ADA Program Compliance


wheelchair on stairs

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 is a civil rights law that ensures that people with physical, mental, visible or invisible disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate in all areas of life. The rights of people with disabilities are protected in the areas of employment, civic life, transportation, telecommunications and the private sector.

Title II of the ADA describes the types of access required to ensure that individuals with disabilities can fully participate in the programs, services and activities provided by a local municipality such as the City of San Francisco or state government.

Most of us think of disability access in terms of concrete adaptations to the physical environment. Examples include: building ramps in buildings, installing elevators, curb ramps on sidewalks, wide hallways, or power door operators. Although these are important architectural accessibility features, they are not enough to ensure access to programs, services or activities.

The ADA mandates that City services should also be “usable by people with disabilities”. Usability can be enhanced by specific policies and procedures that level the playing field and allow individuals with disabilities to participate effectively. More specifically, public entities are required to provide “reasonable modifications to policies practices and procedures” and “auxiliary aids and services” to ensure “effective communication”.

The City & County of San Francisco is committed to ensuring program compliance through the provision of reasonable modifications (or accommodations) through policies, practices, and procedures such as service and support animals and providing auxiliary aids and services to ensure effective communication.

Program Compliance Access Sign

On many of our departmental public counters, you will see the following sign:

Program Compliance Access Sign graphic 

This means that our staff will make an effort to alter a policy, if possible, in order to accommodate a person’s disability so long as that accommodation does not fundamentally alter the program. In addition, our staff can arrange to provide you with services or alternate formats to ensure that you are able to communicate with us.

We are here to serve you, so please, let us know if you encounter disability access difficulties with any of our programs by clicking here. 

 ADA Program Compliance Links: