What is the Americans with Disabilities Act?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) gives civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities. It guarantees to provide equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, State and local government services, and telecommunications.Notice Under the Americans With Disabilities Act
Who is protected under the ADA?
“Qualified individuals with disabilities,” including applicants for employment and employees, are protected under the ADA.
An individual is considered to have a “disability” if he or she:
- Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities
- Has a record of such impairment
- Is regarded as having such an impairment
Any individual who is discriminated against because they have a known association or relationship with an individual with a disability are also protected.
Title I of the ADA states that employers may not discriminate against individuals with disabilities in the areas of employment practices, employment terms, privileges of employment, and conditions.
The title I employment provisions apply to:
- Private employers
- State and local governments
- Employment agencies
- Labor Unions
- Employers with 25 or more employees (1992) 15 or more employees (1994)
For more information on Title I, please contact Michael Kitchen, manager of labor & employee relations, at 816-513-1947 or Michael.Kitchen@kcmo.org.
Title II of the ADA prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in all programs, activities, and services of public entities. Coverage is extended to all public entities that provide public transportation, including commuter and intercity rail (AMTRAK).
Title II applies to:
- State and local governments
- State and local governments departments and agencies
- Any other instrumentalities or special purpose districts of State or local governments
Title III of the ADA states that a public accommodation may not discriminate against an individual with a disability in the operation of a place of public accommodation. Individuals with disabilities may not be denied full and equal enjoyment of the "goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations" offered by a place of public accommodation.
Title III of the ADA applies to:
- Public accommodations
- Commercial facilities
- Private entities offering certain examinations and courses.
For a complete list of Title III violations, please visit the ADA website
FAQs about ADA Compliance
Q. Does the city have to provide curb ramps at every intersection on existing streets?
No. Public entities may choose to construct curb ramps at every point where a sidewalk intersects a curb, but they are not required to do so unless there is an alteration to the adjacent street. However, when streets, roads, or highways are newly built or altered, they must have ramps or sloped areas where ever there are curbs or other barriers to entry from a sidewalk or path. To request a curb ramp installation, please contact the 3-1-1 Call Center.Q. Does the City install ramps on private property?
No. The City does not install ramps for residents with disabilities on private property. This is the responsibility of the property owner.Q. Why do some pedestrian signals "chirp", "beep" or "buzz"?
. The City of Kansas City installs Accessible Pedestrian Signals (APS) at intersections with pedestrian crossings. The audible sounds on many signals allow citizens who are visually impaired to locate the signal pushbutton and to know when it is safe to cross. Some of Kansas City's APS also have a "vibrotactile" feature that "buzzes". All new or updated signals will be outfitted to include APS and requests for specific locations can be made through the 3-1-1 Call Center
. Click here
for more information on APS. Q. Is a city required to modify its policies whenever requested in order to accommodate individuals with disabilities?
No. A public entity must make only “reasonable modifications” in its policies, practices, or procedures to avoid discrimination. If a modification would fundamentally alter service, programs, or activities, the public entity is not required to make modifications.Q. Can the City arrange for auxiliary aids and provide reasonable accommodation at public meetings?
Yes. A public entity is required to provide reasonable accommodation and make available appropriate auxiliary aids where necessary to ensure effective communication about and full participation in City programs, activities and services. There are many ways the City can provide reasonable accommodation. To submit an accommodation request for a public meeting, please contact the 3-1-1 Call Center
at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting you would like to attend. Q. How does Title II affect participation in a State or local government's programs, activities, and services?
A state or local government must eliminate any eligibility criteria for participation in programs, activities, and services that screen out or tend to screen out persons with disabilities, unless it can establish that the requirements are necessary for the provision of the service, program, or activity. The State or local government may, however, adopt legitimate safety requirements necessary for safe operation if they are based on real risks, not on stereotypes or generalizations about individuals with disabilities. Finally, a public entity must reasonably modify its policies, practices, or procedures to avoid discrimination. If the public entity can demonstrate that a particular modification would fundamentally alter the nature of its service, program, or activity, it is not required to make that modification.