ADA Transition Planning: Getting Started

Investing in an ADA Transition Plan is a critical step for organizations and municipalities who want to ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and improve accessibility for individuals with disabilities in their community. Not only is it legally required, but it can also have long-lasting positive impacts on quality of life for many people. 

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 is a comprehensive piece of legislation that both prohibits discrimination and guarantees that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else to participate in many aspects of public life. 

Developing an ADA Transition Plan can feel overwhelming due to the many moving parts involved. From identifying and prioritizing needed structural updates, to developing a budget and timeline for implementation, to ensuring compliance with ADA regulations specific to an organization’s policies and procedures, there are many considerations to take into account. 

One of the most important things to consider when beginning this process is the involvement and input of key stakeholders. Consulting with individuals with disabilities, local disability advocacy organizations, and local government officials to gather feedback and input on accessibility issues helps your organization develop a plan that addresses the most important issues and has the most meaningful impact. 

The secret to developing a successful ADA Transition Plan is simply to get started. While in the beginning, the entire Transition Planning journey can seem daunting, there’s a clear path to developing a sustainable plan for your organization. These six steps will get you there: 

  1. Conduct an assessment: This involves a thorough review of all Policies & Programs including facilities and Public Right of Way elements to identify any accessibility issues that need to be addressed, whether with repairs or modifications. 
  1. Prioritize accessibility improvements: The assessment will help you determine which areas need to be addressed first and which are of lesser priority. Priorities can be set based on frequency of use, severity of non-compliance, ADA guidelines, or public input. 
  1. Develop a budget: Once the required improvements have been identified, it is time to develop a budget, which can be phased in over several years.
  1. Set a timeline: It is essential to create a realistic and appropriate timeline for implementing improvements to ensure that adequate resources are allocated to meet the deadlines.  This can often align with existing planning schedules.
  1. Document the plan: Once the plan is developed, it is important to document it and make it available to the public.  The Transition Plan is an opportunity to tell your agency’s story of Accessibility and document your progress.
  1. Provide training: Training staff ensures that they are knowledgeable about accessibility and can help to implement and support the identified changes.

Cole’s nationally recognized ADA Transition Plan experts understand the concerns you have over developing and implementing an effective Transition Plan. Our years of experience and expertise will be put to work for your team, and we’ll guide you through a successful process that brings you into compliance and improves the quality of life for all who interact with your facilities and community. Visit for more information or to start a conversation with an ADA expert today.

Scroll to Top