The Department of Justice today released new technical assistance materials to help state and local governments comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The materials are part of the "ADA Best Practices Tool Kit for State and Local Governments," a project announced by Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales in October 2006.
"Under the ADA, people with disabilities are entitled to equal access to their state and local government programs, services and activities," said Wan J. Kim, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. "The Tool Kit is designed to help state and local officials identify and fix many of the common ADA compliance problems we see in our work with state and local governments."
The Civil Rights Division works cooperatively with state and local governments across the country to help them achieve ADA compliance through Project Civic Access, a wide-ranging initiative to improve access for people with disabilities to state and local government programs, services and activities. Chapters 5 and 6 of the Tool Kit, released today, deal with two areas where the Division has worked with many public entities to improve compliance. Chapter 5 explains the ADA requirement for ensuring that people with disabilities have equal access to programs, services, and activities provided on state and local government Web sites. Chapter 6 of the Tool Kit, which explains the ADA requirement for accessible curb ramps at pedestrian crossings, addresses one of the key physical barriers that deny people with disabilities access to their communities.
"These new chapters of the Tool Kit contain practical guidance, including checklists and action steps, that state, county and city officials can use to identify and resolve ADA compliance issues in their Internet-based programs and the pedestrian crossings on their highways, streets and roads, " said Assistant Attorney General Kim.
During the past six years, through Project Civic Access, the Civil Rights Division has worked cooperatively with city and county officials to improve access for more than 2 million people with disabilities. The Division has reached 153 agreements that improve access for people with disabilities to city and county office buildings, courts, polling places, emergency shelters, museums, parks, law enforcement and corrections facilities, Web sites, and pedestrian crossings. The Tool Kit and other ADA materials are available on the Department's ADA Home Page.