December 2017 Vol. 25, No. 4

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ADA transition plans for local agencies: training and online guide available

Man in wheelchair

Photo: Shutterstock

The Minnesota Local Road Research Board (LRRB) is sponsoring a series of training courses on the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (1990). The training, which will be offered through Minnesota LTAP over the next year, will help local agencies learn about the ADA, develop transition plans, and plan design and construction.

The ADA is a wide-ranging civil rights law intended to prohibit discrimination and improve the accessibility of facilities and public infrastructure. It specifically requires public entities with more than 50 employees that have responsibility over streets and walkways to create a transition plan that identifies the steps needed to bring the infrastructure under their authority into compliance. Many agencies still do not have transition plans, however, resulting in the potential for civil and civic lawsuits and possibly being ineligible for or losing federal funding.

In 2012, the LRRB published the ADA Transition Plan for Public Rights of Way, which contains model transition plans, process guidelines for providing accessibility within public rights-of-way, and current ADA laws to help organizations fulfill this requirement. Please visit LRRB.org to view the guidebook.

The LRRB training will consist of three separate courses, each offered nine times throughout the state:

  • Understanding Requirements and Developing a Transition Plan
  • Design
  • Construction

The training will also be posted on the web for later viewing.

The first course in the series—Understanding Requirements and Developing a Transition Plan—is designed to guide local agencies in their efforts to complete the self-evaluations and transition plans required under the ADA. The full-day course will provide context for the full implementation of Title II of the ADA but primarily focus on the responsibility of local agencies to build and maintain accessible pedestrian infrastructure (sidewalks, curb ramps, signals, etc.). Classes are scheduled for December in each MnDOT district.

With additional content covering ADA design and construction, the course will provide attendees with information on the nuts and bolts of accessibility to help improve agency efficiency and influence project planning. The training will also cover the minimum requirements under the law along with recommendations for best practices from MnDOT.

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