Americans With Disabilities Act (the ADA)

This page allows access to relevant, useful, and important resources from the completed asynchronous course, ADA Coordinator Orientation. In this course, participants explored how the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) could help their program become more inclusive by ensuring that their program is responsive to learners with disabilities.

This list of resources includes  grievance procedures, disclosure, confidentiality, reporting abuse and neglect, reasonable accommodations, and programmatic considerations and procedures. 

History and the Law

ADA Compliance (Federal)

General Information about implementing the ADA:

These sources provide general information related to implementation of the law, including the difficulties and barriers to implementation:

ADA Compliance (The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education)

These resources relate to the ADA standards prescribed by DESE particularly as they relate to the Adult and Community Learning Services (ACLS). These standards mandate that each AE program must do the following: have an ADA coordinator, post a Public Notice, establish and disseminate a Grievance procedure, conduct self-evaluation, and have a transition plan. Below are the resources for each of these steps. Students and citizens can also file an ADA grievance with the state of Massachusetts. 

Roles of the ADA Coordinators

Roles of the ADA Coordinators are listed in the first bullet of the ACLS ADA Standards

Public Notice

This section gives the steps and resources that you can use to meet the requirements for posting the Public Notice. Use the ACLS Public Notice Repository to do the following:

Grievance Procedure

This section gives the steps and resources that you can use to meet the requirements for posting the Grievance Procedure. Using the ACLS Grievance Procedure Repository, do the following:

  • Print out the notice in English and in at least three other languages that correspond to the student body you are serving.
  • Fill out the form with the information based on your program.
  • Ensure that you have the notice available in alternative formats; you may choose to use the same process you followed for the Public Notice. 
  • Consider including a short statement about your grievance procedure on your website or program handbooks for staff and students or posting it in a public space. You may find an example of a short statement about grievance procedure on this ADA Action Guide Form Plan and communicate the grievance procedure to all staff and students in your program.

Self Evaluation

This section gives the steps and resources that you can use to meet the requirements for conducting Self-Evaluation.  

  • Access the mandatory Self-Evaluation Checklist for Existing Facilities
  • Review these tips and instructions. Should you prefer to hire a professional to complete the checklist for your program, or if you have any questions about it, consider contacting the New England ADA Center, which is the federally funded ADA hub for our region. 
  • You may also review: Self-Evaluation Forms compiled by the New England ADA.
  • Numerous agencies conduct ADA audits for a fee. To find the one you like, google the keywords: “ADA audit” or “ADA compliance.” Many for-profit entities provide services for auditing spaces and processes as well as for creating accessible materials and websites. We are not recommending any particular one; you must shop around for the one that suits your needs and budget the most. You may include the price for this assessment in your Transition Plan, which you will work on in the next unit.

Transition Plan

This section gives the steps and resources that you can use to meet the requirements for posting the Self-Evaluation. You may choose to use the Transition Plan created by SABES, or you may find samples of transition plans by scrolling through Self-Evaluation Forms compiled by the New England ADA. In the section titled Sample Documents, you will find several other examples of fillable Transition Plans and Action Plans. 


This section contains some general resources for accommodation.

Visit HiSet Accommodation Request Testing to learn about the process for requesting accommodations for HiSET. Accommodations typically include: extended time, private room, additional break time, reader/recorded audio, large print/screen magnification, scribe/keyboard entry aid, and embedded e-test accommodations. Other accommodations are possible and would be based on the evaluation and advocacy.

Note that the GED Testing Center provides specific guidelines for evaluations. If you are referring a student for evaluation in order to apply for testing accommodations, they should bring the guidelines to the provider. The guidelines and the accommodation request for GED testing can be found at GED Testing Center: GED Testing Accommodation Request.

Topic Area
ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act)
ADEI Professional Growth
Media Type
Resource Type
PD Center
SABES Program Support PD Center
Action Type