TRANSPORTATION REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS REQUESTS

Purpose

The Federal Department of Transportation (DOT) has recently revised the rules for the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The revised rules provide for public transit organizations to make reasonable modifications and accommodations to policies, practices, and procedures to avoid discrimination, and to ensure accessibility to individuals with disabilities.

Statement

OCCK Transportation is committed to providing equal access and opportunity to qualified individuals with disabilities in all programs, services and activities. OCCK Transportation recognizes that in order to have equally effective opportunities and benefits, individuals with disabilities may need reasonable modifications to policies and procedures. OCCK Transportation will adhere to all applicable federal and state laws, regulations and guidelines with respect to providing reasonable modifications, as necessary, to afford equal access to programs for persons with disabilities. OCCK Transportation does not discriminate on the basis of disability in admission to, participation in, or receipt of services and benefits under any transit program or activity. OCCK Transportation will take appropriate steps to ensure that persons with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate.

Reasonable Modifications

Individuals with disabilities may request that OCCK Transportation make a reasonable accommodation in order for that individual to fully use transit services. All requests should be made in advance by filling out and submitting a Reasonable Accommodation Request form to OCCK Transportation. Please see information below to obtain and file a request.

OCCK Transportation will accommodate requests provided that:

  1. The fundamental nature of the service, program or activity is not altered, or,
  2. It does not cause a direct threat to the health or safety of others, or,
  3. It does not result in an undue financial and administrative burden, or,
  4. The requestor would not be able to fully use the service provided by OCCK Transportation without modification.

Eligibility Criteria

An individual is eligible to be considered to receive a reasonable modification if that individual has: a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual; a record of such impairment; or been regarded as having such impairment.

Time Frame for Processing Requests and Providing Reasonable Modification

OCCK Transportation will process requests for reasonable accommodation and then provide accommodations, where appropriate, in as short a time frame as reasonably possible. OCCK Transportation recognizes, however, that the time necessary to process a request will depend on the nature of the accommodation(s) requested and whether it is necessary to obtain supporting information.

Granting a Reasonable Modification Request

As soon as OCCK Transportation determines that a reasonable accommodation will be provided, that decision shall be immediately communicated to the individual. This notice must be in writing in order to maintain the required information for reporting purposes. Upon request, alternative means of response will be provided.

In choosing among alternatives for meeting nondiscrimination and accessibility requirements with respect to new, altered, or existing facilities, or designated or specified transportation services, OCCK Transportation shall give priority to those methods that offer services, programs, and activities to qualified individuals with disabilities in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of individuals with disabilities.

Denying a Reasonable Modification Request

As soon as OCCK Transportation determines that a request for reasonable accommodation will be denied, OCCK Transportation will communicate the basis for the decision in writing to the individual requesting the modification. The explanation for the denial will clearly state:

  1. the specific reasons for the denial;
  2. any alternative accommodation that may create the same access to transit services as requested by the individual; and
  3. the opportunity to file a complaint relative to the OCCK Transportation’s decision on the request.

Complaint Process

OCCK Transportation has a process for investigating and tracking complaints from qualified individuals. These procedures shall be posted on the OCCK Transportation’s website and will be provided to any individual where the OCCK Transportation has denied a request for accommodation. The process and any forms necessary to file a complaint are readily available from the web. Alternative means of filing complaints, such as personal interviews, phone calls, or taped requests, will be made available for persons with disabilities if unable to communicate their request in writing or upon request.

Any person who believes he or she has been discriminated against in obtaining a reasonable modification may file a complaint by completing and submitting OCCK Transportation’s Reasonable Modification Complaint Form. OCCK Transportation investigates complaints received no more than 30 days after receipt. OCCK Transportation will process complaints that are complete. Once the complaint is received, the complainant will receive an acknowledgement of receipt. If more information is needed to resolve the complaint, OCCK Transportation may contact the complainant. The complainant has 30 business days from the date of the letter to send requested information to OCCK Transportation.

If OCCK Transportation is not contacted by the complainant or does not receive the additional information within 30 business days, OCCK Transportation may administratively close the complaint. In addition, a complaint may be administratively closed if the complainant no longer wishes to pursue their case.

After OCCK Transportation investigates the complaint, a decision will be rendered in writing to the complainant. OCCK Transportation will issue either a Letter of Closure or Letter of Finding.

  1. Letter of Finding – This letter summarizes the complaint, any interviews conducted regarding the complaint, and explains what actions will be taken by OCCK Transportation to address the complaint.
  2. Letter of Closure – This letter will explain why OCCK Transportation has determined that the complaint does not merit accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act and that the complaint will be closed.

If the complainant disagrees with the decision of OCCK Transportation, an opportunity to appeal the decision may be pursued provided the complaint files notice of appeal within 21 days of the initial decision of OCCK Transportation.

In the event of appeal, the complainant will be granted all due process, including the ability to present additional evidence, present the case in person during an appeal hearing, and to be represented by counsel.

Designated Employee

OCCK Transportation shall designate one official within the organization responsible for processing reasonable modification requests and handling complaints. This individual is:

Debbie Atkinson, Transportation Coordinator
OCCK Transportation
340 N. Santa Fe
Salina, KS  67401
(785) 826-1583
datkinson@occk.com

There are several ways to obtain and submit a Reasonable Modification/Accommodation request form:

OCCK Transportation
340 N. Santa Fe
Salina, KS  67401

Record Retention

OCCK Transportation will maintain all records related to reasonable modification requests and denials for at least three (3) years.