What is the ADA?
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA; a federal law: full text available here; technical assistance available here) provides civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities like those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. The ADA guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, State and local government services, and telecommunications.
The ADA has five sections or “titles” which address different areas of the law. Title II of the ADA addresses state and local governments, such as Montgomery County. Title II protects qualified individuals with disabilities from discrimination on the basis of disability in accessing government services, programs, or activities.
Who are individuals with disabilities?
The ADA protects three categories of individuals:
Individuals who have a physical or mental disability that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
Individuals who have a record of a physical or mental disability that substantially limited one or more of the individual's major life activities.
Individuals who are regarded as having such a disability, regardless of whether they have the disability. Common examples are someone who is obese or someone who is scarred from an injury.
Who are “qualified” individuals with disabilities?
To be qualified, the individual must meet the essential eligibility requirements for receipt of services or participation in county programs, activities, or services with or without
Reasonable modifications to a public entity’s rules, policies, or practices;
Removal of architectural, communication, or transportation barriers; or
Provision of auxiliary aids and services.
Health and safety factors can be taken into account in determining who is qualified. An individual who poses a “direct threat” to the health or safety of others is not qualified. A direct threat is a significant risk of substantial harm to the health or safety of others that cannot be eliminated or reduced to an acceptable level by accommodations or modifications to the program. This threat must be real and may not be based on generalizations or stereotypes about the effects of a particular disability.
The Americans with Disabilities Act and Montgomery County government
Montgomery County is committed to providing equal opportunities to residents with disabilities to participate in, and benefit from, County government programs. With regard to employment, the County complies with all regulations promulgated by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and does not discriminate on the basis of disability. County employees or applicants who believe they have been subjected to employment discrimination may file a complaint with the EEO Compliance Unit of the Office of Human Resources.
Montgomery County will provide auxiliary aids and services for persons with qualified disabilities and will make reasonable modifications to its policies and precedures in order to provide effective communication and to assist participants in its programs and services, to ensure that residents with disabilities are able to participate in County services, programs, and activities. To request a service or an accommodation, please contact the office coordinating the program or the office of Nancy Greene, the ADA Compliance Manager, at 240-777-6197 (TTY 240-777-6196) as soon as possible, and no later than three business days prior to the scheduled activity.
For access to programs and services provided by the Recreation Department, see their web page here and the associated e-mail contact address.
For access to programs and services provided by the County Library, check here.
For access to programs and services provided by the Montgomery County Circuit Court, check here.
TheADA does not require the County to make accommodations that would fundamentally alter the nature of its programs or impose undue financial or administrative burdens.
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