Executive Summary

The City of Boise is committed to creating a city for everyone where people with disabilities have equal opportunity and meaningful access to resources, programs and services offered by the city. This ADA Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan provides a framework for the continuous improvements the City of Boise is taking to make its programs and facilities accessible for community members and visitors with disabilities.

This plan entails programmatic self-evaluations to ensure all activities, services, policies, and practices are discrimination-free and all facilities are barrier free. It is intended to be a living document that is regularly updated as programs and services change, as barriers are removed, new facilities are built, and input from community members is brought forward.

This plan outlines the strategy for the City of Boise to progress toward compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), identifying physical barriers for persons with disabilities, and a schedule to remove those barriers over time. Based on legal requirements, this plan must:

  • List barriers
  • Identify feasible solutions to each barrier
  • Establish a timeline for removing barriers
  • Identify the department responsible for compliance and implementation of this plan; and
  • Involve people with disabilities to seek input
A collage including a Black man using a wheelchair and using a notebook computer, a White man walking through a street crosswalk using a white cane, a young girl with Down's Syndrome, wearing glasses and holding a paintbrush, and smiling broadly, and a young White man with a prosthetic leg sitting at a table working on a notebook computer.

This plan includes the review of 30 facilities and one (1) design review of Arts & History’s Erma Hayman House.

It is important to note that these efforts are on-going, and other facilities that are owned by the City of Boise but leased to other organizations, such as Boise Art Museum (BAM) and The Cabin, may be included as future iterations of this plan. Additionally, an accessibility review of the City of Boise’s website as well as the Ridge to Rivers trail system will be future projects.

This plan also includes a summary of the city’s programs as well as a summary of architectural barriers and proposed solutions for the city’s facilities and parks/outdoor areas. For clarity, programmatic review was completed by city staff where architectural barriers were assessed by a consultant, Benesch (formally Tindale Oliver and Associates). Both programmatic and architectural reviews are designed to help move the city towards full compliance with its obligations under the Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as well as progressing towards an inclusive and barrier-free organization. As the City of Boise does not generally oversee the public rights-of-way (PROW), such as sidewalks and curb cuts, PROW elements are not included in this report unless they are on city-owned facilities.

Many city-owned facilities that were recently altered or renovated are substantially accessible and meet most architectural requirements. Continued facility alterations, and/or renovations will significantly reduce barriers and realize City of Boise’s commitment to inclusion and equal access. In the meantime, the greatest problems posed by existing barriers can be remedied by establishing policies and procedures to proactively include and accommodate members of the disability community. The city has taken several significant steps in this direction:

  • Established an Accessible Parking Committee (APC) that operated from August 2017 to May 2021. The mission of the committee was to improve accessibility and access in Boise, particularly the downtown core. In partnership with the APC, an in-depth analysis was conducted with city staff in 2019 to begin remedying parking barriers.
  • In early 2018, the City of Boise hired Ciera Garechana, the Community Accessibility Manager. This position is housed within the Office of Community Engagement, and dedicated to furthering accessibility.
  • In 2019, City of Boise hired a consultant, Benesch (formally Tindale Oliver & Associates), to undertake its assessment of architectural barriers of public-facing city facilities.
  • City of Boise launched a comprehensive accessibility survey to community members in the fall of 2020 to gauge public opinion and understand the community’s priorities for accessibility.
  • Throughout 2021, City of Boise has done multiple community engagements to gather input. Staff and community members with cross disabilities collectively reviewed facilities assessment reports to best prioritize barrier removals for what is most meaningful to people with disabilities.
  • In fall of 2021, the city put together a Cross Disability Advisory Taskforce to collaborate with community leaders with cross disabilities to understand how we can move beyond legal requirements to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities living, working, and recreating in Boise.

Key Findings

This report found that many key facilities and outdoor areas are “functionally accessible,” meaning that they are generally usable by people with disabilities. However, facilities are not in full compliance with current accessibility requirements. City Hall is an example of such a “functionally accessible” facility: most programs can be accessed by most people because the building features an accessible entrance, an elevator and has accessible routes throughout the building. Yet some restrooms have accessibility issues, nearby accessible parking stalls are not fully compliant, and many rooms signs do not have Braille or tactile components. Additionally, the Main Library! is another example of a “functionally accessible” facility: most services can be accessible, yet the facility has several errors in accessible parking and numerous restrooms have accessibility issues.

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Legal Requirements

Review federal requirements to dispel stereotypes and assumptions about disabilities, assure equality of opportunity and full participation, and secure independent living and economic self-sufficiency for people with disabilities.

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Self Evaluation of Non-Discriminatory Policies

The City of Boise performed a comprehensive assessment of department policies, practices and procedures to determine ADA compliance. Learn more about the findings and recommended action items for implementation.

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Moving Beyond Compliance: Recreation Access

The City of Boise has upgraded several parks with inclusive play equipment, which gives all community members options for play and helps create a city for everyone.

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ADA Transition Comprehensive Summary

The summary outlines the ADA standards for structural elements such as restrooms, parking and service counters, has a prioritization matrix of barriers, and lists cumulative costs to remedy each facility.

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Facilities Remediation Plan

Learn how the city will address the 2,381 barriers to access that were identified, with projects beginning in 2022 and completed by 2028.

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