If a public entity has 50 or more employees, it is required to designate at least one responsible employee to coordinate ADA compliance. A government entity may elect to have more than one ADA Coordinator. Although the law does not refer to this person as an “ADA Coordinator,” this term is commonly used in state and local governments across the country.
The ADA Coordinator is responsible for coordinating the efforts of the government entity to comply with Title II and investigating any complaints that the entity has violated Title II. The name, office address, and telephone number of the ADA Coordinator must be provided to interested persons.
If a local government or other public entity has fewer than 50 employees, it is not required to appoint an ADA Coordinator or establish grievance procedures. The number of employees is based on a government-wide total, including employees of each department, division, or other sub-unit. Both part-time and full-time employees count. Contractors are not counted as employees for determining the number of employees.
There are many benefits to having a knowledgeable ADA coordinator, even for smaller public entities that are not required to have one. For members of the public, having an ADA Coordinator makes it easy to identify someone to help them with questions and concerns about disability discrimination. For example, the ADA Coordinator is often the main contact when someone wishes to request an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication, such as a sign language interpreter or documents in Braille.
A knowledgeable ADA Coordinator will be able to efficiently assist people with disabilities with their questions. She or he will also be responsible for investigating complaints. Having an ADA Coordinator also benefits state and local government entities. It provides a specific contact person with knowledge and information about the ADA so that questions by staff can be answered efficiently and consistently. In addition, she or he coordinates compliance measures and can be instrumental in ensuring that compliance plans move forward.