The mission of the General Services ADA Compliance Office is to ensure that all programs, services, and activities of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County are accessible, and that practical use by individuals with disabilities, regardless of whether they are residents or visitors, is not restricted or hindered in violation of standards relating to individuals with disabilities. Disability is defined, with respect to an individual, as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities.
ADA Compliance serves all Metro departments and agencies, including Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, by providing support services toward ensuring the accessibility of programs and activities as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Major functions of ADA Compliance are completing construction/alteration project ADA compliance reviews and providing informational assistance.
The Americans with Disabilities Act became effective July 26, 1990. This significant legislation extends civil rights protections to an estimated 49 million Americans with disabilities in much the same way that individuals are protected from discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, and religion. The ADA makes it illegal to discriminate on the basis of disability in the areas of employment, public service, public accommodation, transportation, and telecommunication.
In January 2000, the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County contacted the United States Department of Justice to discuss its plans for achieving compliance with the ADA. A formal agreement was reached the following July. Metro government continues to address requirements of the agreement, and to date, has made substantial progress. The following are highlights:
- Mayor Bill Purcell appointed an ADA Coordinator responsible for Metro government compliance in its programs, services, activities, and facilities.
- Each Metro department and agency designated an agency-level ADA Coordinator with responsibility for compliance in their respective agencies’ programs, services, activities, and facilities.
- A formal public notice was published.
- A formal grievance procedure for resolving ADA complaints was adopted.
- Self-evaluations of all Metro programs, services, and activities began.
- An architectural survey of all Metro facilities was completed to support the development of a transition plan for structural changes.
- The ADA Compliance Office was created.
- Structured procedures were created for the compliance review of construction/rehabilitation of facilities, parks, playgrounds, green ways, as well as projects completed in the right-of-way.