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Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

This information is solely informative and should not be treated as legal advice.

Does the City of Fresno enforce the ADA?

The City of Fresno does not enforce the ADA through a citation process. The ADA is enforced by the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), and through private or class action lawsuits.  The City of Fresno enforces the accessibility requirements of the California Building Code for alterations and new construction during the plan check and building inspection process.

What is an ADA Coordinator?

An ADA Coordinator is an employee designated to coordinate the City of Fresno compliance efforts under the ADA. Duties include:

  • Responding to grievances/complaints
  • Coordinating disability and accessibility related training for employees
  • Developing and/or implementing plans to improve services for people with disabilities
  • Advising city departments as questions arise

The City of Fresno ADA coordinator is Shannon M. Mulhall, (559) 621-8716, Shannon.Mulhall@fresno.gov

I would like to request an accommodation/modification. Who do I contact?

Members of the public requesting accommodations/modifications to programs, services, or activities of the City of Fresno may contact Shannon M. Mulhall, ADA Coordinator at (559) 621-8716 or Shannon.Mulhall@fresno.gov.

Applicants or employees of the City of Fresno who would like to request a reasonable accommodation or have other disability-related concerns may contact Clark Connelly, Senior Risk Analyst at (559) 621-6903 or Clark.Connelly@fresno.gov.

How do I file an ADA grievance with the City of Fresno?

Concerns or complaints that a program, service, or activity of the City of Fresno is not accessible to persons with disabilities should be directed to Shannon M. Mulhall, ADA Coordinator at (559) 621-8716 or Shannon.Mulhall@fresno.gov

The City of Fresno Grievance Procedure can be found here <NEED LINK>

I have an accessibility concern/complaint that is not related to a City of Fresno program, service, or activity. Who can assist me?

Resources for Independence, Central Valley 
3008 North Fresno Street
Fresno, CA 93703
(559) 221-2330

Disability Rights California 
567 W. Shaw Ave Suite C-3
Fresno, CA 93704
(800) 390-7032

Fair Housing Council – Central CA 
333 W Shaw Ave
Fresno, CA 93704
(559) 244-2950

U.S. Department of Justice  Disability Rights Section 
950 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20530
(800) 514-0301 ADA Hotline
(800) 514-0383 TTY
(202) 307-1198 FAX

Pacific ADA Center 
555 12th Street, Suite 1030
Oakland, CA 94607-4046
(800) 949-4232 Voice/TTY
(510) 285-5600 Voice/TTY
(510) 285-5614 FAX

The Federal Access Board 
1331 F Street NW, Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20004-1111
(800) 872-2253
(800) 993-2822 TTY
(202) 272-0081 FAX

Division of the State Architect Universal Design Program 
1102 Q Street, Suite 5100
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 445-8100 Voice/TTY

What local organizations provide services for people with disabilities?

Would you like to add your organization to the list? Email Shannon.Mulhall@fresno.gov

California Telephone Access Program 
7525 N. Cedar Suite 115
Fresno, CA 93720
(800) 806-1191

Central Valley Regional Center 
4615 N. Marty
Fresno, CA 93722-4186
(559) 276-4350

Deaf & Hard of Hearing Service Center, Inc 
5340 N. Fresno St
Fresno, CA 93710
(559) 225-3323

Department of Rehabilitation 
2550 Mariposa Mall, Room 2000
Fresno, CA 93721
(559) 445-6038

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 
2300 Tulare Street Suite 215
Fresno, CA 93721
(800) 669-4000

Exceptional Parents Unlimited 
4440 N. First St
Fresno, CA 93726
(559) 229-2000

Fresno Madera Area Agency on Aging 
3837 N. Clark St
Fresno, CA 93726
(559) 453-4405

National Alliance on Mental Illness, Fresno 
7545 North Del Mar #105
Fresno, CA 93711
(559) 224-2469

Resources for Independence, Central Valley 
3008 North Fresno Street
Fresno, CA 93703
(559) 221-2330

United Learning Foundation 
(619) 634-3082

Valley Center for the Blind 
2491 West Shaw Avenue Ste 124
Fresno, CA
(559) 222-4447

Veterans Central CA Health Care System Department of Veterans Affairs 
2615 E. Clinton Ave
Fresno, CA 93703-2223
(559) 225-6100

What is the Disability Advisory Commission (DAC)?

The DAC is a seven-member body made up of community leaders appointed by the Mayor and approved by the City Council; five of the seven members must be persons with disabilities. The DAC:

Advises the City of Fresno on ways to ensure services and facilities are accessible to the community

Offers input to City of Fresno Departments for enhancing the level of access for people with disabilities to programs, services, and activities

Provides advocacy for overarching issues affecting people with disabilities in the City of Fresno

The DAC meetings are held on the second Tuesday from 10:00 am – 11:30 pm at City Hall, Meeting Room A (2165), 2600 Fresno Street, Fresno, CA 93721. There are no regularly scheduled meetings in July or November. All are welcome to attend. For information about past meetings or upcoming agendas, visit the DAC agendas and minutes page 

Can the City of Fresno ADA Coordinator help with making my business compliant with the ADA?

No. Just like your business, the City of Fresno must make its programs, services, and activities accessible and compliant with the ADA regulations. The City’s ADA Coordinator is an employee designated to coordinate the City of Fresno’s own compliance efforts under the ADA.

What are the ADA Access Requirements for businesses?

Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires public accommodations (businesses and non-profit organizations) to provide goods and services to people with disabilities on an equal basis with the rest of the public.

Businesses and non-profit organizations that serve the public are to remove architectural barriers when it is readily achievable. Readily achievable means when alterations can be made without great expense or effort.

What are the consequences for ADA noncompliance?

The ADA is a civil rights law, so each barrier to access represents a civil rights violation. In California, the Unruh Civil Rights Act sets the minimum monetary damages at $4,000 for each violation.

My place of business is really old. Am I grandfathered in?

No. There is no grandfather clause in the ADA exempting older facilities. Existing businesses and facilities that have not been modified or altered in any way since the passage of the ADA still have the obligation to bring their facilities into compliance when readily achievable (when alterations can be made without great expense or effort). All new construction must be fully compliant with the ADA.

Who can assess my business for necessary ADA improvements?

The State of California Certified Access Specialist (CASp) program is designed to meet the public’s need for experienced individuals who can render opinions as to the compliance of buildings and sites with the State of California codes and regulations and ADA for accessibility. You can find a list of CASps and more information about the statewide CASp program on their website.

The City of Fresno employs a CASp who is available to consult on construction related accessibility standards. The City of Fresno CASp reviews plans only and will not provide legal advice or a physical assessment of your business.

Is the landlord or tenant responsible for ADA compliance?

Both. Under Title III of the ADA there is shared responsibility between landlord and tenant for making the property and business accessible.

Is there any financial help for making my business accessible?

Yes. To assist businesses with complying with the ADA, Section 44 of the IRS Code allows a tax credit for small businesses and Section 190 of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Code allows a tax deduction for all businesses. This credit can cover 50% of the eligible access expenditures in a year.

What are the most common accessibility complaints?

The California Commission on Disability Access (CCDA) maintains records of alleged ADA violation types. They have a report which indicates the most common violations being cited in lawsuits.

The CCDA and the CA Department of Rehabilitation created the “Boost Your Business” video series which highlight the common accessibility complaints and what business owners can do about them.