ACCESS MARYLAND FACT SHEET
The purpose of the Access Maryland Program is to bring state-owned facilities into compliance with state and federal mandates requiring access for persons with disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) requires that all programs, activities and services of state and local governments be programmatically accessible to persons with disabilities. Programmatic accessibility means that all programs, services and employment opportunities offered to the general public are also accessible to individuals with disabilities. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 mandates that all federally assisted programs, activities and facilities be available to persons with disabilities. Both of these mandates require self-evaluation for accessibility of all services, facilities, programs and activities.
Access Maryland funds are those funds contained in the Capital Budget for accessibility modifications to State-owned facilities. The function of the Department of Disabilities (MDOD) is to request from state agencies their plans and projects for making facilities accessible and to forward the requests to the Maryland Commission on Disabilities, a subset of which reviews and prioritizes all projects. Based on that prioritization, MDOD then recommends projects to the Department of Budget and Management for inclusion in the Capital Budget. As part of this process, the projects are reviewed and approved by the Department of Budget and Management and referred to the Department of General Services for technical assistance in preparing drawings and implementing procurement procedures.
Following Legislative approval, projects are eligible for funding for two years. If, at the end of the two-year period, design has not been completed and approved by MDOD, the project is permanently ineligible for funding through the Access Maryland Program. An extension may be granted but requires ongoing dialog with MDOD. Loss of funding eligibility does not, however, alleviate the requesting agencies obligation to complete modifications necessary to comply with Federal and State mandates.
If the ADA coordinator who has been designated by your agency/campus head does not sign the request forms, the request will not be considered. MDOD will no longer accept forms filled out by personnel other than the individual designated by the agency/campus head. This requirement is to facilitate communication between facilities personnel and the ADA coordinator.
Access Maryland projects cannot be valued at less than $1,000, part of a larger renovation, part of the agency's five-year capital improvement plan, located within auxiliary facilities, or related solely to a reasonable accommodation for an employee. Frequent public use of the facility containing the project enhances the probability of project approval.