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Americans with Disabilities Act

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Novato Supports the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The City of Novato is committed to providing accessible services to persons with disabilities.  To that end, we have developed policies and procedures to eliminate barriers to accessibility.

The key goals of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are to ensure that all people with disabilities have equality of opportunity, economic self-sufficiency, full participation in American life, and independent living. All cities are covered by the ADA as "public entities". Based on this, the city's activities, services, and programs are covered, including employment, public meetings, and programs. When services are provided on a website, those services, too, must be accessible.

In September 2015, the City adopted and updated an ADA Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan.

As described above, there are two major areas of responsibility for local governments, such as the City of Novato regarding ADA.

New Construction and Alterations

Facilities constructed or altered after January 26, 1992, must comply with the ADA Standards for Accessible Design (ADA Standards), which are available on-line, or the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS). The State of California has enacted Title 24 (Chapter 11 of the State Building Code) which requires all construction to comply with ADA guidelines. Questions regarding applicability of the codes to private construction projects and publicly funded projects may be referred to the Building Division.

Program Access

State and local government's services, programs, and activities, when viewed in their entirety, must be readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities. This standards, known as "program access," applies to all existing facilities of State and local governments. Removing barriers to access in pre-ADA facilities -- or moving programs from pre-ADA facilities to newer and more accessible facilities or even providing those programs in alternative accessible ways -- will ensure full and independent opportunities to participate for people with disabilities while minimizing costs. Governments do not have to take any action that would fundamentally alter the nature of their programs or results in an undue financial or administrative burden, taking into account all resources available for use by the program.

The City of Novato does not discriminate on the basis of disability in the admission or access to city programs, services, employment or other activities. The city actively strives to eliminate barriers that may prevent persons with disabilities from enjoying employment, access to city facilities and services or other benefits.

In an effort to comply with the provisions of the ADA and to ensure that the operation of each city service, activity, and program is readily accessible to individuals with disabilities, the city has evaluated its facilities and services. Many changes have already been made and other access improvements are underway. Novato continuously evaluates its services, policies and practices in order to identify ways to improve access.

We want to hear from you with respect to any ideas, concerns or innovative ways the city can improve access. If you have concerns about access or accommodation about a city facility or program, please complete and submit the Reasonable Accommodation Request Form. If you have a grievance relating to discrimination on the basis of a disability, please complete and submit the Grievance Form.

ADA Mediation Program

The Department of Justice has issued two new publications explaining its ADA Mediation Program. Through its Program, the Department of Justice resolves many ADA complaints quickly and effectively at no cost to the parties. Resolving ADA Complaints Through Mediation: An Overview outlines the Program, and the ADA Mediation Program: Questions and Answers responds to frequently asked questions about the Program.

To find out more, call the Justice Department ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 or 800-514-0383 (TDD), or visit website.


Annette Chavez, ADA Coordinator
Chief Building Official
City of Novato
922 Machin Avenue
Novato CA, 94945
(415) 899-8927
(415) 899-8216 [fax]

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