As I am sure many of you are aware, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility has become more of a focus at all levels of government over the past several years. Many of you may have even had the state, or your county, redo some of your sidewalks to make them ADA compliant while performing street projects on their roads that run through your city.
We all strive to ensure our facilities are ADA accessible not just because some federal grants may be contingent on it, or even just because it’s the law, we do it because it is the right thing to do for our communities. It is estimated that 1 in 5 Americans have a disability, so we want to make sure that our parks, playgrounds, streets, and public buildings are all accessible so that we are not unconsciously excluding that 20% of our populations.
It is because of this that the League has spent the past year compiling resources to assist our members in ensuring that their city facilities are ADA accessible. We developed a training, which many of you may have participated in at our 2018 Spring Loss Control Workshops, and also have begun rolling out a Loss Control Survey, where your LMCIT Loss Control Consultant will come to the city and help you find areas where you can improve accessibility for your residents. If you have an upcoming project ranging from restriping a parking lot to designing a new playground please feel free to reach out to your Loss Control Consultant and we would be more than happy to send you the relevant information you are looking for, or even stop by your city to discuss in more detail. The resources we can share with you also include self-checklists for the most common ADA issues we have seen in parks and municipal liquor stores (two areas where LMCIT has seen several ADA claims arising recently).
Another resource for ADA guidance that you may be interested in is the US Access Board’s new YouTube Channel. The channel’s videos have informational animations that can assist you in visualizing how to be compliant in your own facilities. The Access Board also has their Online Accessibility Guide to help you understand some of the ADA’s core concepts.
Lastly, be sure to check out this article about ADA from the March-April 2017 edition of Minnesota Cities Magazine.