The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a comprehensive, wide-ranging civil rights law enacted in 1990 that protects people with disabilities from discrimination in employment, state and local government services, public accommodations, transportation and telecommunications. The regulations implementing the law are organized into five titles or sections. Title II applies to public entities, including state and local governments, and prohibits discrimination based on disability in all aspects of government programs and services. Title II also requires that state and local governments communicate effectively with people with disabilities and make reasonable modifications to policies, procedures and practices upon request in order to provide qualified individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in all programs and services.
How the City Supports Accessibility
The City of St Petersburg has a long commitment to the goals of the ADA. In 1972, before the ADA was signed, City of St Petersburg created the Committee for assistance to the Physically Impaired, and in 1995 the City established the Committee to Advocate for Persons with Impairments (CAPI). The Community Affairs Division, of the Human Resources Department, ensures that the City’s programs, services and activities are accessible for people with disabilities.
All City of St. Petersburg departments and agencies work to ensure accessibility and welcome participation by people with disabilities in all of their programs and services. Click the video link above to find out what the City is doing to ensure that is programs and services are accessible.
The ADA Coordinator
Title II of the ADA requires that state and local government entities do not discriminate against people with disabilities in their programs, services and activities. The role of the ADA Coordinator is to coordinate St. Petersburg overall ADA compliance efforts.
The ADA Coordinators responsibilities include:
- Providing training and technical assistance to City departments on a wide range of ADA and accessibility issues
- Ensuring that buildings and facilities are built and maintained in accordance with the ADA
- Providing information and assistance to the public on the accessibility of City's programs and services
- Administering the City's Title II grievance procedure
- Ensuring that the City's employment policies, procedures and practices are implemented in compliance with the ADA
Auxiliary Aids or Services for Persons with Disabilities
The City of St Petersburg is committed to providing programs and services that are accessible to all. The City will provide auxiliary aids or services or program modifications upon request. Persons with disabilities requesting sign language interpreting services, documents in Braille or large print, assistive listening devices or other aids or services.
Braille or Large Print
To request a document in an alternate format including Braille or large print:
- For documents in Braille, please allow two weeks for processing.
- For documents in large print, please allow one week for processing.
- Documents can be sent by e-mail for users of screen-readers,
- Please provide with your request: your contact information, what material you need, the name of the event or program you are participating in and the name and sponsoring department of the event.
Sign Language Interpreting Services
The City will provide sign language interpreter services, including American Sign Language, Pidgin Signed English, Oral Interpreting, Cued Speech, Tactile Interpreting and Certified Deaf interpreting upon request. Requests should be made to the program sponsoring the event or to the ADA Coordinator with as much notice as possible (a lead time of 3 business days will help us to engage the most highly qualified interpreters for the job).
The City of St Petersburg welcomes persons with disabilities who are accompanied by service animals in all of our buildings, programs and activities. No identification or special tags are required. Service animals must be harnessed or leashed unless those devices would interfere with the work the service animal performs. In cases where the service animal is not leashed or harnessed, the handler must have the service animal under voice or signal control. If a service animal becomes disruptive, City staff may ask that the service animal be removed. The City will consider the use of miniature horses as a service animal on a case-by-case basis.
For more information on service animals:
The Department of Justice has a comprehensive fact sheet on service animals and their use in both Title II and Title III buildings and facilities: www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) enforces the Fair Housing Act requirements in housing situations. The Fair Housing Act protects people with disabilities in housing and includes an even broader definition of service animal. Requests for service and support animals can be made under the reasonable accommodation process: Reasonable Accommodations Under the Fair Housing Act.
Committee to Advocate for Persons with Impairments (CAPI)
The Committee to Advocate for Persons with Impairments (CAPI) is a group of residents appointed by the Mayor with advice and consent of City Council. The function of CAPI is to advise City Council on issues and to advocate on behalf of persons with disabilities. CAPI provides the City with guidance relative to the concerns, rights, special needs and dignity of persons with disabilities to ensure their full participation in and enjoyment of the City's facilities, programs, and services. Learn More About CAPI.
In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the City of St. Petersburg updates its ADA Self Evaluation and Transition Plan annually to ensure that its public facilities, services and programs are accessible to people with disabilities.
View the report from 2017: ADA Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan Annual Report
View the report from 2016: ADA Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan Update
The City of St Petersburg is committed to providing prompt and equitable resolution of Title II problems. In most cases, the ADA Coordinator can resolve problems and concerns quickly and informally. When that is not possible, an internal grievance procedure has been established. The ADA Coordinator is responsible for investigating and resolving those complaints. In addition to the internal grievance procedure, individuals may file an administrative complaint with a designated federal agency or with the Department of Justice and have the right to file a private lawsuit for injunctive relief and damages. There are several ways to follow up about an issue:
Lendel Bright, ADA Coordinator
City of St Petersburg
Human Resources Department/Community Affairs Division
One 4th St. N, Municipal Services Center, Third Floor
St. Petersburg, Florida 33701
Voice: 727 -893-7229
Please be sure to provide as much detail on your question or concern as possible and please be sure to let us know how to contact you so that we can provide you with the best service.
The ADA Coordinator is always available to provide information on the accessibility of City government buildings, facilities, programs and services. We will also refer you to other resources if your issue or concern does not involve a City government facility, program or service.