Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities. Section 508 of the ADA requires for agencies that receive federal funds to “make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities.” 

As the home to PACTS (Portland Area Comprehensive Transportation System — the region’s Metropolitan Planning Organization)—the Greater Portland Council of Governments (GPCOG) is required comply with these requirements as PACTS receives funding through both the Federal Transit Administration and the Federal Highway Administration.

PACTS further assures that every effort will be made to ensure non-discrimination in all its programs and activities, whether those programs or activities are federally funded. PACTS promotes accessibility through the following means: 

Public Meeting Accessibility

In Person Meetings

In-person or hybrid public meetings are held at venues that are centrally located, accessible by good transit service, and wheelchair accessible. PACTS will accommodate and provide services for persons with other disabilities when provided notice before the meeting. PACTS solicits attendees to provide such notice as part of every meeting agenda packet.

PACTS/GPCOG leases its space and is contractually obligated in its office lease to abide by all requirements of disability laws with respect to the leased premises including tenant improvements, alterations, and private restrooms. The Landlord is contractually obligated to comply with all disability laws in common areas to include conference rooms and common area restrooms located on the first floor and common area restrooms on the 2nd floor (the location of PACTS/GPCOG office).   

Virtual Meetings

Virtual or hybrid public meetings allow for PACTS to use Zoom’s online accessibility features for video conferencing. These include closed captioning for people with auditory impairments and/or limited English proficiency, and recording capabilities so that meetings can be re-played as needed. 

Website Accessibility

Accessibility is also addressed by making the PACTS/GPCOG website accessible through a service called AudioEye. Site users with visual impairments can use this web tool to enlarge text, increase contrast, highlight sections, change fonts, and make other visual modifications to any web page to maximize accessibility. 

Document Accessibility

PACTS regularly updates its Document Accessibility Guide that provides guidance to PACTS/GPCOG employment in the preparation of public facing documents and e-communications. This guide promotes effective design choices intended to maximize the reach and impact of messages communicated in print. 

Employment Accessibility

PACTS includes the following statement in the description of every employment opportunity:

As an equal opportunity employer, GPCOG embraces all applicable state and federal laws and regulations and does not discriminate against applicants for employment or employees because of race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, national origin, sexual orientation, sex or gender, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, medical conditions, age, disability or other handicap, genetic information, marital/familial status, veteran status, military status, or income or status with regard to public assistance in any aspects of our personnel policies, working conditions, or hiring and recruitment.

Other Requirements

Since PACTS is not a local government and is not a project sponsor for construction projects, it is not directly responsible for ensuring ADA compliance for transportation construction projects. PACTS regularly allocates funding through the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), the fiscally constrained short-range program of projects for the Greater Portland region. Sponsors of selected projects are required to ensure that their project meets all civil rights requirements, including ADA.