ADA Frequently Asked Questions

ADA Coordinator

Stephanie Brewer Cook
scook@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-2034

400 Main St., Room 524
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Click on the category below to view FAQs in that category

Accessibility | Discrimination | Housing | Service Animals | Advocacy | Court | Transportation | Resources




ACCESSIBILITY


How do I file an accessibility complaint against a business or rented residence?
Any time you feel that a complaint is warranted, it is best to first speak to the business owner or landlord about the access deficiencies you are experiencing.  Provide them with clear information about the problem, offer solution(s) and ask for a response in a reasonable amount of time (ten business days or two calendar weeks is fair.)  Document your conversations, information obtained, and any promises made.  Keep your records.  Should you get no response, you may have to increase your advocacy efforts including filing a complaint with the Department of Justice (DOJ), or filing a private lawsuit. To file a complaint, please visit: https://www.ada.gov/filing_complaint.htm .

I need to obtain Ramp Building Services for my owned residence, rented residence, or business.
Call disABILITY Resource Center (DRC) (865) 637-3666, or Knoxville Leadership Foundation’s (KLF) Operation Backyard (865) 524-2774--both have ramp building programs for low income individuals or families.  For more extensive home renovation needs, contact CAC's Emergency and Minor Home Repair Program (865) 244-3080.  (Sometimes places of worship or civic organizations can help build a ramp also.)

I have found Public Sidewalk Issues (Crack, Dip, Uneven Pavement, Curb Cuts, Ramps)
Call 311, or (865) 215-4311 to immediately report--work orders will be issued for repair.

What are the required accessible parking requirements for businesses and apartment complexes?
Parking requirements are found in the City's zoning code, https://knoxmpc.org/zoning/zonhome.htm. When the total number of parking spaces are determined, you may use the chart found at https://www.ada.gov/restripe.pdf to determine how many accessible spaces are needed.  Remember: accessible parking spaces must be located on the shortest accessible route to the accessible facility entrance

I own a business and want to make sure my facility accessible. Where do I find guidelines on doing that?
www.ada.gov provides information on the 2010 ADA Standards, which must be adhered to when making renovations or building a new facility.  There are tax credits for businesses to increase their accessibility to people with disabilities, too. More information can be found at https://adata.org/factsheet/quicktips-tax  and at https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8826.pdf

How do I submit a Reasonable Accommodation Request?       
In employment and housing, you simply relate to your employer or land lord that you may need an adjustment in your work schedule or a modification to your home.  From there, explain your difficulties or needs and engage in the "interactive process" of finding the accommodation that will work for both you and the employer or landlord.  More information on employment accommodations can be found at https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/disability-employment/reasonable-accommodations/, and more information on housing accommodations can be found at http://www.housing-rights.org/PDF/forms/RA_RM_Packet.pdf.


DISCRIMINATION


I'm being discriminated against at work due to my disability
Please see additional information at https://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/accommodation.html#instructions, and https://askjan.org/.

I'm being discriminated against in my rented residence due to my disability
Please see additional information at https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp/disabilities/inhousing or to file a discrimination complaint please visit https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp/online-complaint, or https://www.tn.gov/humanrights/contact-us/file-a-discrimination-complaint.html.


HOUSING


I am a person with a disability and I am looking for information on monetary housing assistance for rent or modification help for low/fixed income individuals.
There are several options for assistance including the East Tennessee Human Resource Agency: (865) 691-2251, https://www.ethra.org/services/3/housing-utilities/; Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee: (865) 546-3500, http://www.knoxcac.org/newweb/programs-services/housing-energy-services, Volunteer Ministry Center: (865) 525-9401, https://www.vmcinc.org/; and The Salvation Army (865) 525-9401. For information on subsidized housing and how to obtain a voucher, please visit http://www.kcdc.org/housing/.

I need to find a group home or long-term assisted living for a PWD or myself, what is the process?
If you have Medicaid or are on Tenncare and are receiving Social Supplemental Income (SSI), there is a little to no cost program called Employment and Community First CHOICES (ECF) that may be able to help the person with a disability get into long-term assisted living or group care. You will need to contact your Managed Care Organization (MCO) who will help in filling out the self-referral form. This will start the enrollment process, after which a case manager will be assigned. For more information on this process please visit https://www.tn.gov/didd/employment-and-community-first-choices.html. For other residential services please visit https://www.sunshinekcarc.com/, http://www.dscommunity.com/locations/tennessee/service-areas/knoxville/, or http://cpcenter.org/services/residential/.


SERVICE ANIMALS


I need a service animal; how do I obtain one?
There are several websites on which you can apply to receive a little to no cost service animal including https://www.canineassistants.org/servicedogfaq/, http://www.cci.org/locations/southeast/, http://www.eyedogfoundation.org/training.php#apply, https://www.fidelco.org/prospective-clients---application-process, https://www.pawswithacause.org/i-want-a-dog/qualification-info, and http://wilderwood.org/Inquiry%20Form.

I have a service animal but my rights to bring it with me are being denied by a business.
For information and publications regarding service animals please visit https://www.disabilityrightstn.org/resources/service-animals, https://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm, and https://www.ada.gov/regs2010/service_animal_qa.html. To file a complaint with the DOJ please visit https://www.ada.gov/filing_complaint.htm.

I am a business and I need to know the guidelines for emotional support animals.
For information and publications regarding service animals please visit https://www.disabilityrightstn.org/resources/service-animals, https://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm, https://www.ada.gov/regs2010/service_animal_qa.html, and http://www.adasoutheast.org/ada/publications/legal/Service-Animals-and-the-Law.php.

What is the difference between different types of animals--service, emotional support, comfort, and therapy?
For clarification please see https://adata.org/publication/service-animals-booklet.


ADVOCACY


I am looking for advocacy resources for children with disabilities who are being mistreated at school.
Please visit https://www.disabilityrightstn.org/, email GetHelp@disabilityrightstn.org, or call (800) 342-1660.

I am or know of someone who is disabled and/or elderly that is suffering abuse. What resources do I have?
For more information on suspected abuse of vulnerable or elderly adults, please visit https://www.tn.gov/humanservices/adults/adult-protective-services.html, or call (888) 277-8366. For additional links and information please visit http://www.knoxseniors.org/ssd/elder-abuse/.


COURT


I am a person with a disability and cannot make it to my court time/date, what do I do?
Call the court in advance of your appointment to reschedule, or pay your fine prior to the court date.  City Court accepts payments online and via phone at (865) 215-7500 for convenience.

I am deaf or HOH and need an interpreter for court or for a business meeting. How do I get one?
Request an interpreter of the court's ADA Coordinator or from the person organizing the business meeting.  Area businesses that provide interpreters for the deaf are: Knoxville Center of the Deaf (KCD) http://kcdtn.org/, (865) 579-0832 and Visual Communications Interpreting (VCI) https://www.vcinterpreting.com/, (865) 622-0999.


TRANSPORTATION


How do I apply for an accessible hang-tag or license plate?

Knox County Clerk's office provides a form located at https://knoxcounty.org/clerk/pdfs/disabled_plate.pdf . You take this form to your medical care provider and he or she signs it, confirming your need for accessible parking.  Take the completed form to the County Clerk's office and you will be issued an accessible parking hang tag (placard) or license plate.  For more information on disabled drivers and passengers, please see Title 55, Chapter 4, part 224 and Chapter 21, parts 1 & 2 of the Tennessee Code Annotated located at (https://advance.lexis.com/container?config=014CJAA5ZGVhZjA3NS02MmMzLTRlZWQtOGJjNC00YzQ1MmZlNzc2YWYKAFBvZENhdGFsb2e9zYpNUjTRaIWVfyrur9ud&crid=ad4f05a8-a9c4-4ee5-86d9-15209dc09322&prid=aa4a80ba-d21f-440e-b39c-ac4067277773.

I cannot drive and need accessible transportation to get somewhere, what resources are available to me?
All of KAT's fixed route buses and trolleys are wheelchair accessible.  If you are not able to use the fixed route system, and qualify, you may utilize KAT's paratransit LIFT service ($3 each way) within the City. See http://www.katbus.com/ and http://www.katbus.com/185/LIFT for more information. For County travel, you may utilize CAC Transit.  CAC also offers a Volunteer Assisted Transportation program, whereby volunteers travel with seniors and people with disabilities who are unable to travel independently. See http://www.knoxcac.org/newweb/programs-services/knox-county-cac-transit for information about this program.


RESOURCES


I am a PWD who is looking for employment, where can I find resources to help?

There are a number of employment programs intended to assist people with disabilities in finding employment.  Vocational Rehabilitation https://www.tn.gov/humanservices/ds/vocational-rehabilitation.html, the American Jobs Center Tennessee Area https://www.jobs4tn.gov/vosnet/Default.aspx, and KAEC (Knoxville Area Employment Consortium) https://www.kaectn.org/ are great examples of where to go to get employment assistance.  There are several disability agencies who are KAEC members including Autism Breakthrough of Knoxville, disABILITY Resource Center, Disability Rights TN, Knoxville Center of the Deaf and Tennessee School for the Deaf.

What is the process for applying for Social Security Disability and how long does it take to get approved?

The Social Security Administration is responsible for receiving, reviewing, and approving applications from disability income benefits.  All information and applications can be found at www.ssa.gov 

I am, or take care of, someone with a disability and I need information on how to get a social worker.

Often times, if you need a social worker you will be put in touch with one automatically through the entity who has been helping you. If you have not been offered a social worker, and feel you need one, please check https://www.wellness.com/find/clinical%20social%20worker/tn/knoxville to find a list of those you can contact, or visit http://www.csw.utk.edu/index.html.

I am, or take care of, someone on the autism spectrum and I am looking for what resources are available.

Autism Breakthrough is a great place to start, visit them at http://www.breakthroughknoxville.com/ to see all of their programs. Other sites to visit include Autism Site Knoxville http://www.autismsiteknoxville.org/, Autism Society East Tennessee https://www.asaetc.org/, and Behavioral Foundations https://behavioralfoundations.com/.

I am, or take care of, someone with a disability and I need information about how to apply for TennCare.

For help applying you may go to any Department of Human Services (DHS) office in Tennessee, or you can call (866) 475-7879. If you have a disability and cannot visit an office, someone can come to your home to help you apply if you call the local agency on aging and disability at (866) 836-6678. For more information on TennCare and the application process, please visit https://www.tn.gov/tenncare.html.

I am elderly and am looking for transit, senior day care, and/or other resources, how can I find these easily?

Please visit http://www.knoxcac.org/newweb/, and http://www.knoxseniors.org/.



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