About the Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law on July 26, 1990, by President George H.W. Bush. The ADA is one of America's most comprehensive pieces of civil rights legislation that prohibits discrimination and guarantees that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else to participate in the mainstream of American life -- to enjoy employment opportunities, to purchase goods and services, and to participate in State and local government programs and services. Modeled after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin – and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 -- the ADA is an "equal opportunity" law for people with disabilities.

To be protected by the ADA, one must have a disability, which is defined by the ADA as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment. The ADA does not specifically name all of the impairments that are covered.

Americans with Disabilities Act Logo

Source: ada.gov

News & Updates

The NCDOT has a new ADA Coordinator, Mark Whisenant. Mark can assist with NCDOT ADA related questions and issues. He can be reached at 919-508-1822 or by email at mawhisenant@ncdot.gov.

About, NCDOT ADA Coordinator Responsibilities

The primary goal of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is the equal participation of individuals with disabilities in the "mainstream" of society. Reasonable accommodations must be made to applicants and employees known to have disabilities. It is the responsibility of the Department’s ADA Coordinator to carry out the tasks necessary to meet the goals of the ADA as they pertain to the NCDOT.


All NCDOT facilities in which the public conducts business are required to be physically accessible. All programs provided by the Department are required to be accessible meaning accommodations may need to be provided for the public to access a particular program. This includes hearings and workshops.


The Department is required to provide qualified individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to benefit from the full range of employment-related opportunities available to others. The Department makes reasonable accommodations to the known physical or mental limitations of otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities.

Self-Assessment/Transition Plan:

The Department updated a previous self-assessment and produced a current transition plan during 2015. The self-assessment and transition plan address NCDOT facilities, pedestrian-rights-of-way and sub-recipient monitoring as well as other areas of accessibility. The NCDOT 2015 Transition Plan creates a road map for addressing accessibility throughout the Department.

ADA Law:

The ADA law is very clear on most points; but, not very defined on other points. Case law will eventually provide strict guidance. More and more issues will be surfacing as the law takes effect. Documentation of ADA accommodations for the public and NCDOT employees is very important. Units are requested to document instances where assistance or accommodations are provided to disabled persons. This information should be forwarded to the ADA Library located in the Productivity Services Section.

ADA Assistance:

Mark Whisenant is the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator for the North Carolina Department of Transportation and will provide assistance and guidance as it relates to the Department’s ADA/Section 504 program. If you require assistance, please contact the ADA Program at 919-508-1844 or Contact Us.

ADA Grievance Procedure:

The Department has developed a procedure to ensure the prompt and equitable resolution of unresolved ADA complaints. This procedure is intended for citizens desiring to utilize NCDOT maintained facilities or access the Department’s programs. Items which can be grieved include a denial of a requested accommodation, the inadequacy of an accommodation, the inaccessibility of a program or activity due to disability, or discrimination based on a disability. This procedure is intended for use after all "local" attempts to resolve an issue have been exhausted.

Grievance policy for employees or applicants wishing to file an ADA-related grievance:


Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (ACCESS Board)

FHWA Office of Civil Rights

Nonprofit Disability Organizations

U.S. Department of Justice