What is the Americans with Disabilities Act?
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, State and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation. Final regulations revising the Department’s ADA regulations, including its ADA Standards for Accessible Design was published in the Federal Register on September 15, 2010 (corrections to this text were published in the Federal Register on March 11, 2011). ADA covers all state and local governments, including those that receive no federal financial assistance.
While the ADA has five separate titles, Title II is the section specifically applicable to “public entities” (state and local governments) and the programs, services, and activities they deliver. The Department of Justice (“DOJ” or the “Department”), through its Civil Rights Division, is the key agency responsible for enforcing Title II and for coordinating other federal agencies’ enforcement activities under Title II. DOJ is the only federal entity with the authority to initiate ADA litigation against state and local governments for employment violations under Title I of the ADA and for all violations under Title II of the ADA.
Who does it Affect?
Americans with disabilities and their friends, families, and caregivers
Private employers with 15 or more employees
Businesses operating for the benefit of the public
All state and local government agencies
Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that state and local governments ensure that persons with disabilities have access to the pedestrian routes in the public right of way. An important part of this requirement is the obligation whenever streets, roadways, or highways are altered to provide curb ramps where street level pedestrian walkways cross curbs. This requirement is intended to ensure the accessibility and usability of the pedestrian walkway for persons with disabilities.
What is the Difference between Maintenance or Alteration?
An alteration is a change that affects or could affect the usability of all or part of a building or facility. Alterations of streets, roads, or highways include activities such as reconstruction, rehabilitation, resurfacing, widening, and projects of similar scale and effect. Maintenance activities on streets, roads, or highways, such as filling potholes, are not alterations. Treatments that serve solely to seal and protect the road surface, improve friction, and control splash and spray are considered to be maintenance because they do not significantly affect the public’s access to or usability of the road.
Some examples of the types of treatments that would normally be considered maintenance are: painting or striping lanes, crack filling and sealing, surface sealing, chip seals, slurry seals, fog seals, scrub sealing, joint crack seals, joint repairs, dowel bar retrofit, spot high-friction treatments, diamond grinding, and pavement patching. In some cases, the combination of several maintenance treatments occurring at or near the same time may qualify as an alteration and would trigger the obligation to provide curb ramps.
Where must Curb Ramps be Provided?
Generally, curb ramps are needed wherever a sidewalk or other pedestrian walkway crosses a curb. Curb ramps must be located to ensure a person with a mobility disability can travel from a sidewalk on one side of the street, over or through any curbs or traffic islands, to the sidewalk on the other side of the street. However, the ADA does not require installation of ramps or curb ramps in the absence of a pedestrian walkway with a prepared surface for pedestrian use. Nor are curb ramps required in the absence of a curb, elevation, or other barrier between the street and the walkway.
What are Detectable Warnings? “A standardized surface feature built in or applied to walking surfaces or other elements to warn visually impaired people of hazards on a circulation path.”
ADAAG: Required on curb ramps, hazardous vehicular areas, and reflecting pools, but not on doors to hazardous areas. The warnings must be truncated domes (§4.29).
UFAS: “Tactile warnings” (uses different terminology) required only on doors to hazardous areas. Must be a textured surface on the door handle or hardware (§4.29).
As a Public Agency, How Should I approach Compliance with Limited Resources?
Public agencies are constantly chartered with conducting business and doing “more with less”. This includes achieving compliance with Federal Mandates that require infrastructure investment, but do not provide a funding mechanism to support it. In the industry, we call them “unfunded mandates”.
Many agencies struggle with these mandates for the following reasons:
The existing infrastructure is non-compliant and therefore requires significant investment to bring it into compliance.
Agencies do not have the ability to pay for the infrastructure enhancements required to achieve compliance.
Agencies are hesitant to assess their compliance because if they document problems, then they feel obligated to fix them.
Therefore, an attitude of “If I don’t know how bad the problem is, I can ignore it for the time-being…” becomes pervasive throughout many of these Public Entities. By “not knowing” how non-compliant their agency is in regards to this requirement, the agency is actually creating more litigation risk for itself. At VUEWorks, we have developed an ADA-compliance methodology that utilizes GIS and Risk-based prioritization to develop a long-term plan focused on ADA compliance.
The plan is simple and follows the typical Asset Management life-cycle approach:
Inventory – Utilizing GIS, mobile mapping and boots-on-the-ground inspection (where required)
Assess – Visually inspect infrastructure assets and quantify their compliance
Prioritize – Develop a list of high-risk assets that need immediate attention
Execute – Re-construct, upgrade or maintain infrastructure assets that are part of an annual work plan
Rinse and Repeat – Execute work plan annually and re-assess the network of assets every 3-5 years to update the plan
Next week’s blog will focus on how VUEWorks is utilized to achieve ADA compliance while limiting litigation risk to your agency …
DTS CEO, Mr. Allen Ibaugh said, “Jeremy is a great person and a talented developer, I know he will fit in with the growing development team. We are pleased to have the expanded skills Jeremy brings as we continue to work hard at exceeding the expectations for each of our existing and new customers.”
Jeremy was born in Wichita, Kansas and has been a proud resident of Colorado since 2009. Jeremy is happily married to his wife Molly and when he is not staring at the screen he is out biking, hiking, gardening and exploring.
VUEWorks® is a commercial off the shelf web based software that can readily assist with transit asset management as required by law (Statutory Reference: 49 U.S.C. Section 5326 / MAP-21 Section 20019). The system is a proven solution designed to improving asset management and provides key capabilities required for a strategic approach in assessing needs and prioritizing investments for bringing the nation’s public transit systems into a state of good repair.
Power lies in VUEWorks® configurability where customized software is not necessary. New reporting requirements to promote accountability are a standard with the system and templates may be developed and shared throughout the community further saving time and precious resources.
VUEWorks® is the performance asset management system specifically made to serve as a system of record and deal with risk, condition, and value for Transit related infrastructure. Due to the configurable capabilities of the system, Transit requirements presented by Federal Transit Administration (FTA) can be tracked and achieved via this web based GIS solution.
Meet Reporting Requirements
Quickly show a map of “state of good repair”
Assess and manage condition of capital assets (including equipment, rolling stock, infrastructure, and facilities)
Manage performance measures for state of good repair (all FTA grantees will be required to set targets)
Manage capital asset inventories and condition assessments
In short, with only a few clicks in VUEWorks®, the following requirements may be met:
Show all capital asset inventories and condition assessments
Produce an investment prioritization
Data Transfer Solutions, LLC (DTS) is the leader in rapid asset collection, GIS enablement, and sustainable maintenance with VUEWorks as a system of record and performance measures maintenance and planning.
Cody Skidmore joins DTS as a Senior Developer for its flagship Asset Management platform, VUEWorks®. With two feet, Cody will jump in and assist with developing new features for current and future customer needs. Jason Amadori, President of Asset Management for DTS shares, “We are excited to have Cody join us, as we are rapidly expanding development of VUEWorks due to significant market demands. Cody will certainly provide immediate value to the programming team, in which many new positions are now being filled. Without question, Cody joins a solid team filled with passion, and asset management continues to show no limits.”
Cody is a native of Lubbock, Texas and a United States veteran. In his 25 years building software, he has participated in every aspect of product development, design and management. His industry experience includes telecom, behavioral health, crop insurance, aerospace and industrial engineering. Cody has an unrelenting passion for technical artistry and is caring and committed to those around him.
He met his wife, Linda, on a blind date and became engaged two weeks later. The couple just celebrated their 31st wedding anniversary. Cody and Linda have two children. Their daughter Maria, 16, is studying to be a genetics researcher. Their son Jake, 14, wants to follow his dad into the field of Computer Science.
From Springfield Water and Sewer Commission in Massachusetts to the City of Marathon in the Florida Keys – From West Sound Utilities in Washington State down to Tahoe City Public Utility District in California – VUEWorks is supporting some of the most progressive water utilities and wastewater management agencies in the United States.
For over a decade and a half, VUEWorks has supported agencies with their Work and Asset Management activities across the country. Forms, templates and reports are used to jump-start any organization’s management of its stormwater, potable water and wastewater assets.
Water Distribution and Treatment Plant Management
Wastewater Collection and Treatment Plant Management
Stormwater Management and NPDES Compliance
VUEWorks provides Performance Management tools that can be used to manage the life-cycle of ANY asset through the implementation of our suite of modules.
Customer Service – For tracking issues and quick access to ticket status for customer response
Work Management – For improved operational efficiency and reporting
Valuation – For GASB 34 reporting
Condition Inspections – For CMOM, PACP and MACP inspections and required water system inspections
Risk Assessments – For infrastructure replacement prioritization programs
Budget Forecasting – For capital improvement planning
Projects – For project management and project tracking
As a web based GIS solution, VUEWorks supports tracking of field work in terms of labor, equipment and inventory. Document linking and reporting capabilities allow for compliance reporting and making NPDES activities and inspections simple, repeatable and defensible. As a turnkey system of record, many times our customers are impressed with how they can configure the system to do much more than was ever expected.
To share or to learn more about VUEWorks, simply Drop us a Note or call us at 407-382-5222.