Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

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Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects persons with disabilities in:

  • Employment, housing, and physical access to buildings open to the public
  • Programs and services such as healthcare, education, voting, and travel
  • Events such as public meetings

Persons with disabilities are entitled to reasonable accommodation. Accommodations are changes or adjustments that are made to help persons with disabilities participate in or receive the benefits of a service.

Reasonable accommodations mean:

  • It is not significantly difficult or expensive to provide and
  • it would not significantly alter the structure of a program or place of activity.

Through the ADA, persons with disabilities can also access services, programs and activities provided by federal, state, and local government.

What rights do I have to City services, programs, or activities if I am a person with a disability?

The City of South Bend offers services, programs, activities, and facilities for the benefit of the public such as:

  • Public grounds and buildings
  • Publicly owned entertainment, recreation, and sports centers
  • Online services
  • Public street parking and sidewalks

The City must provide persons with disabilities reasonable accommodation.

The City must also provide its employees reasonable accommodations to help a disabled employee perform their essential job duties.

What types of accommodation from the City of South Bend can I expect or request as a disabled person? How do I request an accommodation?

Employees - City employees and applicants with disabilities should talk with the Human Resources Department. Communicate what you need to perform the essential duties of your job. Then, arrive at an agreement for such reasonable accommodations. You might not get the exact accommodation you want unless it is the most reasonable. 

Meetings - City meeting notices should contain information for ADA accommodations, including hearing and vision. Please provide 48 hours advance notice if you need assistive devices or alternate formats of communication.

Website - meets federal requirements for visual and hearing impairment accommodation.

Other - City services, programs, and activities that residents encounter ADA issues the most involve:

  • Parks
  • Recreational and cultural facilities
  • Barriers to sidewalk travel
  • Building access

Who Is the City of South Bend’s ADA Coordinator and what do they do?

The City’s current ADA Coordinator is its Assistant City Attorney, Michael Schmidt. You can contact him at 574-235-9241 or legaldept@southbendin.govCity of South Bend Legal Department, 227 W. Jefferson Blvd., Suite 1200S South Bend, IN 46601

The ADA Coordinator is the City’s contact point and information source about the City’s ADA policies and procedures.

Federal law requires every city with 50 or more employees to have a coordinator for City compliance with the ADA.

The ADA Coordinator's name and contact information must be available to the public.

What can I do if the City does not provide me with an accommodation for my disability?

1.  Complete the City’s complaint form up to 60 days from the date you could not get reasonable accommodation to a City service, program, activity, or benefit by:

  • Emailing Michael Schmidt at
  • Mailing to:
    • ADA Coordinator, Michael Schmidt
    • City of South Bend Legal Department
    • 227 W. Jefferson Blvd., Suite 1200S South Bend, IN 46601

2. The ADA Coordinator will acknowledge receipt of your grievance within 21 days of receiving it.

3. The ADA Coordinator will help find an agreeable solution to your concern within the scope of the law.

Learn more about our grievance procedure in the complaint form.

Learn more about City ADA programs and initiatives on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) webpage on our website.

How do I request help for accommodation on private, non-City owned property or for private services ?

The City’s grievance process applies only to accommodations for City services, programs, and activities.

Contact the South Bend Human Rights Commission for help with non-City accommodations. The South Bend Human Rights Commission investigates charges of discrimination. They also offer conciliation services to help resolve disputes informally.  

Learn more about the South Bend Human Rights Commission on the Human Rights Commission webpage on our website.

  • South Bend Human Rights Commission319 North Niles Avenue
  • Phone: (574) 235-9355
  • Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except holidays

311 Process Notes

For City grievances – ADA Coordinator, Michael Schmidt at 574-235-9241 or

For non-City grievances – Human Rights Commission at 574-235-9355 Main Office, 574-235-5567 TDD (se habla español) or

Residents can submit a complaint form by emailing or mailing ADA Coordinator, Michael Schmidt, City of South Bend Legal Department, 227 W. Jefferson Blvd., Suite 1200S South Bend, IN 46601