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CIVIL RIGHTS AND PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION Presented for: Ohio Department of Transportation September, 2008 Presented By: Robbie Sarles RLS & Associates, Inc.

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Presentation on theme: "CIVIL RIGHTS AND PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION Presented for: Ohio Department of Transportation September, 2008 Presented By: Robbie Sarles RLS & Associates, Inc."— Presentation transcript:

1 CIVIL RIGHTS AND PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION Presented for: Ohio Department of Transportation September, 2008 Presented By: Robbie Sarles RLS & Associates, Inc. 1

2 OBJECTIVES Provide an overview of civil rights legislation Enable agencies to assess compliance Provide guidance on methods to eliminate or prevent civil rights violations Procedures for resolving discrimination complaints 2

3 CIVIL RIGHTS RELATED REQUIREMENTS FOR TRANSIT Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Providing Language Access to Persons with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) – Executive Order Environmental Justice – Executive Order Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 3

4 TITLE VI Applies to all FTA recipients and sub-recipients No person in the United States shall, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance. 42 U.S.C., Section 2000d 4

5 TITLE VI PROTECTS Anyone intended to be the beneficiary of, applicant for, or participant in a Federally assisted program Applies to all persons All races All shades of color National Origin Later statutes extended the scope of Title VI to include prohibitions against discrimination on the basis of income, age, sex, and disability 5

6 DOT AND DOJ REGULATION Prohibits disparate impact discrimination Practice lacks a substantial legitimate justification There are other comparable alternatives that would result in less disparate impact The justification is a pretext for discrimination Intentional discrimination 6

7 DOT TITLE VI REGULATIONS Recipients may not: Deny any protected individual service, financial aid, or benefit under the program Provide any service, financial aid, or benefit that is different for protected individuals from that provided to others Subject a protected individual to segregation or separate treatment Restrict a protected individual in the employment of any advantage or privilege enjoyed by others 7

8 DOT TITLE VI REGULATIONS (CONTINUED) Recipients may not: (continued) Treat protected individuals differently in terms of whether they satisfy admission, eligibility, or membership requirements Deny a protected individual the opportunity to participate in the provision of services Deny a protected individual the opportunity to participate as a member of a planning or advisory body Use criteria or methods of administration that have the effect of subjecting individuals to discrimination 8

9 DOT TITLE VI REGULATIONS (CONTINUED) Recipients may not: (continued) Make decisions in regard to facility location with the purpose or effect of subjecting persons to discrimination Discriminate with regard to the routing, scheduling, or quality of transit service Use race, color, or national origin as a basis for determining frequency of service, age and quality of vehicles assigned to routes, quality of stations serving different routes, and location of routes 9

10 DOT TITLE VI REGULATIONS (CONTINUED) Recipients must: Take affirmative action to assure non-discrimination 10

11 FTA GUIDANCE FOR COMPLIANCE Title VI Program Guidelines to FTA Recipients FTA Circular Civil rights / accessibility Annual Title VI Assurances Annual certification and assurance submission 11

12 EIGHT REQUIRED ACTIONS 1.Develop Title VI complaint procedures Develop method for filing complaints Develop method for investigating and tracking complaints See example 12

13 EIGHT REQUIRED ACTIONS (CONTINUED) 2.Record Title VI investigations, complaints, and lawsuits Maintain a list of active investigations conducted by entities other than FTA, lawsuits or complaints alleging discrimination o Date filed o Summary of allegation o Current status o Actions taken in response See example 13 *ODOT should be notified immediately in the case of a lawsuit or complaint alleging discrimination

14 EIGHT REQUIRED ACTIONS (CONTINUED) 3.Provide meaningful access to persons with Limited English Proficiency – benefits, services, information, and other important portions of their programs Develop an LEP Plan or equivalent 14

15 EIGHT REQUIRED ACTIONS (CONTINUED) 4.Notify beneficiaries of Title VI protections Disseminate information to public o Statement that agency operates programs without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, age, income, or disability (should be included in all printed materials regarding service) o Procedures for requesting additional information on non-discrimination obligations o Compliant procedures Use variety of dissemination methods General notification Document translation See example 15

16 EIGHT REQUIRED ACTIONS (CONTINUED) 5.Provide additional information upon request In response to a complaint investigation To resolve concerns about possible non-compliance 6.Prepare and submit a Title VI program Report certain general information as part of grant application 7.Analyze impact of construction projects National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Categorical exclusion ODOT will work with system to determine in a NEPA analysis is required. 16

17 EIGHT REQUIRED ACTIONS (CONTINUED) 8.Promote inclusive public participation Conduct public outreach and involvement activities with minority and low-income individuals Agency determines most appropriate approach o Should seek out and consider the viewpoints of minority, low-income, and LEP populations when conducting public outreach and involvement activities o Early and continuous opportunity for input ODOT emphasized since most overlooked 17

18 GUIDANCE FOR TRANSIT AGENCIES Prepare demographic analysis Maps with overlays showing distribution of service to protected populations Set system-wide service standards Vehicle load, headway, assignment, access, amenities Monitor and compare Assess impact of service and changes Document procedures for informing protected populations of upcoming service changes 18

19 19 Sample graphic from the New Hampshire DOT Title VI Overview Report

20 20 Sample graphic from the New Hampshire DOT Title VI Overview Report

21 21 Sample graphic from the New Hampshire DOT Title VI Overview Report

22 GUIDANCE FOR TRANSIT AGENCIES (CONTINUED) Provide a racial breakdown of non-elected boards, advisory councils, and committees Encourage participation of protected populations representatives 22

23 ENFORCEMENT Procedures for securing voluntary compliance Identify deficiency or non-compliance o Quality assurance review o Compliant Notification of sub-recipient o Letter of finding Recipient response o Planned corrective action o Sufficient justification for action 23

24 ENFORCEMENT (CONTINUED) Procedures for securing voluntary compliance (continued) Final decision o ODOT o USDOT o Department of Justice Enforcement Proceeding Suspend or terminate Federal financial assistance 24

25 PROVIDE MEANINGFUL ACCESS TO PERSONS WITH LIMITED ENGLISH PROFICIENCY AND LOW LITERACY Persons with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Persons who do not speak English as their primary language Persons who have a limited ability to read, write, speak, or understand English Households with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) No one over age 14 speaks English well, and is linguistically isolated 25

26 LEP POPULATION IN THE US More than 10 million do not speak English at all or well Increased by 65% from 1990 to 2000 Other common languages Spanish Chinese Vietnamese Korean Greater than 11% of LEP persons take transit to work 26

27 LOW LITERACY National Literacy Council defines low literacy as: An individuals ability to read, write, and speak English and compute and solve problems at levels of proficiency necessary to function on the job and in society, to achieve ones goals, and develop ones knowledge and potential. On a scale of 1 – 5, 21% had the lowest literacy skills (level 1) and 27% had the second lowest (level 2) 27

28 LEP EXECUTIVE ORDER Each Federal agency shall examine the services it provides and develop and implement a system by which LEP persons can meaningfully access those services Required in all ODOT and FTA program applications and proposals 28

29 DOT LEP GUIDANCE Two methods Agencies serving significant populations of LEP persons o Develop a language implementation plan Agencies serving small populations of LEP persons o Implement procedures to reasonably provide meaningful access 29

30 SIGNIFICANT LEP POPULATION – DEVELOP A LANGUAGE IMPLEMENTATION PLAN FTA publication Implementing the Department of Transportations Policy Guidance Concerning Recipients Responsibilities to Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Persons: A Handbook for Public Transportation Providers. 30

31 FOUR FACTORS INCLUDED IN PLAN 1.Identify number or proportion of LEP persons eligible or likely to be served Compare service area with geographic distribution of LEP persons 31

32 32 Sample graphic from the New Hampshire DOT Title VI Overview Report

33 FOUR FACTORS INCLUDED IN PLAN (CONTINUED) 2.Determine frequency with which LEP persons come into contact with the service Track number of calls or service requests made by LEP persons Track number of requests for a translator, travel trainer Track number of LEP persons that attended public meetings or outreach activities 33

34 FOUR FACTORS INCLUDED IN PLAN (CONTINUED) 3.Define the nature and importance of the program, activity, or service provided to LEP persons Systems mission statement Provide a trip purpose summary List major trip generators 34

35 FOUR FACTORS INCLUDED IN PLAN (CONTINUED) 4.Identify resources and costs associated with providing meaningful access to LEP persons Identify others in community that address the needs of LEP persons Identify resources available in local community o Resources that can provide oral and written translation 35

36 SMALL LEP POPULATION – IMPLEMENT REASONABLE PROCEDURES TO PROVIDE MEANINGFUL ACCESS No written plan requirement Minimum recommendations Summaries of vital documents should be translated upon request Qualified community volunteers should be engaged to provide oral translation when needed Other actions as appropriate 36

37 REASONABLE STEPS Smaller agencies are encouraged to explore the most cost-effective means of delivering competent and accurate language services before limiting services due to resource concerns Reduce cost by technological advances, reasonable business practices and sharing language assistance materials and resources 37

38 REASONABLE STEPS – PROVIDING LANGUAGE ASSISTANCE Oral interpretation in person Train bilingual staff to serve as interpreters or translators Use qualified community volunteers to provide interpretive services Hire qualified interpreters for critical presentations/ meetings provided to a high volume of LEP persons Oral interpretation via commercially available telephonic interpretation services 38

39 REASONABLE STEPS – PROVIDING LANGUAGE ASSISTANCE (CONTINUED) Guidance on oral interpretation services Ensure competency of interpreters Ensure interpretation is made in a timely manner Utilize skills of existing staff Contract with interpreters when there is no regular need for a particular language skill 39

40 REASONABLE STEPS – PROVIDING LANGUAGE ASSISTANCE (CONTINUED) Written translation Translate entire reports that provide essential information Translate a short description of the report Translate reports upon request Use qualified translators to make sure documents are accurate Translate into languages where there is identified need (four factor analysis) Use pictures/pictograms for low-literacy persons 40

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45 ELEMENTS OF AN EFFECTIVE IMPLEMENTATION PLAN ON LANGUAGE ASSISTANCE Conduct needs assessment Develop language assistance measures Train staff Provide notice to LEP persons Expand outreach efforts Monitor and update plan 45

46 ENGAGING LOW-LITERACY AND LEP POPULATIONS IN TRANSPORTATION DECISION MAKING Hold public meeting in accessible locations and at accessible times Provide notice through radio announcements Be observant and sensitive to people who cannot read English Give opportunity to provide verbal comments Use maps, diagrams, pictures 46


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