Guidelines of Notice and Grievance Procedure


Joseph S. Yenni Building
1221 Elmwood Park Blvd., Suite 403
Jefferson, LA 70123
Phone: (504) 736-6000
            (504) 736-6101
Fax:     (504) 736-6778
Email: JPCitizensAffairs@JeffParish.net

AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT OF 1990

  1. Administrative Guidelines of Notice and Grievance Procedure under Title II of the ADA.

    This grievance policy is intended to provide a prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging discrimination in violation of Parish, State, or Federal law, based on a past or current disability.

    Any person who believes he or she has been subject to unlawful discrimination  by the Parish or any Parish officer or employee based on a past or current disability, or his or her association with a person with a disability, may submit the grievance, in writing, to the Parish’s designated Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coordinator:

    ADA Coordinator, Barry Sprague
    Office of Citizens with Disabilities
    1221 Elmwood Park Blvd., Suite 403
    Jefferson,  LA  70123
    (504) 736-6000 or (504) 736-6101
    ADA@jeffparish.net

  2. Public Notice about the ADA

    This public notice is directed to everyone who interacts-or would potentially interact - with the Jefferson Parish Government.

    In accordance with the requirements of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"), as amended, Jefferson Parish will not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities on the basis of disability in its services, programs, or activities.

    Employment:  Jefferson Parish does not discriminate on the basis of disability in its hiring or employment practices and complies with all regulations promulgated by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission under Title I of the ADA.

    Effective Communication: Jefferson Parish will generally, upon request, provide appropriate aids and services leading to effective communication for qualified persons with disabilities so they can participate equally in Jefferson Parish programs, services, and activities, including qualified sign language interpreters, documents in Braille, and other ways of making information and communications accessible to people who have speech, hearing, or vision impairments.

    Modifications to Policies and Procedures:  Jefferson Parish will make all reasonable modifications to policies and programs to ensure that people with disabilities have an equal opportunity to enjoy all of its programs, services, and activities. For example, individuals with service animals are welcomed in Jefferson Parish offices, even where pets are generally prohibited.

    Anyone who requires an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication, or a modification of policies or procedures to participate in a program, service, or activity of Jefferson Parish, should contact Barry Sprague, ADA Coordinator, Department of Citizens Affairs, Office of Citizens with Disabilities, 1221 Elmwood Park Blvd., Suite 403, Jefferson, LA  70123, Phone: 736-6000 or 736-6101, ADA@jeffparish.net as soon as possible but no later than 48 hours before the scheduled event.

    The ADA does not require Jefferson Parish to take any action that would fundamentally alter the nature of its programs or services, or impose an undue financial or administrative burden.

    Complaints that a program, service, or activity of  Jefferson Parish is not accessible to persons with disabilities should be directed to Barry Sprague, ADA Coordinator, Department of Citizens Affairs, Office of Citizens with Disabilities, 1221 Elmwood Park Blvd., Suite 403, Jefferson, LA  70123. Phone: 736-6000 or 736-6101, ADA@jeffparish.net.

    Jefferson Parish will not place a surcharge on a particular individual with a disability or any group of individuals with disabilities to cover the cost of providing auxiliary aids/services or reasonable modifications of policy, such as retrieving items from locations that are open to the public but are not accessible to persons who use wheelchairs.

  3. Definitions

    “Disability”

    The term “disability” means, with respect to an individual:

    1. a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual;

    2. a record of such an impairment; or

    3. being regarded as having such an impairment as described hereinafter.

    “Major Life Activities”

    1. In General – Major life activities include, but are not limited to, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working.

    “Major Bodily Functions”

    A major life activity also includes the operation of a major bodily function, including but not limited to, functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions.

    “Regarded As Having An Impairment”

    1. An individual meets the requirement of “being regarded as having  an impairment” if the individual establishes that he or she has been subjected to an action prohibited under this Act because of an actual or perceived physical or mental impairment whether or not the impairment limits or is perceived to limit a major life activity.

    2. Paragraph(C) above shall not apply to impairments that are transitory and minor. A transitory impairment is an impairment with an actual or expected duration of six months or less.

    “Rules Of Construction Regarding The Disability”

    The definition of “disability” shall  be construed in accordance with the following:

    1. The definition of disability in this Act shall be construed in favor of broad coverage of individuals under this Act, to the maximum extent permitted by the terms of this Act.

    2. The term “substantially limits” shall be interpreted consistently with the findings and purposes of the ADA Amendments Act of 2008.

    3. An impairment that substantially limits one major life activity need not limit other major life activities in order to be considered a disability.

    4. An impairment that is episodic or in remission is a disability if it would substantially limit a major life activity when active.

    5.  

      1. The determination of whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity shall be made without regard to the ameliorative effects of mitigating measures such as –

        1. medication, medical supplies, equipment, or appliances, low-vision devices (which do not include ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses), prosthetics including limbs and devices, hearing aids and cochlear implants or other implantable hearing devices, mobility devices, or oxygen therapy equipment and supplies;

        2. use of assistive technology;

        3. reasonable accommodations or auxiliary aids or services; or

        4. learned behavioral or adaptive neurological modifications.

      2. The ameliorative effects of the mitigating measures of ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses shall be considered in determining whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity.

      3. As used in this subparagraph –

        1. the term “ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses” means lenses that are intended to fully correct visual acuity or eliminate refractive error; and

        2. the term “low-vision devices” means devices that magnify, enhance, or otherwise augment a visual image.”

    “Auxiliary Aids and Services”

    The term “auxiliary aids and services” includes –

    1. qualified interpreters or other effective methods of making aurally delivered materials available to individuals with hearing impairments;

    2. qualified readers, taped texts, or other effective methods to making visually delivered materials available to individuals with visual impairments.

    3. acquisition or modification of equipment or devices; and

    4. other similar services and actions.

    “Physical impairment”

    Includes physiological disorders or conditions; cosmetic disfigurement; or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological; musculoskeletal, special sense organs (which would include speech organs that are not respiratory, such as, vocal cords, soft palate, tongue, etc.); respiratory, including speech organs, cardiovascular; reproductive; digestive; genitourinary; hemic and lymphatic; skin; and endocrine.

    “Mental impairment”

    Includes mental or physical disorders such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specified learning disabilities.

    “Substantially limits”

    Means unable to perform a major life activity that the average person in the general population can perform; or significantly restricted as to the condition, manner, or duration under which an individual can perform a particular major life activity as compared to the condition, manner, or duration under which the average person in the general population can perform the same major life activity.

    “Qualified Individual with a Disability”

    To be qualified the individual with the disability must meet the essential eligibility requirements for receipt of services or participation in a public entity’s programs, activities, or services with or without:

    1. reasonable modification to the public entity’s rules, policies, or practices;

    2. removal of architectural, communication, or transportation barriers; or

    3. provision of auxiliary aids and services.

    “Reasonable Modification”

    A public entity must reasonably modify its policies, practices or procedures to avoid discrimination. If the public entity can demonstrate, however that the modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of its service, program or activity, it is not required to make the modification.

    “Undue Hardship”

    Is defined as a significant difficulty or expense in, or resulting from, the provision of the accommodation. The size and financial resources of an organization are key factors in determining how far it must go to provide reasonable accommodation, but undue hardship is not limited to money. The term covers any accommodation that would not only be unduly costly, but so extensive, substantial, or disruptive as to fundamentally alter the nature or operation of the business.

    “Direct Threat”

    Is a significant risk to the health or safety of others that cannot be eliminated or reduced to an acceptable level by the public entity’s modification of its policies, practices or procedures, or by the provision of auxiliary aids or services. An individual who poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others will not be “qualified.”

  4. Grievance Procedure

    This grievance procedure is established to meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). It may be used by anyone who wishes to file a complaint alleging discrimination on the basis of disability and the provisions of services, activities, programs, or benefits of Jefferson Parish.

    The grievance should be in writing and contain information about the alleged discrimination, such as the name, address, and phone number of the complainant, and the location, date, and description of the complaint or problem. Alternative means of filing complaints, such as personal interviews or a tape recording of the complaint, will be made available to persons with disabilities upon request.

    The complaint should be submitted by the grievant and/or his/her designee as soon as possible, but no later than sixty (60) calendar days after the alleged violation to Barry Sprague, ADA Coordinator, Department of Citizens Affairs, Office of Citizens with Disabilities, 1221 Elmwood Park Blvd., Suite 403, Jefferson, LA 70123, Phone: 736-6000 or 736-6101, ADA@jeffparish.net.

    An investigation shall promptly follow the filing of a grievance. The investigation shall be conducted by the ADA Coordinator, Katherine Hoover, with the authorization of the Parish administration. This policy contemplates informal but thorough investigations, affording interested persons and their representatives, if any, an opportunity to provide information relative to the grievance. Within fifteen (15) calendar days after receipt of the grievance the ADA Coordinator or his/her designee will meet with the complainant to discuss the complaint and the possible resolutions. Within fifteen (15) calendar days of the meeting, the ADA Coordinator or his/her designee will respond in writing and, where appropriate, in a format accessible to the complainant such as large print, Braille, or audio tape. The response will explain the position of Jefferson Parish and offer options for substantive resolution of the complaint. The response will also be forwarded to the Parish administration and the Parish Attorney’s office.

    The ADA Coordinator shall maintain all such grievance files and records of Jefferson Parish in the Office of Citizens with Disabilities.

    The grievant may request reconsideration in instances where he/she is dissatisfied with the written determination provided by the ADA Coordinator. Requests for reconsideration shall be made in writing to the parish administration. Within fifteen (15) days after receipt of the appeal/reconsideration the parish administration or its designee will meet with the complainant to discuss the complaint and possible resolutions. Within fifteen (15) calendar days after the meeting the parish administration or his/her designee will respond in writing and, where appropriate, in a format accessible to the complainant with a final resolution of the complaint.

    All written complaints received by the ADA Coordinator or her designee and appeals to the parish administration or its designee and responses from these two offices will be retained by Jefferson Parish for at least three (3) years.

    A public entity must provide information on Title II’s requirements to applicant’s participants, beneficiaries, and other interested persons. The notice shall explain Title II’s applicability to the public entity’s services, programs, or activities.