United Community Action Program, Inc.

ADA Policy

AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT POLICY
for
United Community Action Program, Inc.
Cimarron Public Transit System
(Accepted August 24, 2010)
(Revised May 21, 2013)
(Revised November 17, 2015)
(Revised March 20, 2018)

Goal
 It is the goal of Cimarron Public Transit System, through its (demand response) rural public transit service, to design, implement and maintain an efficient and effective transportation system for persons with disabilities. Cimarron Public Transit System works to ensure nondiscriminatory transportation in support of the Federal Transit Administration’s mission to enhance the social and economic quality of life for all Americans.

Policy
 It is the policy of Cimarron Public Transit System to abide by all provisions of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and US Department of Transportation (DOT) implementation regulation found at 49 CFR Parts 27, 37 and 38 as amended, in the delivery of transit services that are open to the public and prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability and sets specific requirements that transit agencies must follow.

ADA Requirements
  Equivalent Service
 Cimarron Public Transit System provides demand response rural public transportation and provides equivalent service to individuals with disabilities, that is consistent with DOT ADA 49 CFR Part 37.77.   This transportation will be provided in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of the individual and will be equivalent to the service provided other individuals with respect to:
 Response time; Fares; Geographic area of service; Hours and days of service; Restrictions or priorities based on trip purpose; Availability of information and reservations capability; Any constraints on capacity or availability;

 General Service Requirements
A. Training
 Cimarron Public Transit System shall ensure that personnel are trained to proficiency, as appropriate to their duties, so that they operate vehicles and equipment safely and properly assist and treat individuals with disabilities who use the service in a respectful and courteous way, with appropriate attention to the differences among individuals with disabilities.

B. Service Animals
Cimarron Public Transit System shall permit service animals to accompany individuals with disabilities in vehicles and facilities. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, a service animal is defined as “any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability, including, but not limited to, alerting individuals with impaired hearing to intruders or sounds, providing minimal protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, or fetching dropped items. 49CFR37.3

Control of the service animal is the responsibility of the animals’ partner.  Any animal out of control will not be transported.  If an animal’s behavior creates a hazard or direct threat, the accountability for damages or injuries shall remain with the person responsible for the animal.

Service animals should sit or lie on the floor.  Animals should not occupy a passenger seat, and should not block the passenger aisle.

C. Transporting of Wheelchairs

Wheelchair Definition. A wheelchair is defined in Section 37.3 as "a mobility aid belonging to any class of three-or more-wheeled devices, usable indoors, designed or modified for and used by individuals with mobility impairments, whether operated manually or powered."

 Cimarron Public Transit System will accommodate mobility devices.  Three or more wheeled devices, usable indoors, designed or modified for and used by individuals with mobility impairments, whether operated manually or powered, will be accommodated as long as the lift or ramp can accommodate the size and weight of the wheelchair and its user and there is space for the wheelchair on the vehicle.  Mobility devices will not be transported if they are inconsistent with legitimate safety requirements. 

D. Wheelchair Securement  
 
Section 38.23(d) of the DOT’s ADA regulation requires all ADA compliant vehicles to have a two-part securement system:  One to secure the mobility device and a seatbelt and shoulder harness for the wheelchair user (such seat belts and shoulder harnesses shall not be used in lieu of a device which secures the wheelchair or mobility aid itself.)

The securement system shall limit the movement of an occupied wheelchair or mobility aid to no more than 2 inches in any direction under normal vehicle operating conditions. 49CFR 38(d)(5)

All wheelchairs must be secured to the floor of the vehicle using the securement equipment.

F. Respirators/Portable Oxygen
Individuals with disabilities who use portable oxygen devices are allowed to travel with respirators and properly secured portable oxygen supplies. Oxygen supplies must not obstruct the aisle. (49CFR 37.167(h)) (Revised May 2016)

E.
  Lift Deployment
  Passengers will be permitted to use a lift or ramp to board or disembark from a vehicle at any designated stop, unless the lift or ramp cannot be deployed, the lift or ramp will be damaged if it is deployed, or temporary conditions preclude the safe use of the stop by all passengers.  Standees should stand in the center of the platform facing the direction of travel.  If capable, the passenger should hold both handrails when on the platform.

It is recommended that power chairs and scooters be turned to the "OFF" position once on the lift platform and while the lift is in operation.

 IV. Passenger Responsibilities
a.
All passengers must be able to sit in a bus seat or wheelchair in order to be transported.

b.All passengers on the vehicle are required to wear seat belts to include lap and shoulder belts. Therefore, persons in wheelchairs will also be required to be secured. Persons who, for medical reasons, are unable to wear a safety belt may request exemptions. To apply for this exemption, the person must submit a written application to the Commissioner of the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety requesting an exemption, including written verification from their physician attesting to the need for the exemption. If the request is approved, a special notation will be placed on the person's driver license to indicate the exemption from the safety belt law.

c.Cimarron Public Transit System will deny service to any individual who engages in violent, illegal conduct.

d.If a passenger's physical condition or conduct is hazardous, or whose behavior is seriously disruptive and/or a direct threat to others, service will be denied. 

e.The passenger will be notified of his/her right to appeal the denial of service and Cimarron Public Transit System will hear the appeal as soon as reasonably possible.
 

V.  Driver Responsibilities

 a.Drivers are responsible for loading and unloading passengers.

b.Drivers are not permitted to enter a passenger’s home under any circumstance.

c.Drivers are not permitted to maneuver a wheelchair up or down more than one step.  This rule is provided for the safety of the passenger and the driver.

d.Drivers are not permitted to lift passengers.

e.Drivers will help passengers take lightweight items off the vehicle and set them on the curb.  If additional assistance is required, this assistance may be rendered on a case-by-case basis.

VI.Personal Care Attendants & Companions

a.Personal Care Attendants (PCA’s) are not required.  If a PCA accompanies a passenger, the PCA will ride free of charge.

b.A companion (e.g., friend or family member) is not considered a personal care attendant unless the eligible individual regularly makes use of a personal care attendant and the companion is actually acting in that capacity.
c.During the reservation process, an individual must indicate whether he/she will be traveling with a personal care attendant.  If someone does not indicate the use of an attendant, then any individual accompanying him/her would be regarded as a companion.

 VII.     Accessible Communication

a.Cimarron Public Transit System is committed to providing information about its services, policies and procedures to the public in accessible formats for persons with disabilities.

b.Cimarron Public Transit System shall provide a TTY number (or make use of an operator-assisted RELAY service) so that persons with hearing or speech impairments may communicate with and receive information from Cimarron Public Transit System staff.

VIII. Reasonable Modification
A reasonable modification is a change to the policy, practice or procedure that allows disabled individuals to have equal access to programs, services and activities. Cimarron Public Transit System will review and make reasonable modifications/accommodations to policies, practices and procedures when such modifications are necessary to avoid discrimination on the basis of disability or to provide program accessibility to their services, on a case-by-case basis, subject to three limitations. (49 CFR Parts 27 and 37) to ensure program accessibility, subject to several exceptions.

Limitations, ie. valid grounds for denial of a "reasonable modification" request, which apply to both advance requests and on-the-spot requests, are as follows:
  • Granting the request would fundamentally alter the nature of services, programs, or activities. (Part 37.169c(1))
  • Granting the request would create a direct threat to the health or safety of others. (Part 37.169c(2))
  • The requested modification would not be necessary to allow the passenger to fully use the services for their intended purpose. (Part 37.169c(3))
  • Granting the request would create an undue financial or administrative burden. (Section 27.7(e))
-Requesting Reasonable Modifications
Cimarron Public Transit System will provide information on how to make requests for reasonable modifications. This information will be readily available and easily accessible to the public through the United Community Action Program, Inc. website, transit sites and policy guidelines.

Passengers with a disability can make a request verbally by communicating with the dispatcher or in writing. passengers with a disability are not required to use specific verbiage when making requests for an accommodation. Requests for a reasonable modification/accommodation should be communicated to the dispatcher at the time a trips is scheduled. In most instances, unless the request falls under one of the above exceptions, the trip will be scheduled and the driver will attempt to honor the request. If at the point of contact (pick up) the driver determines that the reasonable modification/accommodation will fall under one of the above limitations, the driver will communicate the denial to the passenger and dispatcher. The passenger will be asked to contact the dispatcher for further communication regarding the denial.

Requests for a reasonable modification/accommodation can also be submitted in writing to 501 Sixth Street, Pawnee, OK  74058 or email at lcorff@ucapinc.org.

 - Processing/Granting/Denying Modification Requests
Cimarron Public Transit System will process reasonable modification requests as soon as is reasonably possible. Once a determination regarding reasonable accommodation has been made, that decision will be promptly communicated to the individual. In the event that a request for reasonable accommodation will be denied, Cimarron Public Transit System will communicate the denial to the individual requesting modification.
IX.   Public Involvement

a.Cimarron Public Transit System will provide on-going mechanisms in accessible formats to involve the public in decisions regarding its accessible services, proposed service changes, proposed fare increases, policies and procedures, and other similar topics.

 X. Complaint Procedure                                                                                    Any person who believes Cimarron Public Transit System has failed to comply wi th ADA, may file a complaint. Cimarron Public Transit System complaint procedures are located on the agency website and posted at each transit site. Complaints must be received in writing to include a summary of allegations and any supporting documentation and sufficient details for an investigator to understand why Cimarron Public Transit System has violated rights, to include specifics such as dates and times of incident(s). A thorough investigation will be completed within ten (10) days after receipt. Documentation will be kept concerning the nature, date and time of the complaint. After the investigation has been completed and the information reviewed, a determination letter will be mailed to the complainant.

If the complainant disagrees with the findings of Cimarron Public Transit System, the complainant may request reconsideration by submitting the request in writing within seven (7) days after the date of the letter of determination, stating with specificity the basis for the reconsideration. Cimarron Public Transit System will notify the complainant of the decision either to accept or to reject the request for consideration within ten (10 days. In cases where reconsideration is granted, Cimarron Public Transit System will issue a determination letter to the complainant upon completion of the reconsideration review within 30 days.

If information is needed in another language or format, contact the designated employee listed below.         



Contact Person
Any questions regarding this policy or any other aspect of Cimarron Public Transit System ADA policy should be addressed to the following transit system representative.

Name:  Laura Corff
Title:  Transit Director
Address: 501 Sixth Street, Pawnee, OK  74058
Telephone Number:  580-718-0444
Email:  lcorff@ucapinc.org

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