Working with the General Public

As the ADA Coordinator you may also be responsible for ensuring that the programs, activities and services your agency or office provides to the general public are operated according to the ADA’s regulations. State and local entities must provide programs and services in an integrated setting, unless separate or different measures are necessary to ensure equal opportunity. Additionally, state and local governments must eliminate unnecessary eligibility standards or rules that deny individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to enjoy their services, programs or activities unless "necessary" for the provisions of the service, program or activity.

As the State ADA Coordinator, you should be mindful that requirements that tend to screen out individuals with disabilities, such as requiring a driver's license as the only acceptable means of identification, are also prohibited. Safety requirements that are necessary for the safe operation of the program in question, such as requirements for eligibility for drivers' licenses, may be imposed if they are based on actual risks and not on mere speculation, stereotypes, or generalizations about individuals with disabilities.

It is also important to remember that your agency or office is required to make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, and procedures that deny equal access to individuals with disabilities, unless a fundamental alteration in the program would result. Unless an undue burden or fundamental alteration would result, the ADA also requires that state and local entities furnish auxiliary aids and services when necessary to ensure effective communication. Examples of these types of aids and services are sign language interpreters for the deaf, close captioning for the hearing impaired and Brailed materials for the blind. State and local entities may not charge individuals with disabilities for the furnishing of any measures required to ensure nondiscriminatory treatment.

And remember, state and local entities may always go beyond the requirements of the ADA to provide additional special benefits to individuals with disabilities.