The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became effective for NRPA members on January 26, 1992. Even after 27 years, however, many people still are not aware of ADA requirements and what they mean for their organization.
What Is Title II?
Title II of the ADA “prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in all programs, activities and services of public entities. It applies to all state and local governments, their departments and agencies, and any other instrumentalities or special purpose districts of state or local governments.” It also requires that every new facility or site comply with the 2010 Standards and uses the complex “program access test” to determine, for example, how many playgrounds in a city park system must be made accessible.
So, what percentage of playgrounds in a city park system must be made accessible? Is it 20 percent, 33 percent, 50 percent or 75 percent? The answer varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and is a function of the number of playgrounds, complexity of the retrofits, resources available and demand for that asset by people with and without disabilities.
Some Things to Think About
Whether to allow medical or recreational marijuana use is a current topic of discussion for many states and cities. Medical marijuana, known to alleviate pain and nausea for complex and chronic health conditions, is legal in 33 states and the District of Columbia. So, how will you respond to the family of a child with a disability that asks, as a reasonable modification, that your park and recreation staff hold their edible medical marijuana and provide it to them as prescribed? If you have not thought about this, you should do so before the question arises. Also, if you are one of the many cities or counties that has yet to complete an access audit and transition plan, make it a priority for the next fiscal year.
For advice and information about the ADA, contact John McGovern at 224.293.6451 or email.