ADA - Title II

Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act covers state and local governments and non-discrimination based on disability. This law is enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice and implemented by the Federal Highway Administration. The U.S. Access Board develops and maintains ADA Accessibility Guidelines for design of new construction and alterations.

Definition of "disability" - a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of an individual's major life activities. These may include caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating and working.

Basic Requirements of Title II include the following:

  • Must ensure that individuals with disabilities are not excluded from programs, services and activities, including pedestrian facilities
  • New construction and altered facilities must be free of architectural and communication barriers
  • Does not require that an entire facility be barrier free, as long as access to individual programs, activities and services is provided

Title II

  • Requires development of a grievance procedure
  • Requires that an individual be designated to oversee Title II compliance
  • Perform and retain a self evaluation for three years
  • Must develop a Transition Plan if structural changes are necessary for achieving program accessibility

Public Entity Requirements

  • Designate a responsible employee for resolving ADA issues
  • Make person's name and phone number available to public
  • Disseminate information to the public informing them of rights and protections afforded by ADA
  • Develop a grievance procedure

Title II - New Construction

  • Any facility altered or constructed after Jan. 26, 1992 must comply with ADA Accessibility Guidelines or Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards
  • Can depart from these standards if equivalent or higher access is provided
  • New construction is expected to provide the highest level of accessibility, free of architectural and communication barriers
    Examples: BOK Center - certified ADA accessible; ONEOK Field - a model of accessibility

Title II - Alterations

  • Alterations must meet minimum design standards. Documentation is key when not able to meet specific design requirements
  • Facilities that are altered must be made accessible and comply with accessibility standards
  • Required to meet other design specifications when one requirement is technically infeasible

Title II - Existing Facilities

  • Each service, program or activity conducted by the City of Tulsa must be readily accessible and usable by disabled individuals, except when a fundamental alteration in the program or undue financial or administrative burden would occur
  • Allows for relocating a public program or providing alternative access to a service rather than altering a facility
  • Structural changes are required if the program cannot be modified
  • Level of usability that balances constraints of existing conditions when available resources are the goal

Maintaining Accessibility

Must maintain accessibility features of facilities in operable working condition.


  • Sidewalks blocked by cars or street furniture
  • Elevators that do not work
  • Snow or debris on sidewalks and/or curb ramps
  • While cleaning drainage systems
  • While trimming trees and landscaping

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

  • Applies to employers and organizations that receive financial assistance from any federal department or agency
  • Forbids organizations and employers from excluding or denying individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to receive program benefits and services
  • Defines the rights of individuals with disabilities to participate in, and have access to program benefits and services