Americans with Disabilites Act Self Evaluation and Transition Plan

Town of Leverett drafts plan to adopt new policies

INTRODUCTION

The Town of Leverett (the Town) was first established in 1774 after successfully petitioning for separation from Sunderland and was named after John Leverett. The Town is located on the edge of the Pioneer Valley and is part of Franklin County. It measures approximately 23.0 square miles and is bordered by five (5) towns, the largest of which is Amherst. The population is approximately 2,000 residents.

Like all municipalities, the Town has a regulatory obligation to ensure that it does not discriminate against individuals with disabilities in the provision of municipal programs and services. The ADA defines individuals with disabilities as those who fall into one of the following three categories:

  1. Individuals who have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities,
  2. Individuals with a record of such an impairment; or
  3. Individuals regarded as having such an impairment.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does not necessarily require that all of the Town’s facilities are fully accessible. Rather it requires that all of the Town’s programs and services, “when viewed in their entirety,” are accessible. The law provides public entities with some flexibility in how this standard can be met. Both structural and nonstructural methods of providing “program access” can be used.

In order to ensure such accessibility, the ADA requires a public entity to take five administrative actions:

  1. Designate an employee responsible for carrying out compliance activities.
  2. Provide notice to the public of its rights and protections under the ADA and how the entity complies with those obligations.
  3. Establish a grievance procedure.
  4. Conduct a Self-Evaluation, a comprehensive review of policies and procedures.
  5. Develop an ADA Transition Plan.

The only limit to the Town’s obligations is if an action will result in a fundamental alteration to the program or service or create undue administrative or financial burdens. The decision that compliance would result in such alteration or burdens must be made by the head of the public entity or his or her designee and must be accompanied by a written statement of the reasons for reaching that conclusion. If it is determined that barrier removal will result in such an alteration or burdens, the Town must still “take any other action that would not result in such an alteration or such burdens but would nevertheless ensure that individuals with disabilities receive the benefits or services provided by the public entity.”

To read more, please open the PDF, below.

Attached Files:

Posted: to General Town News on Fri, Jun 8, 2018
Updated: Fri, Jun 8, 2018

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