Are Private NEMT Services Subject to ADA Compliance?
Before looking at how the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) effects private NEMT transportation it is important to understand what exactly the ADA is. Coming into law in 1990, the ADA is a civil rights law that protects and prohibits any type of discrimination against individuals with disabilities. This act applies to all public places and entities including but not limited to employment, government services, transportation and telecommunications.
ADA and Transportation
Things like ramps next to stairs, and elevators next to escalators are good examples of necessary enhancements to public buildings that this act requires to be put in place. When it comes to the transportation side of things it is a bit more complex to decipher. After looking through the ADA, NEMT services are not mentioned at all. It is safe to say, most NEMT companies are operating either ambulatory, wheelchair, or stretcher services. In some cases the company offers all three services and more. Taking this into consideration, these modes of transport are already fitting inside of ADA guidelines for creating transportation options for people with disabilities. Even if a private NEMT company only offers ambulatory service it clearly states, “Private entities providing taxi service are not required to purchase or lease accessible automobiles” (ADA & Accessible Ground Transportation). It does state that, “Equipment and facilities such as lifts, ramps, securement devices (straps for securing wheelchairs on board), signage, and communication devices must be in good operating condition. If a feature is out of order, it must be repaired promptly. In the interim, an alternative accessible vehicle or option must be available.”
Keeping your vehicles in check and being on top of service requests should always be at the forefront of your transportation operation regardless of ADA requiring them to be. Be ahead of the game with a software solution from ISI Technology.