What is the ADA?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a comprehensive national mandate designed to eliminate discrimination against individuals with disabilities.
Are All Buildings Required to be Accessible?
All buildings do not have to be accessible. Existing facilities should be evaluated to determine the structural changes required to provide access. If feasible, these changes should be made. The ADA requires that all new facilities be designed according to the ADA accessibility guidelines
Although a building is inaccessible, UGA departments must ensure that people with disabilities are not excluded from services, programs and activities. Listed below are suggestions to improve what the ADA refers to as "program accessibility" for people who use wheelchairs or have other mobility limitations.
- Advertise in all publications and announcements that you provide programmatic access to your programs for people with limited mobility. Provide the name of a contact person and telephone number for obtaining information about access. A general access statement communicates to people with disabilities that they are welcome to participate in your program. The statement may read "Alternative access will be arranged for people with limited mobility. Call (person or office) by (date) for specific requests."
- Equip the accessible floor with a campus phone for the person to use to call offices located on inaccessible floors. Check existing and newly installed phones to determine that they are the appropriate height. Include the location of the phone on the building directory. Post phone numbers of offices located on inaccessible floors.
- Provide signs to direct people where to obtain services or get the information they want from programs.
- Internal signs: for buildings with only one accessible floor. Provide accessibility information about your program on existing building directories. If your building does not have a directory, request one through the Disability Resource Center.
- External signs: for buildings with no access. Provide outside signs either directing people to an outside phone line or an accessible building where they can obtain the information they need. The phone line would automatically ring in a designated office in the inaccessible building. A representative from that building would then meet the person at an accessible location.
- Network with offices on the first floor of your building and with offices in accessible buildings in the vicinity to arrange for an accessible meeting room with privacy.
- Forward requests for modest renovation projects (signs, curb cuts, door handles) to Dr. Karen Kalivoda, Disability Resource Center, 114 Clark Howell Hall.
- Communicate to faculty and staff in your department that it is the law and their responsibility to provide equal access to all people even if it poses an inconvenience to them.
- Contact Wendy Moore or Lesia Woodall of the Registrar’s Office at 706-542-4040 or at firstname.lastname@example.org for Academic Scheduling. Campus Reservations can provide assistance in finding an alternate location for events that are not related to an academic course and can be reached at 706-583-8020 or at email@example.com.
- Provide access to all departmental information and resources e.g., books, bulletin board notices. This may entail sending a catalog of resources to patrons.
For more information contact:
Disability Resource Center
The University of Georgia
114 Clark Howell Hall
Athens, Georgia 30602-3338
(706) 542-8719 (voice)
(706) 542-7719 (fax)
(706) 542-8778 (tty)