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Complying with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): Planning, Design, and Construction Resources for Local Agencies

The 2010 U.S. Census shows that about one out of every five people in the United States has a disability which reduces or limits their mobility, hearing, or vision. These disabilities may be present at birth, may onset later in life, or may result from an accident or major life event. Disabilities can also develop with the normal aging process and this is important because the United States population as a whole is growing older.

All state and local agencies, regardless of the number of employees and funding sources, are required to ensure that its services, programs, and activities are accessible to persons with disabilities. This page focuses on the public right of way. 

Planning, design, and construction requirements

Accessible website requirements

Information posted on state and local agency websites pertaining to services, programs, and activities for the public right of way must be accessible to people with disabilities.

Basis of requirements: laws, regulations, and case law

Washington state law:

Federal laws, regulations, case law, and settlements:

U.S. Dept. of Justice info.

Funding ADA/Section 504 planning, design, and construction projects

Transition planning: engaging the disabled community

Resources in Washington state to identify disabled users of the public right of way (pdf 220 kb)
, WSDOT Local Programs

Transition planning: accessible pedestrian signal & pushbutton (APS) policy

Agencies should have an accessible pedestrian signal and pushbutton (APS) policy when they have accessible pedestrian signals and pushbuttons or get requests for them and the devices are not covered in the agency's ADA transition plan or program access plan. See below for more information on ADA transition plans and program access plans.

Examples of accessible pedestrian signal and pushbutton (APS) policies:

Transition planning step 1: ADA coordinator 

All state and local agencies, regardless of the number of employees and funding sources, are required to have an ADA coordinator.

Transition planning step 2: notice & grievance procedures 

All state and local agencies, regardless of the number of employees and funding sources, are required to have a notice and grievance procedures.

Transition planning step 3: self-evaluation (inventory) 

All state and local agencies, regardless of the number of employees and funding sources, are required to ensure that services, programs, and activities are accessible to persons with disabilities. The following information focuses on the public right of way. 

Examples of completed self-evaluations (inventories):

Examples of field inventory forms:

Example of a metric tool:

Transition planning step 4: transition plan/program access plan (action plan)

State and local agencies with 50 or more employees are required to develop a transition plan. State and local agencies with less than 50 employees are required to develop a program access plan. The following information focuses on the public right of way.

Examples of transition plans (action plans):

For more information:

Please email the WSDOT ADA Compliance Team