AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT (ADA) INFORMATION

The term “ADA” refers to The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.  The ADA is a civil rights law that guarantees people with disabilities equal access to the same programs and services available to people without disabilities.

The ADA guarantees people with disabilities equal opportunities to fully participate in society, live independently, and be economically self-reliant.  The ADA does not guarantee these individuals more services than what is available for people who do not have a disability.  The ADA is meant to enable people with disabilities to be independent, integrated and self-sufficient.

ADA Info

What does the ADA say about public transportation?

The Americans with Disability Act requires that publicly funded transportation systems accommodate an individual who has a disability.  The law identifies standards accessibility for vehicles, transit facilities, transit stops, and transfer points.  It also requires announcements of major stops and time points be made on fixed route systems.  When an individual’s disability and/or accessibility issues to a particular destination prevent him/her from using the fixed route system, Para transit service must be provided.

The term “ADA Paratransit” refers to publicly funded transportation service provided to people whose disability prevents them from using a fixed route system for all or some of their trips.

Who can apply for ADA Paratransit service?

Anyone with a disability can apply for ADA Paratransit service.  A disability is defined as:

“A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of major life activities of such individual; a record of such; or being regarded as having such an impairment”

How does one become eligible for SEAT’s ADA Paratransit Service?

  • You can contact the SEAT ADA Manager directly at 860-886-2631, extension 106.
  • Application materials are mailed to new applicants upon request and to applicants needing re certification. Applications can be downloaded here.
  • Applications can be completed online by clicking HERE.
  • All applications are reviewed upon receipt.
  • ADA Manager will contact the individual to schedule a face-to-face interview held at Southeast Area Transit District – Administration Office, transportation at no charge will be provided.
  • Professional Verification could be needed before making a eligibility decision.
  • Individual will be notified either by telephone or in writing of their eligibility.

Once an individual is approved, transportation is provided as follows:

  • Call Eastern CT Transportation Consortium (ECTC) @ 860-848-5910 Extension 2.
  • Reservations must be made at least one day before the day you wish to travel; generally, same-day reservations cannot be accommodated.
  • Reservations are taken between  8 AM to 5 PM, Monday – Friday.
  • An answering service will take calls at other times and major holidays, and the customer will receive a return call to confirm.
  • Pick up times can be negotiated up to one hour before or after the requested time pickup time or arrival time if appropriate (for example, if a customer has a medical appointment, the arrival time may be negotiated up to one hour before the appointment time).
  • Customers should be prepared to wait 15 minutes before or after the agreed upon pick-up time.
  • Our operators can provide reasonable assistance to customers when boarding and exiting the bus, but are not “personal care attendants.”
  • Generally, our service is curb-to-curb, but if requested when making the reservation, and it is safe to do so, our operators may assist customers to and/or from the main or first door of their origin and destination.
  • Our operators must maintain a “line of sight” with their vehicle for safety reasons.
  • Customers whose behavior or hygiene poses a safety risk to other customers or our operators, may be suspended from service.

SEAT welcomes ADA Service Animals on all SEAT vehicles

In accordance with the U.S. Department of Transportation regulations, “service animal” means any guide dog, signal dog or other animal individually trained to work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability, including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals with impaired hearing to intruders and sounds, pulling a wheelchair, or fetching dropped items.

Your service animal is welcome on SEAT. No permit is required, but you may be asked to confirm that your animal is a service animal. You are responsible for the care and supervision of your animal while on board.  A service animal should remain on the floor or in a customer’s lap, but cannot be given its own seat.  Uncontrolled service animals or service animals which threaten other customers cannot be accommodated.

An animal which solely provides emotional support, well-being, comfort or companionship is not a service animal. These types of animals, “companion animals,” are considered pets are not allowed to be transported on SEAT buses, unless they are in an approved pet carrier.

The Southeast Area Transit District is committed to providing customers including those with disabilities with safe, reliable, accessible and user-friendly services.

In compliance with the U.S. Department of Transportation Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 (49 CFR Parts 27, 37, 38 and 39), and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, Southeast Area Transit District ensures its services, vehicles, and facilities are accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. Anyone who believes he or she has been discriminated against on the basis of disability may file an ADA complaint.

  • Form can be mailed by request, please call the SEAT ADA Manager at 860-886-2631 extension 101.
  • Form can be downloaded: ADA Complaint Form and Process
  • Form can be faxed to 860-886-6097 Attn:  SEAT ADA Coordinator
  • Send an email to our ADA Manager at rgreenaway@seatransit.org
  • Call 860-886-2631 extension 101 a request can be made over the phone
  • Mail a request to:           ADA Manager
    21 Route 12
    Preston, CT 06365

If the complainant is unable to write a complaint, a representative may file on his or her behalf, or SEAT staff will provide assistance. Complaints must be filed within 180 calendar days of the alleged incident.  The ADA Coordinator will contact the complainant within 10 business days of receipt of complaint. Any requested information must be received by SEAT within 5 days as

SEAT will begin the investigation within 15 business days of receipt of complaint if the alleged discrimination is found to be a violation of ADA regulations.

An investigation into the complaint will be conducted and documented to determine whether SEAT failed to comply with ADA regulations.

SEAT will complete the investigation within 60 calendar days of receipt of complaint. If additional time is needed for the investigation, the complainant will be notified.

SEAT will promptly communicate its response to the complainant, including its reasons for the response. The complainant will have 5 business days from receipt of SEAT’s response to file an appeal. If no appeal is filed, the complaint will be closed.

What is Reasonable Modification?

The Southeast Area Transit District is committed to providing customers including those with disabilities with safe, reliable, accessible and user-friendly services.   As part of this commitment, SEAT has adopted this policy to provide a procedure for receiving, processing and responding to requests for reasonable modifications to SEAT’s Policies or practices by individuals with disabilities.

Legislation

On March 13, 2015, the Department of Transportation issued a Final Ruling regarding 49 CFR Parts 27 and 37 Transportation for Individuals with Disabilities; Reasonable Modification of Policies and Practices.  This ruling requires public entities providing designated public transportation services to make reasonable modifications/accommodations to policies and practices to ensure program accessibility.  The rule further requires that public entities adopt a formal process for tracking and responding to said requests for modifications.

Reasonable Modifications Request Form

  • Individuals requesting modifications shall describe what they need in order to use the service.
  • Individuals requesting modifications are not required to use the term “reasonable modification” when making a request.
  • Whenever feasible, requests for modifications shall be made and determined in advance, before SEAT is expected to provide the modified service, for example, during the Paratransit eligibility process, through customer service inquiries, or through the SEAT’s feedback process.
  • Where a request for modification cannot practicably be made and determined in advance, operating personnel shall make a determination of whether the modification should be provided at the time of the request.  Operating personnel may consult with SEAT’s management before making a determination to grant or deny the request.

SEAT will accommodate requests provided that:

  • Fundamental nature of the service, program or activity is not altered, or
  • It does not cause a direct threat to the health or safety of others, or
  • It does not result in an undue financial and administrative burden, or
  • The requester would not be able to fully use the service provided by SEAT without the modification.
  • The Reasonable Modifications Coordinator will respond to the requester within 10 days upon receipt of request via telephone and/or mail depending if additional information is needed.
  • Determination will be made and notified in writing to the requester.

Granting a Reasonable Modification Request

  • As soon as SEAT determines that a reasonable accommodation will be provided, that decision shall be immediately communicated to the individual. This notice must be in writing in order to maintain the required information for reporting purposes.  Upon request, alternative means of response will be provided.
  •  In choosing among alternatives for meeting nondiscrimination and accessibility requirements with respect to new, altered, or existing facilities, or designated or specified transportation services, SEAT shall give priority to those methods that offer services, programs, and activities to qualified individuals with disabilities in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of individuals with disabilities.

Denying a Reasonable Modification Request

As soon as SEAT determines that a request for reasonable accommodation will be denied, SEAT will communicate the basis for the decision in writing to the individual requesting the modification. The explanation for the denial will clearly state:

  • the specific reasons for the denial;
  • any alternative accommodation that may create the same access to transit services as requested by the individual; and
  • the opportunity to file a complaint relative to the SEAT’s decision on the request.

REQUEST DENIALS/PROTESTS

If a request for reasonable modification is denied, the requester has the right to protest the decision by following SEAT’s ADA denial procedures.  Copies are available upon request.  Also, a copy of the ADA protest procedures will be included with the written decision of denial.  SEAT will take, to the maximum extent possible, any other actions that may be available to them to ensure that the individual with a disability receives the services or benefits provided by SEAT that would not result in a direct threat or fundamental alteration.

SEAT REASONABLE REQUEST FORM:

There are several ways to obtain and submit a Reasonable Modification/Accommodation request form:

  • Form can be mailed by request, please call the Reasonable Modifications Request Coordinator at 860-886-2631 extension 101
  • Please contact SEAT’s ADA Coordinator directly at 860-886-2631, extension 101 for alternate formats of information about ADA services.
  • Form can be downloaded:  Reasonable Modifications Request Form
  • Form can be faxed to 860-886-6097 Attn:  Reasonable Modifications Coordinator
  • Send an email to our Reasonable Modifications Request Coordinator at rgreenaway@seatransit.org
  • Call 860-886-2631 ext. 101 a request can be made over the phone
  • Mail a request to:          SEAT Reasonable Modifications
    21 Route 12
    Preston, CT 06365
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