State and local governments are required to follow specific architectural standards in the new construction and alteration of their buildings. They also must relocate programs or otherwise provide access in inaccessible older buildings.

While the ADA requires that all new public accommodations and facilities built for first occupancy after January of 1993 be accessible to disabled individuals, California law actually provides some greater protections. California already requires that facilities open to the public and built with private funds after July 1, 1970, be accessible. Facilities constructed before July 1, 1970 must have been made accessible when any alterations, structural repairs, or additions were made.

California also passed a series of laws designed to ensure that all buildings, structures, sidewalks, curbs, and related facilities open to the public and constructed using state, county, or municipal funds, were accessible and usable by individuals with disabilities. Buildings constructed before 1968 are not required to be accessible unless structural alterations or repairs are made.



A public entity shall take appropriate steps to ensure that communications with applicants, participants, and members of the public with disabilities are as effective as communications with others. Accessibility requirements for information technology such as computer terminals and websites has been outlined in both Federal and State laws.

Appropriate auxiliary aids and services need to be provided where necessary to afford an individual with a disability an equal opportunity to participate in, and enjoy the benefits of, a service, program, or activity conducted by a public entity.

The type of auxiliary aid and service is determined by giving primary consideration to the requests of the individual with a disability. "Auxiliary aids" include such services or devices as qualified interpreters, assistive listening headsets, television captioning and decoders, telecommunications devices for deaf persons (TDD's), videotext displays, readers, taped texts, Braille materials, and large print materials.


Information Technology

Alternative Formats

Information about Braille Resources, Large Print, Audio Resources, and Other Alternative Media Resources

Captioning Resources

  • West Coast Captioning: 1-209-931-0904

  • Rapid Text: 1-949-399-9200

  • Real-time Captioning: 1-818-376-0406

  • Jane James Captioning: 1-510-530-3989

  • Total Recall: 1-818-991-2413

  • Legalink: 1-415-512-1234

Information and Signage

Public entities need to make available information on the existence and location of accessible services, activities and facilities to interested persons, including persons with impaired vision or hearing. A public entity shall provide signage at all inaccessible entrances to each of its facilities, directing users to an accessible entrance or to a location at which they can obtain information about accessible facilities. The international symbol for accessibility shall be used at each accessible entrance of a facility and appropriate Braille signage at all elevators.


Designation of Responsible Employee and Adoption of Grievance Procedures

Public entities need to designate at least one employee to coordinate its efforts to comply with the ADA and disability access laws, including any investigation of complaints alleging noncompliance. The name, office address, and telephone number of the employee or employees designated must be available to the public. Grievance procedures providing for prompt and equitable resolution of complaints need to be adopted and published. For more information see the  The Role of the ADA Coordinator.

Disability Advisory Committee

The United States Department of Justice, when promulgating the regulations for the ADA, recognized the importance of state agencies and departments soliciting the input of individuals with disabilities when developing policies and procedures. Additionally, state law directs departments to ensure that persons with disabilities have access to positions in state government on an equal and competitive basis with the general population. To this end, departments are encouraged to assemble a disability advisory committee (DAC) comprised of employees with a broad range of disabilities or with a knowledge of disabilities to provide consultation to management on issues regarding program access and employment for persons with disabilities.

For More Information In Forming A Disability Advisory Committee see: How to Have an Effective Disability Advisory Committee