;
- Completion of a self-evaluation of facilities, programs and services; and
- Development of a program access plan if the self-evaluation identifies any accessibility deficiencies.
The City’s compliance with these requirements are outlined in its Program Access Plan.