Americans with Disabilities Act Compliance Plan
City of Columbia TDOT ADA Transition Plan
The City of Columbia has been working on a transition plan that will reflect the results of the survey to determine which the five sections (called Titles) in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): Employment (Title I), Public Services and Transportation (Title II), Public Accommodations (Title III), Telecommunications (Title IV), and Other Provisions (Title V) require improvement.
Early work suggests that both programmatic and architectural barriers exist for persons with disabilities interested in accessing the City of Columbia's programs and services. The City has inventoried our facilities, walkways, and streets to compile a list of things that need to be addressed to enable the citizens of Columbia with a disability to be provided the same programs and services as other citizens.
Although a number of steps have been taken to ensure compliance with Title I of the ADA, such as policies and procedures to request accommodations, policies on discrimination and harassment, the establishment of the ADA coordinator, established complaint procedure and training for new employees during the onboarding process, additional steps are necessary. The City has reviewed the recruitment process and written guidelines have been developed and will be widely disseminated to all hiring authorities after Council approves a charter revision. The establishment of an accommodation committee with disabled citizens and more training are currently being worked on. Each aspect of employment must be conducted without bias or discrimination towards disabled individuals.
The City created a task force with representation from each department to perform the study and inventory facilities and program accessibility weaknesses. The ADA Task Force was established and charged with developing a self-evaluation instrument. The Task Force meets regularly as needed throughout the year to monitor compliance issues as identified in this report.
The Parks and Recreation Department offers most of the City's events and programs. They have inventoried all of the 21 parks within the City. The outdoor pavilion at Cook Soccer Park has been completed with ADA accessibility to pavilion and field 5. Completed accessibility to two restrooms and parking at Cook. Splash Pad at Riverwalk Park was made ADA accessible with an outdoor path. In addition, Riverwalk Park, Betty Lee Park, and Ridley Park are ADA accessible. Woodland Park playground and playground pavilion are ADA accessible along with the Parks and Recreation office, entrance, and parking at the Rainey House (office) Fairview Park have one ballfield accessible and the Fairview Center has an accessible entrance, kitchen, and restrooms. The remaining parks have been assessed and based on what is required, establish a priority list that includes but is not limited to, provision of adaptive equipment, reassignment of services to accessible buildings, provision of auxiliary aids and services, delivery of services at alternate accessible sites, or the alteration of existing facilities.
The following still need to be addressed:
- Parks and Recreation
- Police Department
- Fire Stations 1,2,4, and 5
- City Hall
- Public Works
- Streets and Sidewalks
- Physical Barriers
- Program Barriers
Municipally Sponsered Programs
The City is committed to allowing persons with disabilities to participate in municipally sponsored programs. This includes recreation opportunities sponsored by the City's Parks and Recreation Department, community meetings, and other events hosted or sponsored by the City. The City will achieve this goal by integrating all of the steps outlined above into these programs, including providing for effective communications and ensuring meetings and events are, to the extent possible, held in ADA-accessible parks and facilities. The City is taking additional specific actions to improve accessibility, including the following:
- Formal ADA Recreational Policy; The Parks and Recreation Department will develop a formal policy for accommodating disabled persons, where feasible. The City will look into adding a handicap accessible lift at the public pool and has historically allowed disabled children to participate in City sponsored recreational programs on a case by case basis. However, a formal policy has not previously been established. It shall be the City's policy not to discriminate again disabled persons wishing to participate in a City-sponsored recreational activity, and as such, the City will do their best to accommodate all participants.
- Accessible Vehicle Transportation; Departments that operate transportation vehicles for the public include Parks and Recreation and Police. Neither department currently has a handicap accessible vehicle. At least one handicap accessible vehicle should be purchased by the City, or be made available to rent at short notice for use by these departments
- Backdoor Trash Pickup; The city provides backdoor trash pickup for elderly or disabled residents who are unable to bring their bin to the curb. This service is advertised publicly through alternate forms of communication to ensure that disabled residents are aware of the service.
Training for City Staff on ADA Compliance
In order to ensure effective implementation of this plan, and to afford staff with the tools necessary to provide better accessibility, the City will provide the following training on the following topics for staff:
- ADA Coordinator training
- ADA Transition Plan training for all City staff
- Specialized training for field staff who may deal with the public as part of their job duties.
Action Logs Conclusion
The City is taking the actions referenced throughout this page and will continue to look for ways to remove barriers to access so that the disabled citizens of the City of Columbia are given access to the City's programs, services, and activities.