Administrative Requirements for Title II Public Entities

SUMMARY: To jumpstart and maintain their compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title II public entities should adhere to five administrative requirements.

To comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), state and local governments (Title II public entities) must be accessible. Buildings and facilities need to be accessible, as do programs, services, and activities. By following these administrative requirements, public entities can more easily achieve accessibility.

Designate an ADA Coordinator

The ADA Coordinator for a public entity is a responsible employee who can oversee ADA implementation and related issues. This is usually someone with the authority to make decisions and take actions to improve compliance.

Have a Grievance Procedure

A public entity should offer a way for people to communicate with the entity about ADA compliance. The entity should establish and publicize a process for receiving and responding to comments, questions, and complaints. This is important so the public knows how to reach out. An established grievance procedure may also make it easier for complaints to be resolved simply and locally.

Publish a Notice to the Public

This notice typically describes the public entity’s commitment to ADA compliance. It can be posted in buildings and on websites. It can also be used in printed materials and in public service announcements on the radio. It should be made available across multiple types of publishing media (print, audio, web, and so on).

Conduct a Self-Evaluation

Required by all public entities, regardless of size, this assessment is meant to identify any barriers to participation by people with disabilities in all programs, services, and activities. Any entity with 50 or more employees must keep the assessment on file for 3 years (1991 Regulations).

This self-evaluation should have been completed long ago—by July 26, 1993. As it is likely that programs, services, and activities have evolved since then, public entities are encouraged to periodically re-assess themselves in order to continue to identify barriers to accessibility.

Develop a Transition Plan

A transition plan is about architectural barriers that impact access to programs, services, and activities. This plan should prioritize needed structural improvements to achieve program accessibility and is required for public entities with 50 or more employees. The development of the plan should be informed by input from the disability community.

A transition plan typically includes the following information:

  • A prioritized list of physical barriers that limit the accessibility of programs, services, and activities
  • The methods that will be used to remove the barriers
  • The schedule for when the work will be completed
  • Who is responsible for the plan’s implementation

The plan should serve as a living, breathing document to help guide and prioritize accessibility improvements. While ADA regulations do not say exactly how often this plan must be updated, a public entity should review its plan periodically to ensure that it is current and accurate.

An initial transition plan should have been created by July 26, 1992, and barriers should have been removed by July 26, 1995. The 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design now contains requirements for several areas that were not in the 1991 ADA regulations, so transition plans from the 1990’s likely do not address all the ADA barriers for sites and facilities—such as swimming pools and play areas, to name a few.

More about Administrative Requirements

The ADA Title II Action Guide for State and Local Governments expands on the information in this article and is an excellent resource for a public entity working to implement Title II of the ADA. This guide includes self-evaluation forms and useful sample documents, as well as examples of how various public entities have handled their administrative requirements.

Another guide that we like is ADA Update: A Primer for State and Local Governments, published by the US Department of Justice.


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