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Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is the Bill of Rights for individuals with disabilities.

The ADA has five titles, two of which directly affect governmental entities. Title I prohibits discrimination in all aspects of employment, and Title II prohibits discrimination in providing public services, programs and activities. Both titles require a public entity to make reasonable accommodations and/or modifications to individuals with disabilities to allow them to participate fully in public employment and public services.


Reasonable Accommodations

Statewide Policy
  • A new Statewide Reasonable Accommodation Policy is currently being developed

Statewide Forms

If you have additional questions about reasonable accommodations, contact an agency, college, or university’s ADA Coordinator and/or Affirmative Action Officer. To locate the contact information for an agency, college, or university’s ADA Coordinator and/or Affirmative Action Officer, refer to the corresponding affirmative action plan located on the Agency AAPs tab of the Affirmative Action page on Minnesota Management and Budget's website.

Accessibility

Physical Accessibility

IT Accessibility

If you have additional questions about accessibility, contact an agency, college, or university’s ADA Coordinator and/or Affirmative Action Officer.  To locate the contact information for an agency, college, or university’s ADA Coordinator and/or Affirmative Action Officer, refer to the corresponding affirmative action plan located on the Agency AAPs tab of the Affirmative Action page on Minnesota Management and Budget's website.

Laws & Policies

Federal Laws

State Laws

Statewide Policies

Statewide Guidance
  • Reassignments Under the ADA and MHRA Guidance Document - Link Coming Soon!

Auxiliary Aids & Services

The following are frequently asked questions on providing auxiliary aids and services. If you have additional questions or need clarification, contact an agency, college, or university’s ADA Coordinator and/or Affirmative Action Officer.

  • If I have a question about ADA, who do I contact?
    The agency’s Affirmative Action Plan contains a Reasonable Accommodation Policy and Procedure. Please review the policy and procedure in the plan and contact an agency’s ADA Coordinator and/or Affirmative Action Officer for additional information regarding the agency’s ADA and reasonable accommodation policies.
  • How do I decide what accommodation to make when an individual requests an accommodation?

    Act in accordance with the agency’s Reasonable Accommodation Policy and Procedure. Contact an ADA Coordinator and/or the Affirmative Action Officer at the agency. Many questions about reasonable accommodations are in the following areas: deaf and hard of hearing, blind and visually impaired, and accessibility and alternative formats for events and publications.

    Deaf and Hard of Hearing
    • State policy: All agencies, departments, divisions and units shall ensure that all meetings, training programs, activities, other services, and the material associated with them are accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
    • Notification: All agencies, departments, divisions and units shall include the meeting accessibility language, previously detailed in this policy statement, on all items which communicate the scheduling of such meeting, training, activities, or other services.

    Blind and Visually Impaired
    • State policy: All agencies, departments, divisions and units shall ensure that all meetings, training programs, other services and activities and the material associated with them are accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired.
    • Notification: All agencies, departments, divisions and units shall include the meeting accessibility language, previously detailed in this policy statement, on all items which communicate the scheduling of such meeting, training or other services or activities.

    Events and Publications
    • State policy: All agencies, departments, divisions and units that develop, use and/or purchase written materials for distribution to the public will ensure that each document contain a statement indicating that alternative formats will be provided upon request.
    • Notification: The following statement must be included on all new materials and must be added to existing materials when they are reprinted. Pre-printed materials in use prior to reprinting shall have a label attached that contains the following statement.
  • How do I find a sign language interpreter? Do all interpreters perform the same services?

    There are sign language interpreters and oral interpreters.

    A sign language interpreter is a trained professional who translates the spoken message into sign for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. This interpreter also translates the signed message into spoken language for hearing people. The interpreter is trained in the structure of American Sign Language, the causes and effects of deafness, and the use of body and facial expressions to convey one’s feelings.

    An oral interpreter is a professional who enunciates a speaker’s remarks by means of natural lip movements with or without voice. The person is trained in utilizing optimum interpreting skills. This requires the ability to rephrase sentences involving homophones or low-visibility words and the ability to speak clearly.

    To schedule an interpreter, contact one of the vendors that is listed in the vendor contract with the state’s Department of Administration. For more information, visit the Department of Administration's website or call them at 651.296.2600. Parts of the website are password protected so you must work with Fiscal at your agency to enter some areas of the site and to arrange a purchase order to cover the cost of the service at the time you setup the interpreter service.


    Sign Language Interpreter Referrals
    When you telephone to request an interpreter, be prepared to provide the following information:
    • Agency name
    • Contact name
    • Phone number
    • Date(s) interpreter is needed
    • Length of assignment
    • Location of assignment
  • What is a TDD/TTY? How do I use it?
    A TDD (telecommunication device for the deaf) or TTY (teletypewriter) is a communication device that allows persons who are deaf or hard of hearing to communicate by connecting with another TDD/TTY. TDD/TTY’s have a keyboard and operate off of a telephone line. Individuals type questions and answers to one another on the device, which are printed on an internal paper printer and a 20-character display located at the top of the machine.
  • What is the Minnesota Relay Service?

    The Minnesota Relay Service (MRS) allows individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired to communicate over regular telephone lines. The MRS operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The relay number in the metro area is 7-1-1, in the greater Minnesota the number is 1.800.657.3529. When a relay operator answers, give the operator your area code and phone number. Then give the operator the name, area code, and phone number of the person you want call. When the person is on the line the operator will type what you say to the TDD-user, and speak to you what the TTY user types.

    Relay operators have been trained in ethics, procedure, and American Sign Language grammar. They will relay the conversation from you to the person you are calling, but they will not interfere, advise, or handle your business for you. All calls are confidential. MRS ask users to be patient with the relay process since it involves phone transfers, computer procedures, etc.

    The MRS will not:
    • Store messages to relay later.
    • Act as an information referral or directory assistance service.
    • Be a direct source of counseling or intervention.
    • Call multi-person “chat lines.”

    When using MRS please remember to have all information you are going to relay ready when you call. Operators cannot wait while you look up information or telephone numbers.
  • How do I decide if I need to have a video closed captioned?

    Decisions on closed captioning should be in accordance with the state policy.

    State policy
    • All agencies, department, divisions, and units that develop, use or purchase films or videos will buy or develop them with either open or closed captioning effective 12/31/94. The exception to this policy is: 1) the material will not be used for on-going training; 2) the material will be shown to a specific known audience which does not require open captioning for equal access to the material. Any films/videos which were purchased before 12/31/94 that are not captioned may continue to be used, but will be captioned upon request or as a requested reasonable accommodation.

    Notification
    • The entity using these films/videos will notify the viewing audience and/or their representative, in advance of the showing. This is to ensure that an accessible format is available upon request and the period of advance notice needed to accommodate the request is sufficient.
    • All agencies, departments, divisions, and units shall identify vendors for film/video captioning, real-time captioning services, and a listing (with location) of closed-caption equipment available within their immediate location.
    • Any agency electing to use close-captioning shall ensure that decoder equipment is available and in working order prior to the scheduled showing of any video/film.

    Definitions
    • Open-captioning: Written words are visible on the screen without the use of a caption decoder.
    • Closed-captioning: Written words are not visible on the screen without the use of a caption decoder.
  • If I need to have a video close captioned, how do I have it done?
    The Metro Regional Service Center of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division is available to provide technical assistance, training, and/or recommendations regarding captioning access for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.

    Close captioning of video tapes should be arranged through the agency’s ADA Coordinator or Affirmative Action Officer.
  • How can I have materials produced in Braille?
    State Services for the Blind (SSB) can produce materials in Braille. For information, visit Braille Transcription Services page on SSB's website. One page of print is usually two pages of Braille.
  • Where can I get printed materials reproduced on cassette tape or CDs?
    State Services for the Blind (SSB) can produce materials in audio. For more information, visit the Braille Transcription Services page on SSB's website.
  • What is “large print” and how can I obtain large print materials?
    Large print is generally 14 to 18 point size. You may be able to enlarge material using the copying equipment in your agency. Also, you can have your office manager check with state printing to see if materials can be enlarged at various copy centers or you may go to an outsider vendor.

    Before you enlarge materials you should find out what size print is needed by the individual.

    You could ask an individual making a request to mail you a sample copy or if the individual has access to a fax machine, a sample could be sent to you that way as well.
  • If I am in charge of planning an office event, workshop, conference, or seminar, am I responsible for making sure the location is accessible? If so, how do I proceed?
    Yes, you are responsible for ensuring that the meeting place is accessible. Use the Off-site Accessibility Checklist and Building Access Survey found on the Accessibility Tab on this page and complete a survey of the proposed site.
  • If I am in charge of planning an office event, CLE program, conference, or a seminar, how do I find out if someone who might be attending the program needs an accommodation?
    On your notification of the event, include a sentence asking anyone who needs an accommodation to contact you at a voice telephone number or by email so that you can arrange to provide the accommodation. You may use the following sentence:

    If you need an accommodation for this event (i.e., sign language interpreter, braille, wheelchair accessibility, etc.), this can be made available upon advance request. Please contact [Name and Title of Contact] at least two weeks prior to the event at [Phone Number of Contact] or [Email of Contact] to arrange an accommodation.
  • If I am going to be speaking at an event, seminar, etc., which is sponsored by another agency or organization, not our office, do I have to make arrangements for reasonable accommodations?
    When you send your letter of acceptance to the sponsoring organization include a sentence advising the group that it should notify all who will be attending that reasonable accommodations can be provided and a telephone number or email address to use requests for accommodations.
  • If I am going to produce brochures, reports, or other printed materials that will be made available to the public, how do I make those who would need an alternate format aware that it can be made available?
    Follow the State policy.
    • This document can be made available in alternative formats, such as large print, braille, or audio tape, by calling ___________ (voice) or emailing _______________.

    The following statement meets the established general audience readability standards:
    • This material can be given to you in different forms, like large print, braille, or on a tape, if you call _____________(voice) or email ______________and ask.

    If the brochures, or other materials are in heavy demand by the public, you should have a few copies of these materials in alternate format on hand.

Reports