Does Your Company Have an ADA Coordinator (ADAC)?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires state and local government entities with over 50 employees to designate an ADA Coordinator (ADAC) to oversee and coordinate ADA compliance. The U.S. Department of Justice strongly recommends that smaller state and local government entities (less than 50 employees) also designate an ADA Coordinator as they have the same compliance obligations as larger entities. Private entities are not required to have an ADA Coordinator but it is strongly recommended.
Since the passage of the ADA in 1990 business, corporations, industries, non-profit agencies, and private k-12 and post-secondary institutions have found having an ADA Coordinator is essential to meeting ADA compliance obligations. The position of ADA Coordinator, once relatively obscure has now become common-place.
I recommend that private entities with a Human Resources Department (HR), Facilities Maintenance Department (FM), and Information Technology Department (IT), have an ADA Coordinator for each department. I say this because each department is unique in responsibility and operation. The likelihood that an individual can be knowledgeable in each department is low. Yet the function of each department is significant.
Human Resources is largely responsible for hiring and firing of employees for the entity. This is a huge ADA Title I responsibility and individuals who work in HR are educated and trained specifically for this function. It is unlikely that HR specialists will also be experts in FM and/or IT.
Facilities Maintenance is largely responsible for maintaining the built structures of the entitiy. This is ADA Title II and III. These individuals will be educated and trained in building maintenance, operation and repair. FM specialists may not be knowledgeable in employment issues or information technology.
Information Technology is responsible for all things involved with the computers, projectors, internet, telecommunications, and website. Key word there is website. The newest and most common source of lawsuits for ADA compliance is websites of entiities that have built facilities and a website. This is a very complex issue that people in HR or FM may have very little knowledge of. IT issues are covered under Title IV mostly, although Title II and Title III may also apply to IT.
The ADA Coordinator Training Certification Program (ACTCP) is designed to meet the training and professional needs of ADA Coordinators. The ACTCP is all encompassing, so that to complete the certification will require training in all aspects of an entity. I support this concept because it is good for any ADA Coordinator to have an overview of ADA requirements, even if they will go on to work in only one of the departments discussed above. In all likelihood, the ADA Coordinator in HR can be the “main” ADA Coordinator at an entity, with the ADA Coordinators in FM and IT reporting to the HR ADAC.
ACTCP certification verifies that participants have completed training in required content areas and have an indepth knowledge of ADA issues. Upon completion of the program, ACTCP certifies a knowledge-base essential to performing the role of an ADA Coordinator, including:
Establishing and overseeing grievance procedures.
Conducting self-evaluation plans.
Implementation of transition plans.
Monitoring on-going progress in ADA compliance.
Coordinating activities among a number of departments.
Identifying and utilizing appropriate resources for ADA compliance.
Knowledge of ADA regulations and guidelines.