City officials hope to make Bozeman more accessible to people with disabilities.
To ensure equal access to municipal facilities and services, the city is updating its Americans with Disabilities Act transition plan.
The city is looking for volunteers to serve on a citizen advisory committee to help with the process.
The ADA was enacted in 1990 and revised in 2010. The federal government has required communities that receive federal funds to evaluate their plans, update them to reflect the revisions, and to indicate that they are compliant.
“What we look at are a number of things: First of all, it’s how accessible the buildings and city facilities are,” said James Goehrung, ADA coordinator and facilities superintendent for Bozeman. “Now, with the changes that have come about, it also gets into a lot of other issues as far as programs and services and how accessible those are to people with special needs.”
New city buildings are mostly compliant, Goehrung said. But, for example, the old bathroom at Lindley Park is not handicap accessible and will need to be updated, he said.
The city will review everything from curb ramps and handicap parking spaces to access to 911 emergency response systems and city recreation programs, Goehrung said.
Revising the plan is expected to take about one year, he said.
“We’re trying to be proactive,” Goehrung said. “It’s convenient not only for people that have special needs, but for parents with strollers, or folks on crutches … It also gets into personnel practices within the city.”
While the city’s plan only deals with public services, Goehrung said the federal government is offering tax credits to private businesses that work to stay in compliance with the ADA.