Guest post by Mary Soucie, State Librarian (first published in the August 2016 issue of Flickertale)
This is the continuation of our series on compliance with different parts of the North Dakota Library Coordinating Council (NDLCC) Standards for Public libraries. We believe that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance is one of the areas that libraries may be more in compliance with than they realize. We don’t have any attorneys on staff at the North Dakota State Library (NDSL) so we can’t give you legal advice, but we will share our interpretation of what it means to be ADA compliant as well as resources you can consult on your own. We recommend that you also consult an attorney if you have questions.
The Americans with Disabilities Act was passed in 1990 and amended in 2010. From www.ada.gov, the ADA “prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, state and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation.”
State and local governments must operate services, programs, and activities so when viewed in its entirety, are readily accessible to individuals with disabilities. Older buildings may need to be altered to ensure accessibility.
Buildings that are new construction or altered must come into compliance with ADA requirements. The compliance standards, as well as applicable dates (1991 or 2010) can be found on www.ada.gov.
If you have questions about ADA compliance, please contact your Library Development Specialist.