Disability Access

Raul M. Rojas, County Purchasing Agent, Director, Public Works
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National Disability Employment Awareness Month - October 2016 Mes de concientización nacional del empleo de personas con discapacidades - octubre de 2016

Celebrating Disability Inclusion for More than 70 Years

Reflecting the important role disability plays in workforce diversity, this year’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) theme is “#InclusionWorks.” Observed each October, NDEAM celebrates the contributions of workers with disabilities and educates about the value of a diverse workforce inclusive of their skills and talents.

Vision

Our vision is for a County of Marin that is one hundred percent accessible to all.

Mission

Our mission is to ensure that all county programs, services, activities and facilities are accessible to and usable by all the people of Marin County as well as our visitors.

Guiding Principles

We are guided by the principles of inclusion, interdependence and Universal Design.

Program Accessibility at the County of Marin

Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act defines program accessibility as follows:

"A public entity may not deny the benefits of its programs, activities, and services to individuals with disabilities because its facilities are inaccessible. A public entity's services, programs, or activities, when viewed in their entirety, must be readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. This standard, known as "program accessibility," applies to all existing facilities of a public entity. Public entities, however, are not necessarily required to make each of their existing facilities accessible."

The County is committed to maximizing the accessibility of all its programs, services and activities. As such, we must ensure that our programs are accessible to all individuals, in an equitable manner. This means that not only do the facilities that house our programs need to be accessible, but the programs themselves must also be accessible to people with disabilities. This includes, but is not limited to public documents, public meetings, online interactive services, and contracted services. For more information regarding making your programs accessible, please review our accessibility guidance bulletins.

What We Do

The Disability Access Program is responsible for:

  • Civil Rights Training and Technical Assistance
  • Program Accessibility Consultation and Resources
  • Architectural and Engineering Accessibility Plan Reviews and Site Surveys
Three wedge pie chart showing the three parts of disability access. 1. Civil Rights Training and Technical Assistance. 2. Program Accessibility Consultation and Resources. 3. Architectural and Engineering Accessibility Plan Reviews and Site Surveys

 

News and Events

Who We Are

William Campagna, MS
Disability Access Manager

William Campagna has been responsible for management of the Marin County Disability Access Program since initiating its redesign in 2006. A Marin County native, Bill spent over 40 years as a disability rights advocate, including over a decade as the Deputy Director for Independent Living, Planning and Systems Change for the California Department of Rehabilitation. His career was focused primarily on fixing broken programs and starting new innovative programs. He holds a Master of Science Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. He served as the facilitator of the Governor's ADA Task Force under three Governors and as a consultant for Governor Schwarzenegger's California Performance Review, the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Disabled Ski Team, Very Special Arts and many other organizations.

Laney C. Morgado, MPA
Disability Access Specialist

Laney Morgado has been with the County of Marin since 2005 and working for the Disability Access Program since 2007. Functioning under a team dynamic, she works in tandem with the Disability Access Manager on all functions of the division. She holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of San Francisco. Laney is active in the field of accessibility outside of her official role with the county, and is a member of the National Association of ADA Coordinators, former board member and current member at large of the California Association of ADA Professionals, and member of the California Association of Building Officials.

Recent Accessibility Improvements at County Facilities

Marin Civic Center South Arch Parking and Path of Travel Accessibility Improvements

Marin Civic Center South Arch Parking and Path of Travel Accessibility Improvements

Marin Veteran's Memorial Auditorium Parking and Path of Travel Accessibility Improvements

Marin Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium Parking and Path of Travel Accessibility Improvements

Departmental Disability Access Coordinators

Departmental Disability Access Coordinators

Each department of the County government has at least one Department Disability Access Coordinator to assist with assuring accessibility to the programs and services of their respective department and serves as the liaison for their department with the Disability Access Program.

Becoming programmatically accessible typically requires ensuring the service eligibility criteria does not screen out, or tend to screen out, people with disabilities; that staff are trained to be able to make reasonable modifications in policies, procedures and practices when needed to avoid discriminatory events; provision of appropriate notices of individuals rights, of accessibility features and reasonable accommodation procedures; and existence of a formal grievance process for clients of government services, as well as employees.

Roles and Responsibilities
  • promote, develop and maintain department-level policies and procedures to ensure full programmatic and communication accessibility to persons with disabilities
  • facilitate analysis and resolution of physical and programmatic access issues
  • facilitate development of appropriate assessment tools to monitor departmental services for accessibility
  • facilitate ongoing department-level training on disability access issues for all departmental staff

Complaints and Grievance Procedures

HOW TO RESOLVE DISABILITY ACCESS OR DISCRIMINATION ISSUES

It is always best to try to resolve these issues as informally and as locally as possible.  This usually results in the quickest and most satisfactory resolution.  The Marin County Disability Access Program is available to assist you with this process.  If you have a problem accessing any of the following the Marin County Disability Access Program can help you resolve those issues:

  • County programs, services or activities;
  • County Employment;
  • County buildings or facilities;
  • County pedestrian right-of-way and Open Space trails;
  • Any programs or services provided by County contractors;
  • Places of public accommodations (businesses that are generally open to the public and that fall into one of 12 categories listed in the Americans with Disabilities Act [ADA], such as restaurants, movie theaters, schools, day care facilities, recreation facilities, and doctors' offices); or
  • Commercial facilities (privately-owned, nonresidential facilities such as factories, warehouses, or office buildings in Marin County)*.

*Please note that the eleven cities and towns in Marin County are not within our jurisdiction

Marin County Disability Access Program
3501 Civic Center Drive, Room 304
San Rafael, CA 94903
415/473-4381 (Voice) 415/473-3232 (TDD)

disabilityaccess@marincounty.org

Pursuant to the regulations of the United States Department of Justice, which require the designation of an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coordinator, the County of Marin has designated the Marin County Disability Access Manager as its ADA Coordinator.  The Disability Access Manager is responsible for ensuring compliance with multiple county, state and federal disability non-discrimination laws and is therefore designated as the Marin County Disability Access Coordinator (DAC).  The DAC administers the processing of all formal disability rights related complaints or grievances filed with the County and coordinates the County’s overall efforts to ensure compliance with the ADA, Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and all other applicable county, state and federal disability non-discrimination requirements.

The DAC also administers all accessibility complaints brought pursuant to the California Building Standards Code accessibility standards (Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations) concerning both privately and publicly funded accommodations and Marin County Code Ordinance 3609 pursuant to applicable Fair Housing laws.

The County has designated department-level management staff to serve as Department Disability Access Coordinators and liaisons with the County Disability Access Program and to assist in resolving disability access issues informally at the department-level whenever possible.

NOTE:   FILING A FORMAL COMPLAINT OR GRIEVANCE WITH THE COUNTY OF MARIN DISABILITY ACCESS PROGRAM DOES NOT PRECLUDE SIMULTANEOUS FILING WITH STATE OR FEDERAL ENFORCEMENT ENTITIES.

HOW TO FILE A COUNTY COMPLAINT

All complaints or grievances submitted to the County of Marin must contain specific information about the alleged violation or discrimination including: name, address, telephone number and/or email address of the complainant and the location, date, and a complete description of the problem.  Anonymous complaints or grievances will not be accepted.  Complaints or grievances will be kept confidential to the greatest extent possible, unless ordered released by a court of competent jurisdiction (see Evidence Code 1040).  If you wish to file an informal complaint, you can provide grievance information via alternative means to the DAC, but you must include all required information listed above.  These may be submitted by telephone, e-mail (confidentiality cannot be assured), letter, personal interview, or other methods, upon request.

All complaints must be submitted to the DAC by the complainant or his/her designee as soon as possible, but no later than 60 calendar days after the alleged violation or discriminatory act.  Complaints may be submitted online, by mail or email, telephone/TTY or in person to:

Marin County Disability Access Program
3501 Civic Center Drive, Room 304
San Rafael, CA 94903
415/473-4381 (Voice) 415/473-3232 (TDD)

disabilityaccess@marincounty.org

ONLINE ACCESSIBILITY COMPLAINT FORM

Employment
If a complaint is about an ADA Title I or California Fair Employment and Housing Act employment violation, the DAC will consult with the County of Marin’s Human Resources Department and will formally acknowledge receipt of the complaint. If you are a County employee you are encouraged to first use the Administrative process described in Personnel Management Regulation 21.

Electronic Information or Technology
If a complaint is about a Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act or California Government Code Section 11135-11139.7 regarding the accessibility of electronic information or technology, the DAC will forward the complaint within seven (7) calendar days to the County of Marin’s Information Services and Technology Department for investigation and will formally acknowledge receipt of the complaint to the complainant.  

Privately Owned Buildings or Facilities
If a complaint is about inaccessibility to a privately owned building or facility, the DAC will forward the complaint within seven (7) calendar days to the Marin County Community Development Agency (CDA) Building and Safety Division for investigation and will formally acknowledge receipt of the complaint to the complainant. The CDA also has a formal code enforcement procedure regarding disabled access building code requirements. Copies of this complaint process are available at:
http://www.marincounty.org/depts/cd/code-enforcement

Complaints regarding accessibility code enforcement of buildings and facilities may be filed concurrently with the Disability Access Coordinator.

County-owned or County Leased Buildings or Facilities
If the complaint is about a County-owned or County leased building or facility, the DAC will investigate and will formally acknowledge receipt of the complaint to the complainant.

Unreasonable Hardship Exceptions

  1. The Chief Building Official will deliver a notice to the Public Works Director immediately upon making a decision on an unreasonable hardship exception request which involves legal or physical constraints.
  2. The Board of Supervisors will deliver a notice to the Public Works of a decision ratifying or rejecting the granting or denial of an unreasonable hardship request exception.
  3. The Chief Building Official will send the Public Works Director notice confirming that corrective work has been done.

NOTE: Any unauthorized deviation from the building regulations shall be rectified by full compliance within 90 calendar days of a complaint of such deviation having been confirmed by the County, as required by Government Code 4452, unless doing so is impracticable, in which case the rectification should occur within a reasonable time of the complaint being filed.

Timeline
For all other complaints or grievances, the DAC will contact the complainant to discuss the complaint or grievance within 30 calendar days after receipt of the complaint or grievance.  Within 30 calendar days of this contact, the DAC will respond in writing and, where appropriate, in an alternative format accessible to the complainant.  The response will explain the position of the County of Marin and offer options for substantive and reasonable resolution of the complaint or grievance.

Appeal Process
If the response by the DAC does not satisfactorily resolve the issue, the decision may be appealed to the County Administrator or his/her designee within 30 calendar days following receipt of the response.

Within 30 calendar days after receipt of an appeal, the County Administrator or his/her designee will contact the complainant to discuss the complaint or grievance and If a complaint is about an ADA Title I or California Fair Employment and Housing Act employment violation, the DAC will forward the complaint within seven (7) calendar days to the County of Marin’s Human Resources Department for investigation and will formally acknowledge receipt of the complaint to the complainant.  

FEDERAL AGENCIES WITH ADA RESPONSIBILITIES

Employment: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Transportation: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration
Telephone Relay Service: Federal Communications Commission
ADA Guidelines: U. S. Access Board
Education: U.S. Department of Education
Health Care: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Labor: U.S. Department of Labor
Housing: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Parks and Recreation: U.S. Department of the Interior
Agriculture: U.S. Department of Agriculture

AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT
Employment (Title I)

Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits private employers, State and local governments, employment agencies and labor unions from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in job application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment. The ADA covers employers with 15 or more employees, including State and local governments. It also applies to employment agencies and to labor organizations.

How to File a Charge of Discrimination with EEOC

If you believe that you have been discriminated against at work because of disability, you can file a Charge of Discrimination. All of the laws enforced by EEOC, except for the Equal Pay Act, require you to file a Charge of Discrimination with them before you can file a job discrimination lawsuit against your employer. In addition, an individual, organization, or agency may file a charge on behalf of another person in order to protect the aggrieved person's identity. There are time limits for filing a charge.

If you file a charge, you may be asked to try to settle the dispute through mediation. Mediation is an informal and confidential way to resolve disputes with the help of a neutral mediator. If the case is not sent to mediation, or if mediation doesn't resolve the problem, the charge will be given to an investigator.

If an investigation finds no violation of the law, you will be given a Notice of Right to Sue. This notice gives you permission to file suit in a court of law. If a violation is found, EEOC will attempt to reach a voluntary settlement with the employer. If they cannot reach a settlement, your case will be referred to EEOC legal staff (or the Department of Justice in certain cases), who will decide whether or not the agency should file a lawsuit. If EEOC decides not to file a lawsuit, they will give you a Notice of Right to Sue.

In some cases, if a charge appears to have little chance of success, or if it is something that EEOC doesn’t have the authority to investigate, they may dismiss the charge without doing an investigation or offering mediation.

California has its own anti-discrimination laws, and agencies responsible for enforcing these laws (Department of Fair Employment and Housing – see below). If you file a charge with a DFEH, it will automatically be "dual-filed" with EEOC if federal laws apply. You do not need to file with both agencies.

You may file a charge of employment discrimination at the EEOC office closest to where you live.  Your charge, however, may be investigated at the EEOC office closest to where the discrimination occurred.  Where the discrimination took place can determine how long you have to file a charge. The 180 calendar day filing deadline is extended to 300 calendar days if a state or local agency enforces a state or local law that prohibits employment discrimination on the same basis.

Online Assessment System

EEOC does not accept charges online. However, they do have an online assessment tool that can help you decide if EEOC is the correct agency to assist you. You can then complete an Intake Questionnaire that you may print and either bring or mail to the appropriate EEOC field office to begin the process of filing a charge.

Filing in Person

Each field office has its own procedures for appointments or walk-ins. Please check our field office list for your office's procedures.  It is always helpful if you bring with you to the meeting any information or papers that will help us understand your case. For example, if you were fired because of your performance, you might bring with you the letter or notice telling you that you were fired and your performance evaluations. You might also bring with you the names of people who know about what happened and information about how to contact them.

You can bring anyone you want to your meeting, especially if you need language assistance and know someone who can help. You can also bring your lawyer, although you don’t have to hire a lawyer to file a charge. If you need special assistance during the meeting, like a sign language or foreign language interpreter, let us know ahead of time so we can arrange for someone to be there for you.

EEOC San Francisco District Office

450 Golden Gate Avenue
5 West, P.O Box 36025
San Francisco, CA 94102-3661
Phone: 1-800-669-4000
Fax: 415-522-3415
VP: 510-735-8909 (Deaf/HoH callers only)

Office Hours:  The San Francisco District Office is open Monday - Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.  Walk-in services are available on Tuesday and Thursday from 8:30-3 p.m. Please call first for information. The office sees the public on a walk-in basis and no appointment is necessary.

By Telephone

Although the EEOC does not take charges over the phone, you can get the process started over the phone. You can call 1-800-669-4000 to submit basic information about a possible charge, and EEOC will forward the information to the EEOC field office in your area. Once the field office receives your information, they will contact you to talk to you about your situation.

By Mail

You can file a charge by sending EEOC a letter that includes the following information:
  • Your name, address, and telephone number
  • The name, address and telephone number of the employer (or employment agency or union) you want to file your charge against
  • The number of employees employed there (if known)
  • A short description of the events you believe were discriminatory (for example, you were fired, demoted, harassed)
  • When the events took place
  • Why you believe you were discriminated against (for example, because of your race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information)
  • Your signature

Don't forget to sign your letter. If you don't sign it, EEOC cannot investigate it.

Your letter will be reviewed and if more information is needed, EEOC will contact you to gather that information or you may be sent a follow up questionnaire. At a later date, EEOC will contact you and may put all of the information you sent them on an official EEOC charge form and ask you to sign it.

AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT
State and Local Governments (Title II)

Title II applies to State and local government entities, and, in subtitle A, protects qualified individuals with disabilities from discrimination on the basis of disability in services, programs, and activities provided by State and local government entities. Title II extends the prohibition on discrimination established by section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, 29 U.S.C. 794, to all activities of State and local governments regardless of whether these entities receive Federal financial assistance.

How to File an ADA Title II Complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice

You can file an Americans with Disabilities Act complaint alleging disability discrimination against a State or local government or a public accommodation (including, for example, a restaurant, doctor's office, retail store, hotel, etc.) by mail, fax, or email.

To file an ADA complaint by mail:

US Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Civil Rights Division
Disability Rights Section - 1425 NYAV
Washington, D.C. 20530

To file an ADA complaint by fax: (202) 307-1197

To file a complaint by email: ADA.complaint@usdoj.gov

Please keep a copy of your complaint and the original documents for your own records.

AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT
Public Accommodations and Commercial Facilities (Title III)

Title III prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in the activities of places of public accommodations (businesses that are generally open to the public and that fall into one of 12 categories listed in the ADA, such as restaurants, movie theaters, schools, day care facilities, recreation facilities, and doctors' offices) and requires newly constructed or altered places of public accommodation—as well as commercial facilities (privately owned, nonresidential facilities such as factories, warehouses, or office buildings)—to comply with the ADA Standards.

FILING AN ADA TITLE III COMPLAINT

If you feel you or another person has been discriminated against by an entity covered by Title III, send a letter to the Department of Justice, at the address below, including the following information:

  • Your full name, address, and telephone number, and the name of the party discriminated against;
  • The name of the business, organization, or institution that you believe has discriminated;
  • A description of the act or acts of discrimination, the date or dates of the discriminatory acts, and the name or names of the individuals who you believe discriminated; and
  • Other information that you believe necessary to support your complaint. Please send copies of relevant documents. Do not send original documents. (Retain them.)

Sign and send the letter to the address below:

U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Civil Rights Division
Disability Rights - NYAVE
Washington, D.C. 20530

CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF FAIR EMPLOYMENT AND HOUSING

The Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) maintains the authority to investigate complaints of discrimination in the areas of employment, housing, public accommodations and hate violence. The following description of the complaint process is intended to help you understand their procedures and assist you through their system.

If you believe you are the victim of illegal discrimination in the areas of employment, housing, public accommodations or hate violence, you may file a Pre-Complaint Inquiry to initiate the complaint process using any of the options below.

  • Use the Department's online system.
  • Call the Communication Center at (800) 884-1684. If you have a hearing impairment, please call 800-884-1684 or TTY at (800) 700-2320 for service.
  • Request the Pre-Complaint Inquiry form, complete and return it via U.S. mail to any of DFEH's office locations.
  • E-mail the Pre-Complaint Inquiry form to contact.center@dfeh.ca.gov

Many persons believe they have been treated unfairly or harassed in employment opportunities, in renting or purchasing a home, or in receiving service in a business establishment. The Department can accept cases only based on possible violations of the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), the Unruh Civil Rights Act, the Ralph Civil Rights Act, or the Disabled Persons Act. Should your complaint not be accepted for investigation, it is not because DFEH does not believe you were treated unfairly. Rather it is because your complaint, if proven, would not constitute a violation of the laws enforced by the Department.

The laws enforced by the Department are below:

  • Fair Employment & Housing Act (FEHA), which includes the California Family Rights Act (CFRA).
  • Unruh Civil Rights Act
  • Disabled Persons Act
  • Ralph Civil Rights Act

Useful Links

Useful Links

Benefits and Services

  • United States Social Security Administration Disability Benefits: Social Security pays disability benefits to you and certain members of your family if you have worked long enough and have a medical condition that has prevented you from working or is expected to prevent you from working for at least 12 months or end in death.
  • United States Social Security Administration Supplemental Security Income Benefits: The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program pays benefits to disabled adults and children who have limited income and resources. SSI benefits also are payable to people 65 and older without disabilities who meet the financial limits.
  • California State Disability Insurance: Are you out of work due to a non-industrial injury, illness, or pregnancy related condition? Disability Insurance (DI) provides partial wage replacement to eligible workers who are unable to work because of a disability. Disability is defined as any mental or physical illness or injury which prevents you from performing your regular or customary work according to California Unemployment Insurance Code, Section 2626.
  • California State Employment Development Department - Services for People with Disabilities - The Employment Development Department (EDD) is committed to enhancing employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Through the America’s Job Center of CaliforniaSM (AJCC), formerly known as One-Stop Career Centers system, EDD provides universal access for service, ensuring that all job applicants with disabilities receive employment opportunities equal to those of other job applicants. Assistance is also provided to job seekers with disabilities who need additional services to become qualified for employment. Services for people with disabilities include, but are not limited to, referrals to job openings or training, vocational counseling, job search assistance and workshops, testing, and referrals to supportive services in the community.
  • California Department of Rehabilitation - The California Department of Rehabilitation works in partnership with consumers and other stakeholders to provide services and advocacy resulting in employment, independent living and equality for individuals with disabilities.
  • Marin Center for Independent Living (MCIL) - The mission of the MCIL is to assist persons with all types of disabilities to achieve their maximum level of sustainable independence as contributing, responsible and equal participants in society. The Marin Center for Independent Living offers a wide array of services for the betterment of independence.
  • Guide Dogs for the Blind - Guide Dogs for the Blind is more than an industry-leading guide dog school; we are a passionate community that serves the visually impaired. With exceptional client services and a robust network of trainers, puppy raisers, donors and volunteers, we prepare highly qualified guide dogs to serve and empower individuals who are blind or have low vision. All of our services are provided free of charge; we receive no government funding.
  • The Marin Access Mobility Management Center is a one-stop call center coordinating transportation resources for Marin's older adults, persons with disabilities and low income residents.

Laws and Regulations

  • A Guide to Disability Rights Laws - published in 2009, this guide provides an overview of Federal civil rights laws that ensure equal opportunity for people with disabilities.
  • ADA.gov - Information and Technical Assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Disability Laws and Regulations - A quick reference list of major State and Federal laws and regulations that address discrimination on the basis of disability.