The Massachusetts Office on Disability, (MOD) is pleased to announce the Municipal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Improvement Grant Program application and selection process. Eligible applicants include any Massachusetts city or town. These grants will support capital improvements specifically dedicated to improving programmatic access and/or removing barriers encountered by persons with disabilities in applicant facilities throughout the Commonwealth. Grants will be awarded to successful applicants to remove barriers and create and improve accessible features and programmatic access for persons with disabilities throughout the Commonwealth.
Examples include but are not limited to increasing both physical access and programmatic access through the addition of features such as: ramps, elevators, power lifts and Limited Use/Limited Application (LULAs) signage, communication access devices, curb cuts and/or any other features that are designed to improve architectural access and/or programmatic access. Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis to projects that demonstrate real and tangible positive impacts to persons with disabilities.
Eligible applicants include any Massachusetts city or town.
There are two grant types available:
Planning Grant: These grants are for updating or creating a Self-Evaluation and/or Transition Plan as required under the Administrative Requirements of Title II of the ADA.
This grant will require the following supporting documentation at the time of application submission: (Sample forms are available in the “Municipal ADA Improvement Grants Program – Addenda” in the "Downloads"section below.)
- Designation of a Responsible Employee (ADA Coordinator)
- Notice of Non-Discrimination and proof of posting, and
- An ADA Grievance Procedure
Project Grant: These grants are for removal of architectural or communication barriers that are present. Design plans or Applicant salaries are not eligible project grants. Project Grants are purposed only to remove barriers or to make physical/communication improvements at municipal properties or municipally owned facilities. Funds awarded cannot be used to make improvements to private businesses, private property, non-profit organizations, private homes, or other non-municipal properties.
- A completed Self-Evaluation,
- A completed Transition Plan,
- An ADA Grievance Procedure,
- Notice of Non-Discrimination and proof of posting,
- Designation of a Responsible Employee (ADA Coordinator), and
- Detailed/Itemized cost estimates are required to be provided within the appropriate application section (Section. 3.1 of the Project Grant - “Cost Estimate”).
Please be advised, only capital related expenses will be covered. Items such as, but not limited to, design plans, feasibility studies, and applicant salaries are not eligible expenses to be covered. Those types of expenses can be in-kind services or covered by the the applicant.
Please note: Items purchased, architectural changes made, and other grant funded projects must comply with the Massachusetts Architectural Access Board's rules and regulations (521 CMR) and/or the 2010 ADA Design Standards. MOD is willing to assist awarded communities with evaluating whether prospective components funded through the grant program meet these requirements. Supplying plans, drawings or spec sheets in the application process is recommended.
Grant Score Weight Considerations
- At a minimum, applicants must be a member of, or are willing to become a member of, the Community Compact Cabinet (CCC) to be eligible to apply for a grant.
- Municipalities that selected the "Public Accessibility Best Practice" option to "Undertake an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Self-Evaluation and Develop a Transition Plan to comply with Federal civil rights laws that require public buildings to be accessible to persons with disabilities" under that best practice option of the CCC will increase applicant score.
- Municipalities with a duly established Commission on Disability will increase applicant score.
Important Dates in the Application Process
August 1, 2019 - FY20 Application period beings. Only on-line submissions will be reviewed.
October 8, 2019 - FY20 Application submission period ends.
October, 2019 - Review process for FY20 Applications begins.
December, 2019 - FY20 Grant award/denial notifications will be sent.
December, 2019 - FY20 Grant contracts to be issued to awarded communities.
For questions relating to the administration and the application process, please contact:
Karl Bryan, Grant Compliance Coordinator
For questions relating to disability related policies and procedures, architectural accessibility, and Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan particulars, please contact:
Jeffrey Dougan, Assistant Director for Community Services.