Resources and information for municipal ADA Coordinators

Your role and responsibilities, memos, training, peer resource group, and one-on-one support

The Massachusetts Office on Disability (MOD) provides information, guidance, and training to municipal ADA Coordinators to help you understand and fulfill your role in making your community more accessible.

An ADA Coordinator is the person who:

  • ensures a municipality's compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and
  • handles disability access issues, like: processing reasonable modification requests and resolving complaints about disability-related barriers to municipal programs (see our example scenarios)

Every city and town in Massachusetts is required to have someone fulfill these duties. In most cities and towns, this person is called "the ADA Coordinator". In some communities, the responsible person may be a department manager or an administrator. On this page, we use the term "ADA Coordinator" to mean the person fulfilling these duties, even if that is not their official title.

Are you a Massachusetts resident looking for your local ADA Coordinator? Visit our public, searchable list of municipal ADA Coordinators.

Table of Contents


MOD periodically issues guidance memos to ADA Coordinators to keep you informed about changes to laws and regulations that may affect your work. Check out our most recent memos:

ADA requirements for municipalities

Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) lays out municipal roles and responsibilities to ensure that residents and visitors to your municipality have an equal opportunity to benefit from your programs, services, and activities.

Under the ADA, all municipalities are required to (please note this is not an exhaustive list):

  • Make reasonable modifications to policies, practices, and procedures when necessary to ensure that a person with a disability can access the municipality’s programs, services, and activities
  • Conduct a self-evaluation of programs, services, and activities identifying barriers to participation of people with disabilities
  • Communicate with people with disabilities effectively
  • Provide program access to ensure that people with disabilities are not excluded
  • Follow access codes when building or renovating within the built environment (this includes outdoor construction and renovation, such as parks, sidewalks, parking lots, etc.)
  • Allow service animals to accompany their owners

Municipalities with 50 or more employees are required to fulfill the following additional administrative requirements:

  1. Appoint a well-placed employee to ensure the municipality’s ADA compliance. This person is often called an ADA Coordinator. They may not be a volunteer.
  2. Have a grievance procedure (scroll to section D) that includes a way for people to share questions, concerns, and comments about the municipality’s ADA compliance.
  3. Post public notification of the municipality’s commitment to ADA compliance. This notification should include contact information for the ADA Coordinator. It should be posted in municipal buildings and online. View MOD's accessibility statement as an example.
  4. Keep an ADA Self-Evaluation on file. The self-evaluation should identify barriers to participation of people with disabilities in municipal programs, services, and activities. Transition plan should be developed with input from the disability community
  5. Conduct an ADA Transition Plan that lays out how the municipality plans to prioritize the removal of architectural barriers that impact access to programs services and activities. The plan should be developed with input from the disability community and should list existing physical barriers, how they will be removed, when they will be removed, and who is responsible for implementing the plan. It is a living document that should be reviewed and updated periodically as changes are made.

The ADA Title II Action guide from the New England ADA Center outlines a step-by-step process to Title II compliance. MOD also offers more information on disability rights in government services, including program access, integration, and effective communication.

ADA Coordinator responsibilities

Municipal ADA Coordinators make their communities more accessible by ensuring ADA compliance and handling disability access issues like reasonable modification requests and accessibility complaints.

Specific responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Being familiar with basic Title II obligations
  • Ensuring compliance with the municipality’s ADA administrative requirements
  • Being familiar with the contents of the municipality’s ADA self-evaluation and transition plans and ensuring the transition plan is routinely updated
  • Responding to inquiries and investigating complaints from the public about access to municipal programs and services
  • Coordinating requests for auxiliary aids like Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) and American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation
  • Informing municipal employees of your role and offering them training and consultation on basic ADA obligations
  • Facilitating communication between and within municipal departments regarding constituent requests for modifications of policies, practices, and procedure

Download a sample municipal ADA Coordinator job description.

Example scenarios: How an ADA Coordinator should respond

Below are some examples of requests an ADA Coordinator might receive and how the ADA Coordinator should respond. If you are unsure of how to respond to a request, contact MOD to guide you through your options.

Home adaptations


A resident who recently became a wheelchair user needs to make adaptations to their home but has been told by the building department that they cannot due to zoning ordinances.


Consult with the zoning board to advise them that they must review a request from the individual to modify the ordinance based on the particular circumstance and determine whether they can do it without fundamental alteration.

Communication access at public meetings


A town is holding a series of public meetings regarding a large construction project that will impact a neighborhood. After the first meeting, a resident who is hard of hearing contacts the ADA Coordinator to report that she could not equally participate because only the moderator of the meeting used a microphone.


The ADA Coordinator would investigate the matter and ensure that the next meeting will be held in a room with access to microphones. They would also advise the applicable department to tell all attendees at the start of the next meeting that they must use a microphone when they speak.

Accessibility of new construction


The middle school is being renovated and a parent who sits on the local Commission on Disability questions whether the new doors on the school are ADA compliant.


The ADA Coordinator would connect with the applicable department to ensure that these concerns are raised and that they are following the applicable access codes.

Allegations of mistreatment


A parent of an adult child with autism reports that their son was mistreated by the police after he was pulled over, became scared, and couldn’t answer questions.


The ADA Coordinator would investigate the complaint. The result of the investigation may or may not reveal a need for awareness training or disciplinary action.

Training for ADA Coordinators

MOD provides live and recorded trainings to help new and experienced municipal ADA Coordinators handle reasonable accommodation and modification requests, understand best practices for public and town meetings, and more.

Visit MOD’s Municipal ADA Coordinator training playlist on YouTube for a full list of our recorded trainings.

Municipal ADA Coordinator Peer Resource Group

MOD’s Municipal ADA Coordinator Peer Resource Group brings together ADA Coordinators from cities and towns across the Commonwealth for training, networking, and discussion of initiatives, successes, and roadblocks. Contact MOD at for more information. All meetings are remote.

Update your contact information with MOD

Visit our public, searchable list of municipal ADA Coordinators for our most up to date record of municipal ADA Coordinators.

If your city or town’s information is missing, incomplete, or incorrect, please update your contact information using our online form.

Get one-on-one support

MOD can help ADA Coordinators understand and troubleshoot issues related to their role. To get information and support, please contact MOD online or call (617) 727-7440.

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