“Program Access” refers to any service provided by DOT to ensure the access of persons with disabilities to any available public DOT program or service (i.e., not related to the reasonable accommodation of DOT employees. The Department is required under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to ensure that the programs and services it provides to the public are accessible. Generally, the DRC is not responsible for providing access to available DOT public programs or services. Instead, as required by the DOT Order, event sponsors/planners are responsible for providing this type of support to Departmental employees and the public.
Examples of program access activities could include:
- purchasing a TTY or videophone for use with a public hotline;
- providing assistive listening devices for general/public meetings (e.g. FM system, audioloop)
- providing materials in alternative formats for Departmental events (unless a DOT employee with a disability requests it as a reasonable accommodation)
- captioned videos, multi-media or broadcast messages; or
- CART services for Departmental events.
Even though the DRC does not provide items or services as a means of creating access for the public to Departmental Programs, the DRC will work with program offices as needed to help them determine the best accessibility solution for their program needs.
In general, OA Program Offices should budget for Section 504 and 508 compliance requirements from their appropriated (or trust) funds. Federally conducted or funded (contracts and grants) must ensure equal access through the contracts or other funding agreements (grants, Interagency Agreements, Memoranda of Understanding).
The Administrative Management Council has authorized one exception. The DRC will provide sign language interpreting when DOT is communicating with the public. These events could include a Department-sponsored event where the Secretary or Deputy Secretary of Transportation will be speaking, or a public hearing about a proposed regulation. In general, OA Program Offices should budget for their Section 504 and 508 compliance requirements from their appropriated (or trust) funds. Federally conducted or funded (contracts and grants) must ensure equal access through the contracts or other funding agreements (grants, Interagency Agreements, Memoranda of Understanding).
The Assistant Secretary for Administration, the Departmental Office of Civil Rights (DOCR), and the Chief Information Officer released a joint memorandum in 2009 on creating accessible programs and activities in DOT. That memo can be found on the DOCR website at the following URL: