To ensure equality of people with disabilities, the City of Philadelphia released new and revised policies under Title II of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). Two of the policies — Grievance and Appeal and Requests for Reasonable Modification — were previously included on the City’s website, but have been revised to include the most accurate and up-to-date information. Three new documents were also added.
What policies were added?
- Grievance and Appeal Policy — Allows individuals with disabilities who feel that they have been discriminated against, based on disability, in City operated programs, services, and activities to submit a grievance. Grievance forms can be submitted online, by mail or in person.
- Requests for Reasonable Modification Policy — Allows residents to request communication in alternative formats and case-by-case changes to programs, services or activities when needed to gain equal access to programs, services and activities offered by the City of Philadelphia. Reasonable Modification forms can be submitted online, by mail or in person.
- Effective Communication Policy — Ensures that the City’s communications with people with disabilities are as effective as communications with others.
- ADA Liaison Policy — Requires City departments and agencies to identify an employee who is tasked with the responsibility of ensuring the policies are rolled out within their department and that residents with disabilities have equal access to programs, services and activities.
- Notice of Non-Discrimination — The notice summarizes the City’s responsibilities under Title II of the ADA. It includes statements about non-discrimination towards people with disabilities, providing reasonable modifications and effective communication without charge to the resident, the grievance process, and contact information for the Director of ADA Compliance.
All of these policies are available to be viewed and shared on the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities website.
What does this mean for Philadelphians with disabilities?
The updated ADA policies are the first of many steps the City plans to undertake to make Philadelphia a better place for people with disabilities. The Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities aims to go above and beyond meeting the standards — we also want to establish best practices for City departments.
The release of these policies will provide guidance to all City departments on how best serve people with disabilities.
The policies are also built to make it easier for Philadelphians with disabilities to:
- Know their rights.
- Know how to receive help if their needs are being met.