• Instagram Icon
  • Vimeo Icon
  • YouTube Icon
  • Snapchat Icon
  • Nextdoor Icon
  • Search Icon
main content

ADA/Accessibility


Accessibility for Our Citizens & Visitors

The City of Lakeland is committed to ensuring that services, programs, activities and facilities open to the public, operated or funded by the City, are accessible to visitors and members of the community.

graphic of bubble icons representing various disabilities

The City of Lakeland is working to ensure that citizens and visitors with disabilities are able to participate in its’ programs, services and events. In keeping with this ongoing effort, the City is seeking input from individuals with disabilities to help address and prioritize current and future accessibility needs. Input will also be welcomed from local businesses, agencies and organizations. Your comments and opinions are important to us and will provide valuable information regarding how the City can better serve individuals with disabilities.


  • What is the Americans with Disabilities Act?

    “The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1990. The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the public. The purpose of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. The ADA gives civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. It guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications.”

    Reasonable Accommodations and ADA Concerns: The City of Lakeland encourages the public to make the City aware of any City facility, program, service, or activity that appears inaccessible to those who have disabilities. The City will provide reasonable accommodation(s) to qualified persons with disabilities (free of charge) who wish to participate in City administered public events or, who require special assistance to access City facilities, programs, services or activities.  Because providing a reasonable accommodation may require outside assistance, organizations, or resources, the City asks that any request be made with as much notice as possible, preferably five (5) business days prior to the event, but no later than two (2) business days prior to the event.

    Questions, concerns, comments, or requests for reasonable accommodations should be brought to the City of Lakeland’s ADA Specialist. Complaints or grievances alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act should also be brought to the City’s ADA Specialist. 

    ADA concerns can be submitted by using our takeACTION button at the bottom of the webpage. The concern should contain the identity of the person involved and a description of the concern.  If the concern cannot be submitted via the City website, please contact the City of Lakeland’s ADA Specialist directly for assistance. 

    An official ADA Grievance can also be filed by following the City’s ADA Grievance Procedure and completing the City of Lakeland ADA Grievance Form.  If the ADA Grievance cannot be submitted in writing, the grievant should contact the City of Lakeland’s ADA Specialist directly for assistance. The City’s ADA Specialist, or designee, will respond to a grievance within fifteen (15) business days and will take reasonable steps to resolve the matter. Within twenty (20) business days of the acknowledgment, the City ADA Specialist or designee will provide a response to the grievant. The response will clarify the position of the City of Lakeland and offer options. The grievant can request a written response, or an alternative format. 

    If the response of the City ADA Specialist, or designee, does not satisfactorily resolve the issue, the grievant, or their designee, may appeal the decision within fifteen (15) business days after receiving the response, to the Assistant Director of Public Works, or designee.

    Within fifteen (15) business days after receipt of the appeal, the Assistant Director of Public Works, or designee, will acknowledge receipt of the appeal from the grievant, or designee, and discuss the grievance and possible resolutions. Within fifteen (15) business days after the acknowledgement, the Assistant Director of Public Works, or designee, will provide a response, with a final resolution of the grievance. The grievant can request a written response, or an alternative format.

    Should the City of Lakeland be unable to satisfactorily resolve the grievance, the City’s ADA Specialist, or designee, will forward the grievance, along with a record of its disposition, to the appropriate District of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).  

    ADA Specialist:

    Jenny Sykes, M.S., ADA.C
    228 S. Massachusetts Ave.
    Lakeland, FL 33801-5086
    Email: Jenny.Sykes@lakelandgov.net
    Phone: (863) 834-8444
    Fax: (863) 834-8040

    If hearing impaired, please contact the TDD numbers: Local – (863) 834-8333 or 1-800-955-8771 (TDD- Telecommunications Device for the Deaf) or the Florida Relay Service Number 1-800-955-8770 (VOICE), for assistance.

    City of Lakeland Employees please contact:

    Geli Eldemire, Esquire, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
    Employment Counsel – HR Policy and Labor Relations
    228 S. Massachusetts Avenue Lakeland, FL 33801-5086
    Email: geli.eldemire@lakelandgov.net 
    Phone: (863) 834-5066
    Fax: (863) 834-6004

    If hearing impaired, please contact the TDD numbers:  Local – (863) 834-8333 or 1-800-955-8771 (TDD-Telecommunications Device for the Deaf) or the Florida Relay Service Number 1-800-955-8770 (VOICE), for assistance.

    City of Lakeland ADA Transition Plan

    To further the City’s commitment to Accessibility and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the City has developed the City of Lakeland ADA Transition Plan. The Transition Plan is part of an ongoing process the City is involved in to improve accessibility and comply with the ADA. The initial phase of the Transition Plan focused on Public-Rights-of-Way. Public meetings were held in 2017 offering interested persons, including individuals with disabilities and organizations representing individuals with disabilities, the opportunity to participate in the development of the plan. The second phase of the plan continued with an assessment of the remaining Public-Rights-of-Way and added assessments of City facilities, programs, services, and activities. In early 2019 additional public meetings were held to review the current phase of the project. The City welcomes anyone interested in participating in this process to provide feedback on the ADA Transition Plan to the City ADA Specialist.  In 2019 the current plan will be updated with the additional accessibility information collected.

    Learn More

     

  • Get Involved

    The City encourages Lakeland visitors and members of the community to submit comments or specific recommendations for modifications to City facilities, programs, services, and activities. This can be done by clicking on the takeACTION button below, and entering comments into the Citizen’s Action Center, under the ADA/Accessibility category.

  • Effective Communication & Accommodation

    If an accommodation, auxiliary aid or service is needed for effective communication, or a modification of policies or procedures is needed to participate in a City program, service, or activity please contact the ADA Specialist, Jenny Sykes, at 863.834.8444.

     

  • The Rehabilitation Act of 1973

    The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs conducted by Federal agencies, in programs receiving Federal financial assistance, in Federal employment, and in the employment practices of Federal contractors.


    Section 504

    Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act states that "no qualified individual with a disability in the United States shall be excluded from, denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under" any program or activity that either receives Federal financial assistance or is conducted by any Executive agency.


    Section 508

    Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act now establishes requirements for electronic and information technology developed, maintained, procured, or used by the Federal government. Section 508 requires Federal electronic and information technology to be accessible to people with disabilities, including employees and members of the public.

    In December 2000 the Federal Access Board issued final standards for electronic and information technology under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. These were adopted and published in the Federal Registrar in April 2001 with enforcement to begin June 21, 2001.

    While these standards currently apply to Federal government, it is the direct responsibility of Florida state government agencies and their Web designers and developers to become familiar with these accessibility guidelines and to apply these principles in designing and creating any official State of Florida website.

    All Florida State Government websites must comply with Section 508 to ensure the widest possible audience easy access to government information. These standards are based on access guidelines developed by the Web Accessibility Initiative of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).   All website content is provided in HTML format.  Portable Document Format (PDF) versions are available for most of our longer documents.

    One popular viewer for PDF files is Acrobat Reader.  No endorsement is implied.

  • More Information

    For more information relating to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act, visit the United States Access Board website section for Communications & IT

  • Questions & Concerns: Lakelandgov.net

    If you experience any difficulty related to the accessibility of any content on this website or, have ideas or comments that would help us improve the accessibility and usability of this website, please contact our Digital Content Specialist, Elizabeth Hollida at elizabeth.hollida@lakelandgov.net or 863.834.6392


    If hearing impaired, please contact the TDD Line – Local: 863.834.8333 or 800.955.8771.

    If VOICE impaired, please contact the Florida Relay Service at 800.955.8770.


    You may also write to us at: 

    City of Lakeland - City Hall
    Communications Department
    Attn: Elizabeth Hollida, Digital Content Specialist
    228 S. Massachusetts Avenue
    Lakeland, FL  33801-5086


    If applicable, please include the web address or URL and the specific problem you have encountered.

  • ADA and Civil Rights Act Nondiscrimination Practices & Forms

    ADA Grievance Procedure and Grievance Form & Nondiscrimination Fact Sheet and Title VI Complaint Form

    Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that state or local governments with 50 or more employees designate a person responsible for ensuring compliance with Title II of the ADA. In the City of Lakeland, that person is the ADA Specialist. The City is also required to designate a Title VI Coordinator to ensure nondiscrimination under the Civil Rights Act; that person is the Deputy City Manager.

    Questions, concerns, comments, or requests for reasonable accommodations should be brought to the City of Lakeland’s ADA Specialist.  Complaints or grievances alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act should also be brought to the City’s ADA Specialist.

    ADA concerns can be submitted by using our takeACTION button at the bottom of the webpage. The concern should contain the identity of the person involved and a description of the concern.  If the concern cannot be submitted via the City website, please contact the City of Lakeland’s ADA Specialist directly for assistance. 

    An official ADA Grievance can also be filed by following the City’s ADA Grievance Procedure and completing the City of Lakeland ADA Grievance Form.  If the ADA Grievance cannot be submitted in writing, the grievant should contact the City of Lakeland’s ADA Specialist directly for assistance. The City’s ADA Specialist or designee will respond to a grievance within fifteen (15) business days and will take reasonable steps to resolve the matter. Within twenty (20) business days of the acknowledgement, the City ADA Specialist or designee will provide a response to the grievant. The response will clarify the position of the City of Lakeland and offer resolution. The grievant can request a written response, or an alternative format.

    If the response of the City ADA Specialist or designee does not resolve the issue satisfactorily, the grievant or their designee may appeal the decision to the Assistant Director of Public Works or designee within fifteen (15) business days after receiving the response.

    Within fifteen (15) business days after receipt of the appeal, the Assistant Director of Public Works or designee will acknowledge receipt of the appeal from the grievant or designee and discuss the grievance and possible resolutions. Within fifteen (15) business days after the grievant’ s or designee’s acknowledgement, the Assistant Director of Public Works or designee will provide a response with a final resolution of the grievance. The grievant can request a written response, or an alternative format.

    Should the City of Lakeland be unable to satisfactorily resolve the grievance, the City’s ADA Specialist or designee will forward the grievance, along with a record of its disposition, to the appropriate District of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).  

    ADA Specialist:
    Jenny Sykes, M.S., ADA.C 
    228 S. Massachusetts Ave.
    Lakeland, FL 33801-5086
    Email: Jenny.Sykes@lakelandgov.net
    Phone: (863) 834-8444
    Fax: (863) 834-8040

    City of Lakeland Employees please contact:
    Geli Eldemire, Esquire, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
    Employment Counsel – HR Policy and Labor Relations
    228 S. Massachusetts Avenue Lakeland, FL 33801-5086
    Email: Geli.Eldemire@lakelandgov.net
    Phone: (863) 834-5066
    Fax: (863) 834-6004

    If hearing impaired, please contact the TDD numbers:  Local – (863) 834-8333 or 1-800-955-8771 (TDD-Telecommunications Device for the Deaf) or the Florida Relay Service Number 1-800-955-8770 (VOICE), for assistance.

    The City of Lakeland posts a Fact Sheet for Non-Discrimination describing the areas covered and who is designated to process complaints or grievances. The City also provides a Title VI Complaint Form.  The City of Lakeland’s Title VI/Nondiscrimination Coordinator is:

    Emily Colon, Assistant City Manager and Title VI/Nondiscrimination Coordinator
    228 S. Massachusetts Ave.
    Lakeland, Florida 33801-5086
    Email: Emily.Colon@lakelandgov.net
    Phone: (863) 834-6006
    Fax: (863) 834-8402

    If hearing impaired, please contact the TDD numbers: Local – (863) 834-8333 or 1-800-955-8771 – (TDD-Telecommunications Device for the Deaf) or the Florida Relay Service Number 1-800-955-8770 (VOICE), for assistance.

  • Title VI Nondiscrimination Policy and Plan

    TITLE VI/Nondiscrimination Policy and Plan

    For Sub-Recipients in the Local Agency Program (LAP)

    CITY OF LAKELAND, FLORIDA

    Policy Statement:

    The City of Lakeland, Florida, a municipal corporation, values diversity and welcomes input from all interested parties, regardless of cultural identity, background, or income level.  Moreover, the City of Lakeland believes that the best programs and services result from careful consideration of the needs of all of its communities and when those communities are involved in the transportation decision making process.  Thus, the City of Lakeland does not tolerate discrimination of any of its programs, services or activities.  Pursuant to title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other federal and state authorities, the City of Lakeland will not exclude participation in, deny the benefits of, or subject to discrimination anyone on the grounds of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, religion, income or family status.

    Complaint Procedures:

    The City of Lakeland has established a discrimination complaint procedure and will take prompt and reasonable action to investigate and eliminate discrimination when found.  Any person who believes that he or she has been subjected to discrimination based upon race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability or family or income status in any of the City of Lakeland’s programs, services, or activities may file a complaint with the City of Lakeland’s Title VI/Nondiscrimination Coordinator:

    Emily Colon, Assistant City Manager and Title VI/Nondiscrimination Coordinator
    228 S. Massachusetts Ave.
    Lakeland, Florida 33801-5086
    Email: Emily.Colon@lakelandgov.net
    Phone: (863) 834-6006; Fax: (863) 834-8402

    If hearing impaired, please contact the TDD numbers: Local – (863) 834-8333 or 1-800-955-8771– (TDD-Telecommunications Device for the Deaf) or the Florida Relay Service Number 1-800-955-8770 (VOICE), for assistance.

    If possible, the complaint should be submitted in writing and contain the identity of the complainant; the basis for the allegations (i.e., race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability or family status); and a description of the alleged discrimination with the date of occurrence.  If the complaint cannot be submitted in writing, the complainant should contact the City of Lakeland’s Title VI/Nondiscrimination Coordinator for assistance. (Refer to “Exhibit 1” City of Lakeland Title VI/Nondiscrimination Plan – Complaint of Discrimination Form).

    The Title City’s VI/Nondiscrimination Coordinator will respond to the complaint within thirty (30) calendar days and will take reasonable steps to resolve the matter.  Should the City of Lakeland be unable to satisfactorily resolve the complaint, the City’s Title VI/Nondiscrimination Coordinator will forward the complaint, along with a record of its disposition to the appropriate District of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).

    The City’s Title VI/Nondiscrimination Coordinator has “easy access” to the City Manager (or Chief Executive Officer) and is not required to obtain management or other approval to discuss discrimination issues with the City Manager.  However, should the complainant be unable or unwilling to complain to the City of Lakeland, the written complaint may be submitted directly to Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).  FDOT will serve as a clearing house, forwarding the complaint to the appropriate state or federal agency:

    Florida Department of Transportation
    Equal Opportunity Office
    ATTN:  Title VI Complaint Processing
    605 Suwannee Street MS 65
    Tallahassee, FL  32399

    ADA/504 Statement:

    Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and related federal and state laws and regulations forbid discrimination against those who have disabilities.  Furthermore, these laws require federal aid recipients and other government entities to take affirmative steps to reasonably accommodate the disabled and ensure that their needs are equitably represented in transportation programs, services and activities.

    The City of Lakeland will make every effort to ensure that its facilities, programs, services and activities are accessible to those with disabilities.  The City of Lakeland will make every effort to ensure that its advisory committees, public involvement activities, and all other programs, services and activities include representation by the disabled community and disability service groups.

    The City of Lakeland encourages the public to report any facility, program, service, or activity that appears inaccessible to those who are disabled.  Furthermore, the City will provide reasonable accommodation (free of charge) to disabled individuals who wish to participate in public involvement events or who require special assistance to access facilities, programs, services or activities.  Because providing reasonable accommodation may require outside assistance, organization, or resources, the City asks that requests be made at least seven (7) calendar days prior to the need for accommodation.

    Questions, concerns, comments, or requests for accommodation should be made to the following City of Lakeland’s ADA Coordinator or Employment Counsel (for City Employees):

    For the General Public:
    Jenny Sykes, M.S./ADAC
    ADA Specialist – Accessibility Services
    228 S. Massachusetts Avenue
    Lakeland, FL  33801-5086
    Email:  jenny.sykes@lakelandgov.net
    Phone: (863) 834-8444
    Fax:     (863) 834-8040

    If hearing impaired, please contact the TDD numbers:  Local – (863) 834-8333 or (800) 955-8771 (TDD- Telecommunications Device for the Deaf) or the Florida Relay Service Number (800) 955-8770 (VOICE), for assistance.

    For City of Lakeland Employees:
    Geli Eldemire, Esquire, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
    Employment Counsel – HR Policy and Labor Relations
    228 S. Massachusetts Avenue
    Lakeland, FL  33801-5086
    Email:  geli.eldemire@lakelandgov.net
    Phone: (863) 834-5066
    Fax:     (863) 834-6004

    If hearing impaired, please contact the TDD numbers:  Local – (863) 834-8333 or (800) 955-8771 (TDD- Telecommunications Device for the Deaf) or the Florida Relay Service Number (800) 955-8770 (VOICE), for assistance.

    Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Guidance:

    Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 13166, and various directives from the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and US Department of Transportation (DOT) require federal aid recipients to take responsible steps to ensure meaningful access to programs, services and activities by those who do not speak English proficiently.  Please refer to the City of Lakeland’s Limited English Proficiency Plan located on the City of Lakeland website: www.lakelandgov.net .

    Attention City Staff: The following statement shall appear on all publicly noticed City of Lakeland meeting notices and advertisements (i.e. City Commission meeting notices, bid notices, boards and committee notices, etc.):

    In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 286.26, Florida Statutes, persons with disabilities needing special accommodation to participate in this proceeding, or those requiring language assistance (free of charge) should contact the City of Lakeland ADA Specialist, no later than forty-eight (48) hours prior to the proceeding, at (863) 834-8447, Email: jenny.sykes@lakelandgov.netIf hearing impaired, please contact the TDD numbers: Local – (863) 834-8333 or 1-800-955-8771 (TDD-Telecommunications Device for the Deaf) or the Florida Relay Service Number 1-800-955-8770 (VOICE), for assistance.

    Public Involvement:

    In order to plan for efficient, effective, safe, equitable and reliable transportation systems, the City of Lakeland must have the input of its public.  The City spends extensive staff and financial resources in furtherance of this goal and strongly encourages the participation of the entire community.  The City holds a number of transportation meetings, workshops and other events designed to gather public input on project planning and construction.  Further, the City attends and participates in other community events to promote its services to the public. 

    Finally, the City is constantly seeking ways of measuring the effectiveness of its public involvement.  Persons wishing to request special presentations by the City of Lakeland, volunteer in any of its activities or offer suggestions for improvement of City public involvement may contact:

    Emily Colon, Assistant City Manager and Title VI/Nondiscrimination Coordinator
    228 S. Massachusetts Ave.
    Lakeland, Florida 33801-5086
    Email: Emily.Colon@lakelandgov.net
    Phone: (863) 834-6006; Fax: (863) 834-8402

    If hearing impaired, please contact the TDD numbers:  Local – (863) 834-8333 or (800) 955-8771 (TDD- Telecommunications Device for the Deaf) or the Florida Relay Service Number (800) 955-8770 (VOICE), for assistance.

    Data Collection:

    Federal Highway Administration regulations require federal-aid recipients to collect racial, ethnic, and other similar demographic data on beneficiaries of or those affected by transportation programs, services and activities.  The City of Lakeland accomplishes this through the use of census data, American Community Survey reports, Environmental Screening Tools (EST), drive and ridership surveys, its Community Development Department and other methods.  From time to time, the City may find it necessary to request voluntary identification of certain racial, ethnic or other data from those who participate in its public involvement events.  This information assists the City with improving its targeted outreach and measures of effectiveness.  Self-identification of personal data to the City will always be voluntary and anonymous.  Moreover, the City will not release or otherwise use this data in any manner inconsistent with the federal regulations.

    Assurances:

    Every three (3) years, or commensurate with a change in City of Lakeland executive leadership, the City must certify to FHWA and FDOT that its programs, services and activities are being conducted in a nondiscriminatory manner.  These certifications are termed “assurances” and serve two important purposes.  First, they document the City’s commitment to nondiscrimination and equitable service to its community.  Second, they serve as a legally enforceable agreement by which the City of Lakeland may be held liable for breach.  The public may view the annual assurance on the City of Lakeland’s website or by visiting the City of Lakeland Public Works Department Director’s Office, 228 S. Massachusetts Avenue, Lakeland, Florida, 33801-5086.

    A signed copy of this policy and plan may be requested.

  • Resources