The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 provides comprehensive civil rights protection to qualified individuals with disabilities in the areas of employment, public accommodations, State and local government services, and telecommunications. A primary goal of the ADA is the equal participation of individuals with disabilities in the “mainstream” of American society. Title II of the Act took effect on January 26, 1992 and covers programs, activities, and services of public entities.

Under Title II, a public entity may not deny the benefits of its programs, activities, or services to individuals with disabilities because its facilities are inaccessible. A public entity’s programs, services, and activities, when viewed in their entirety, must be made readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, except where to do so would result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of the program; result in undue financial and administrative burdens or threaten or destroy the historic significance of an historic property. This standard, known as “program accessibility” applies to all existing facilities of a public entity. Under this standard, Elkhart County is not required to make all its facilities or every part of a single facility accessible. Program accessibility may be achieved by a number of methods, including but not limited to: alteration of existing facilities to remove architectural barriers, the relocation of activities or services from inaccessible to accessible buildings, the redesign of equipment, and assignment of aides to beneficiaries, home visits, or delivery of services at alternate accessible sites. When choosing a method of providing program access, priority is to be given to the one that results in the most integrated setting appropriate to encourage interaction among all users, including individuals with disabilities.

The complete plan should:

  • List the physical barriers in a public entity’s facilities that limit the accessibility of its programs, activities, and services to individuals with disabilities,
  • Describe the methods that will be used to remove these barriers,
  • Specify the schedule for taking the necessary steps to comply with Title II of the ADA; and,
  • Name the individual responsible for the plan’s implementation.


This is an overview of the Elkhart County Transition Plan. The plan is a constant work in progress. It strives to
identify barriers to program accessibility within properties owned and maintained by Elkhart County and provides
project checklists to track improvements. The plan consists of three areas:


Upon completion of the original survey of all of the Elkhart County Government Buildings and facilities within the
right-of-way, an ADA Advisory Committee was formed. The committee consisted of an Elkhart County
Commissioner, the Director of Elkhart County Buildings and Grounds, the ADA Coordinator, the Director of Elkhart
County Parks, and three members of the community.

The Elkhart County ADA Office initially conducted accessibility surveys on county buildings and facilities. This
committee provided additional insight as to how accessibility barriers discovered during the inventory should be
prioritized and addressed.


As part of its Public Participation Process, Elkhart County offered time for Public Comment during the December
15, 2014 Elkhart County Board of Commissioners Meeting. During this meeting, the
ADA Transition Plan for County Government Buildings was be presented.