What Is an ADA Coordinator?

Published April 22, 2021

An ADA Coordinator facilitates compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Title II regulations and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. § 794), both of which prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability. The appointment of an ADA Coordinator is required by any state or local government entity that employs fifty or more employees and all organizations and businesses that receive federal funding. Examples of places that are required by law to hire an ADA Coordinator are the National Park Service, NASA, CDC, police and fire departments, public transportation companies, utility companies, airports, and universities. The designation of a responsible party to oversee disability compliance implementation and grievance oversight, as described in ADA Title II mandate, 28 CFR § 35.107 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, 49 CFR § 27.13, although not required for local governments with less than fifty employees, is strongly encouraged. The demand for ADA Coordinators is increasing as more corporations and businesses are realizing the importance of meeting the needs of individuals with disabilities and complying with ADA regulations.

ADA Coordinators must be well versed in a wide range of disabilities, the protections set forth by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and a wide range of accommodations for individuals with disabilities. ADA Coordinators fulfill the administrative requirements of ADA compliance and handle public complaints of non-compliance. They conduct self-evaluations of programmatic barriers in services which must be retained for three years, develop transition plans if structural changes are required in ensuring accessibility, and oversee the transition. They handle requests for auxiliary aides and services, provide information about accessible programs and services, and serve as an ADA resource.

They also establish and publish a grievance procedure to respond to public complaints of noncompliance, and serve as the point person for resolution of said grievances and complaints. In collaboration with officials and administrators, they ensure new facilities and renovations comply with ADA regulations. The name and contact information of the individuals appointed to this position are made public. There is no job title mandate, however having someone employed whose responsibility includes overseeing regulatory compliance and investigating allegations of discriminatory practices or policies regarding the disabled community is required.

An ADA Coordinator Training Certification Program (ACTCP) is available for individuals who are interested in pursuing this career choice. The program provides training in all content areas and ADA issues, including the creation and oversight of grievance procedures, self-evaluation and transition planning, ongoing progress monitoring, the creation and implementation of a communication policy, activity coordination, identification and utilization of appropriate resources, and education on all ADA regulations and guidelines. The certificate awarded upon completion of this course is an endorsement of the knowledge and skillset required to fulfill the duties of this important role.

Individuals who would like to file a discrimination complaint may do so directly with the Department of Justice; however, if the discriminatory policy or practice occurred in a public entity or business that receives federal funding, they may choose to speak with the designated ADA Coordinator. The ADA Coordinator’s contact information and instructions on how to file a grievance should be available online, but if not, requests may be available by phone, email, or contact form.