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The ADA provides a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities.

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ADA Information ADA Coordinator s Office Orange County, Florida Summary of Self Evaluation, January 26, 1992 Federal Requirements of Accessibility Orange County s Approach Notice County Operations Common
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ADA Information ADA Coordinator s Office Orange County, Florida Summary of Self Evaluation, January 26, 1992 Federal Requirements of Accessibility Orange County s Approach Notice County Operations Common Services, Activities and Programs. Public Contact. Printed Materials. Meetings Services, Activities and Programs Employment Policies and Procedures Guidelines and Suggestions on Disability(ies) Emergency Evacuation Procedures and Guidelines for Persons with Disabilities Federal Requirements of Accessibility The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), enacted on July 26, 1990, provides comprehensive rights and protections to individuals with disabilities in the areas of employment, public accommodations, State and local government services, and telecommunications. The goal of the ADA is to assure equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living and economic self-sufficiency. The ADA prohibits all state and local governments and most private businesses from discriminating on the basis of disability. The ADA provides a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities. The Act is a historic, significant and far-reaching piece of Federal legislation that will have a tremendous impact on local government programs, services and facilities. The ADA covers individuals with physical or mental impairments that substantially limit a major life activity, persons with a record of such impairment, and persons regarded or perceived as having such impairment. The Act is broken down into five sections: Title I of the ADA prohibits employment discrimination against otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities Title II of the ADA prohibits discrimination in services (including employment to the extent not already covered by Title I) provided by the state and local government entities. 1 Title III prohibits discrimination in places of public accommodation, commercial facilities, and transportation. Title IV mandates that telecommunication devices be in place for the hearing impaired. Title V miscellaneous provisions. This report refers to the provisions specified in Title II of the ADA that apply to all services, activities and programs (aka SAP s) including employment, provided or made available by Orange County Government. There are three major activities covered by Title II: 1. Those involving general public contact as part of the ongoing operations of the entity. Activities in this category include communication with the public (telephone contacts, office walk-ins, or interviews) and the public s use of the entities facilities. 2. Those directly administered by the entities for program beneficiaries and participants. Activities in the second category include programs that provide State or local government services or benefits. 3. Employment. Each entity was required to complete a self-evaluation of its current SAP as the first step toward ADA compliance, determining what services were accessible and those that required modifications to meet the needs of the disabled. The selfevaluation of facilities and SAPs was conducted in The self evaluation was kept on file for at least three years and was made available on request for public inspection. Orange County, FL Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan This report highlights the data collected in Orange County s self-evaluation particularly its physical structures and SAPs (services, activities and programs). In most cases, the County found that its SAPs are accessible or can readily be made accessible to persons with disabilities. All issues regarding structural barriers are addressed in an updated Transition Plan. In cases where structural barrier removal was necessary but not possible, alternative access to the specified program was provided. The County provides training to employees on the requirements of the ADA through its Supervisors Leadership Program. Employees, supervisors, managers, and HR Coordinators are provided training on ADA requirements and the County s approach to compliance. As required by the ADA, a grievance procedure has been developed. Policies and procedures to guide the County and its employees in providing SAPs is a continuing process. 2 For ease of review, this overview of the self-evaluation is divided into the following sections: General Overview of County Operations Services of the County Employment Policies and Procedures Guidelines and Suggestions for Providing Services to Persons with Disabilities Grievance Procedure Actual detailed survey forms are on file in the ADA Coordinator s office for review. Americans with Disabilities Act Orange County Government does not discriminate on the basis of disability in the admission or access to, or treatment or employment in, its programs or activities. In 1992, each Department Director was designated to coordinate compliance with the on-discrimination requirements contained in the Department of Justice regulations implementing Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), including section Information concerning the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the rights provided is available from the Office of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Civil Rights Division, US Department of Justice, Washington, DC (202/ voice) (202/ TTY) or you may contact the County ADA Coordinator. County Operations Orange County Government has over 7,000 full and part-time employees providing services such as fire fighting, emergency rescue, law enforcement, inspections, planning, housing and economic development, water and sanitation services, recreation, events, classes, and public information dissemination. The County provides high quality services to protect, preserve, and enhance the County for present and future generations. It is a high performing, inclusive government which partners with its community to create and preserve an environmentally safe and clean, quality of life. In July 1990 President Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law. This Act made revolutionary changes in almost every segment of American life. The potential scope of the ADA is enormous when one considers the number of Americans who have disabilities. The County, as a recipient of federal assistance, has continually strived to eliminate barriers that may prevent persons with disabilities from enjoying employment, access to facilities and services or other benefits. 3 In an effort to comply with the provisions of the ADA and to ensure that the operation of each County service, activity, and program is readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, the County evaluated its facilities. This summary outlines changes required for program accessibility and continues to evaluate its services, policies and practices. The success of our efforts will require continued innovation, creativity, and the dedication of additional resources to ensure access to all of our citizens. Common Services, Activities and Programs A comprehensive self-evaluation was undertaken by the County for the purpose of reviewing and assessing County structures and its services, activities and programs for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Each department identified the direct and indirect services it provided and was asked to determine if those services met or could be modified to meet the needs of the disabled. Responses were divided into three categories: Public Contact, Printed Materials, and Meetings. The purpose of the following information is to describe and define the groupings and categories. Public Contact Public contact is typically defined as one on one interaction between staff members and members of the general public. Public contact may take one or more of the following norms: Telephone Numerous phone calls are received on a daily basis requesting information on a wide range of topics. Additionally, the County provides special phone hotline services: 2-1-1, Community Services and Emergency Assistance. Other examples are: Requests for information and assistance Registration for various programs or services Reporting abandoned vehicles, graffiti, or code violations Interviews with witnesses, victims, etc. Counter/Walk-in Assistance Many offices within the County receive visitors on a regular basis, as part of the day to day operation. Individuals who walk in to request information and a variety of types of services, include Applications for various licenses and permits Payment collection on bills or citations Document requests Services specific to a department Emergency assistance Employment applications Tours/Entertainment & Events The unique nature of some county operations lend themselves to visitation by residents and tourists seeking information on entertainment, parks and recreation and historic sites. A few examples are: 4 History Museum Orange County Convention Center County Golf Course Tours of various facilities Volunteers The County uses volunteers to enhance many of its programs. Some volunteers work directly with the public in a variety of roles, such as: Staffing special events, fairs and celebrations Providing staff and/or program support to departments Interviewing/Testing Applicants for employment go through an interview process. Depending upon the type of work they perform, they may be asked to take additional skill tests. Other uses of interviewing and/or testing are: Witness, suspect and victim contacts Complaint investigations Printed Materials In addition to direct public contact, information regarding services, programs and activities is distributed through the use of printed materials. Although the initial contact may be by phone, a typical request could be for a brochure, report or application. Applications Many activities or service requests, which must comply with rules, regulations, or ordinances are processed through the use of applications. Applications are also required as the initial step of employment, registration for participation in programs and services offered by the County, and appointment to advisory boards. The format of the application varies based on the purpose. Some typical areas of use are: Obtaining a license or permit to build a structure, operate a business or reserve a facility for a special event or activity Applying for a staff, board or commission position Registering for programs or activities Brochures/Fliers These are used as informational and promotional tools to enhance participation. Brochures and fliers provide information to the public about workshops or community education programs or can be used to promote an upcoming special event. Examples are: Announcements regarding community meetings or event Information on fire safety, recycling, and water conservation Newsletters Educational or recreational programs 5 Billing The means by which the County collects fees and other revenues for activities and/or services provided to the public, including the following: Utility bills Citations Licenses Class or activity registration Noticing provides legal notification to the public on municipal affairs. Examples are: Agendas and public notices for commissioners meetings, advisory board meetings, etc. Scheduled public meetings Official publications in local media Document/Records/Staff Reports These reflect the legal and historical records of the County. Examples are: Administrative staff reports Meeting minutes Contracts and agreements Ordinances and resolutions Budget or audit documents Meetings Meetings are a part of the daily operation. Some meetings are formal and noticed. Others are working sessions focusing on project management or internal operations. Some examples are: Official Public Meetings Board of County Commissioner s Zoning Board Boards and Commissions Community Education/Awareness Workshops and seminars are held for the public to increase awareness of resources in the community, include, but are not limited to: Staff training Safety and prevention presentations Citizens Academy Community forums and events Inspections In order to ensure public compliance with state and local ordinances, qualified staff from various departments conduct inspections. These may include: Code enforcement Fire prevention Occupancy Certification audits 6 Project meetings meetings to review projects include: Pre-proposal/pre-construction meetings Walk-through s Advisory/Focus Groups Task forces Numerous Advisory Boards Visual Displays materials used for informational, educational or training purposes, include but are not limited to: Bulletin boards Audio and video presentation materials Classes and Workshops Classes and workshops are conducted by many of the departments. At times outside providers are used to offer classes and workshops on the County s behalf. Examples include: Recreational classes and activities Training and educational classes Workshops and presentations Services, Activities and Programs There are two types: accessible and inaccessible which are defined below. Accessible Emergency Response The Fire Department responds to fires, rescue, emergency medical aid, and hazardous material emergencies Arrest of Suspects The Sheriff s Offices respond to arrests and cite suspects. Code Enforcement offers a volunteer program that provides citizens and employees an opportunity to learn about its operations and what a code officer experiences during a work shift. Securing Vendors/Contractors/Consultants Through solicitation and the RFP process, staff advertises for, interviews and contracts with vendors, consultants and contractors for the procurement of material, supplies, design, or project development. Inaccessible circumstances where, because of safety concerns, required proficiency levels, and/or sanctioned requirements of law enforcement procedures---services, activities or programs will likely be inaccessible to some members of the community with disabilities. Others might be: Recreation and Competitive Sports A broad range of recreational activities are provided by the Parks Department. Most recreational activities or programs held in a class or clinic can be adapted to allow participation by persons with disabilities. Where competitive leagues and tournaments are offered to the general public, the flexibility to be adaptive is impacted by safety concerns, proficiency requirements and/or 7 the rules of the sanctioning organization. In all cases, a review of each individual situation will occur in order to explore all possibilities and opportunities for participation. Generally however, Individuals needing assistive devices that may pose a hazard for the safe play of others might be denied participation. Decisions will be made on a case x case basis. Safety for both the participant and other players must be considered in all cases. When an umbrella organization sanctions an event, the published rules of that organization will provide the framework for determining proficiency/skill levels of play, unless governing regulations allow rule modification. Assistive devices will be provided to enable equal opportunity when it has been determined that safety, sanctioning rules and proficiency levels can be met. The County will continue its efforts to provide services in the most integrated setting possible. Additionally, the ADA Coordinator and the Disability Advisory Board can provide a variety of information that specifically targets persons with disabilities. These programs are designed to enhance the quality of life for anyone who may require special accommodation due to developmental, emotional, medical or physical considerations. Employment The County s employment practices have been in compliance with the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and, therefore, significant changes are not necessary to comply with the ADA. The following actions will continue to be taken to meet new or expanded requirements. Continue to review employment rules and regulations to ensure that they do not discriminate against individuals with disabilities As recruitment occurs, physical or cognitive skills shall be reviewed to ensure that requirements related to performance of essential functions of the positions With the exception of positions covered by regulation, there are no automatic disqualifications for medical conditions. Each case is considered individually and reasonable accommodation is considered in all cases. Positions requiring a physical agility examination will be reviewed to ensure the job relatedness of all physical activities is simulated in the test Reasonable accommodations are available upon request for use in the selection/hiring process Employee training in sign language is being considered Job announcements should be available, upon request, in alternate formats A listing of the County and various TTY phone numbers shall be included on job announcements The EEO/ADA statement will be included on job fliers and employment applications 8 Discriminating language is not allowed in job postings, applications or test material Orientations for interview panels shall include a discussion of non-discriminatory conduct for the interview selection process Outreach efforts shall include mailings to agencies servicing persons with disabilities Policies and Procedures Policies One required element of the self-evaluation is a review of policies that affect accessibility to County services. The ADA requires that where policies are found to be discriminatory, appropriate modifications will be made. A review was made of all existing policies. This review considered both official and informal policies. Some areas required policies to be created; others, policies needed to be modified. The policies that follow reflect actions taken and are not recognized as basic in providing Services, Activities and Programs to all residents of our community and to job applicants and employees--- It is the intent of the County to ensure that all individuals employees, applicants and the public-at-large are knowledgeable of the requirements of ADA and are informed on the process and resources used by the City to make services, activities and programs accessible. The County will assure equal employment opportunity and fair employment practices through diversity to all persons regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age, sexual orientation, medical condition or disability. Services, activities and programs will be offered in an accessible fashion. Requests for reasonable accommodation will be responded to positively where no proficiency, safety and/or sanctioned requirements are in place. Efforts will be taken to ensure that all public meetings are held in the Sunshine and are accessible. Notification of an accommodation is required per County Administrative Regulations. All material prepared for official public meetings is available upon request if needed in alternate format. Contracts made with entities that provide a service, activity or program to the public, on behalf of the County, should include a clause requiring 9 compliance by the contractor with all County policies concerning accessibility. Procedures to ensure compliance with the ADA and implementation of these policies will be developed and disseminated to appropriate staff. Procedures New employee orientation will include a section that covers disability policies concerning the ADA. Training will be provided on disability awareness. Notification to the public will occur through statements. On all public meeting agendas and announcements, the process for requesting auxiliary aids will be noted. Upon request, assistive services and devices may be made available. Examples are: large print, documents on tape or in Braille, readers for individuals with visual impairments, amplification or listening devices, and interpreters. All agendas, fliers, display aids, and meeting announcements will contai
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