Make an ADA request

ADA General Information

The City of Seattle strives to make city programs, services, and activities equally accessible to all. Features such as curb ramps, ramps, sidewalks, detectable warnings and street crossings are components of an accessible pedestrian network. The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) prioritizes accessibility improvements to the pedestrian network using the Pedestrian Master Plan and as required by Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulation 28 C.F.R. § 35.150(d)(2) to provide access to city services and facilities. For general ADA compliance questions within the Seattle public right-of-way, contact the SDOT ADA Coordinator Mike Shaw at 206-615-1974. To request accommodation for a disability to provide you with access to a program, service, and/or activity, contact the City of Seattle ADA Coordinator at 206-684-2489 or visit the City of Seattle ADA webpage. Also available is Seattle's Curb Ramp Map and Accessible Route Planner. This map is intended to help pedestrians plan routes using City of Seattle curb ramps and sidewalks.

Make an ADA Request

SDOT's ADA Program is responsible for the planning, design, and implementation of infrastructure improvements requested by the public to enable those living with disabilities equivalent access to Seattle pedestrian facilities. These improvements include curb ramps, accessible pedestrian signals (APS), and new technology evaluations.

Accessibility improvement requests are acknowledged and prioritized when requested by individuals living with disabilities or those that directly care for individuals living with disabilities. The program is not intended to address community concerns other than access for people with disabilities. ADA requests are logged and scheduled for improvements in the order in which they are received. These requests can be submitted through the City of Seattle Customer Service Bureau or by contacting SDOT by phone, email, or by using the SDOT ADA Request webpage.

It should be noted that any ADA request made is subject to additional prioritization considerations as determined by SDOT as well as available funding. Some requests for improvements may be deferred if they are found to be infeasible due to existing infrastructure or other limiting constraints. Requestors will be notified if it is found that a request is a duplicate or if improvements are not feasible.

Curb Ramps

Curb ramps are sloped transitions from the sidewalk down to the pedestrian crosswalk to facilitate increased accessibility, particularly for those for whom mobility may be limited. Curb ramp design and construction includes a ramp with a tactile warning surface, landings, and necessary sidewalk transitions and (minor) utility modifications.

Example of curb ramps

Customer Requests

SDOT will install curb ramps when requested by qualified individuals with disabilities at locations not otherwise scheduled for improvement. The program is not intended to address community concerns other than access for people with disabilities. To request a curb ramp, contact the SDOT ADA Program by email, call at 206-615-1974, or complete this ADA Request Form.   

Curb ramp requests are typically investigated within 30 days of its receipt. SDOT strives to prioritize these requests and to scope, design, and construct these requested curb ramps within one year from the date the request is received, pending available funding and the number of requests received.  

Accessible Pedestrian Signal (APS)

Accessible Pedestrian Signal (APS)An Accessible Pedestrian Signal is pedestrian push button that produces an audible signal and vibration to indicate when it is safe to cross the street. Such devices can be helpful to people who are visually or hearing impaired. Requests for APS may only be made at locations where there are existing traffic signals. To request an Accessible Pedestrian Signal, contact the SDOT ADA Program by email, call at 206-615-1974, or complete this ADA Request Form.

New Technology Evaluations

Let us know if you have would like SDOT to explore new technologies that would make our pedestrian facilities more accessible. Contact the SDOT ADA Program by email, call at 206-615-1974, or complete this online form.

Current Accessibility and ADA Compliance Efforts

(as of June 1, 2017)

SDOT is involved in a many initiatives and efforts to provide improved accessibility and inclusion within the public right-of-way. Some of these efforts are ongoing and will continue from one year to the next. Other efforts may be custom designed, involve community outreach, or may be well beyond the typical SDOT obligations as defined by Title II of the ADA.  Ongoing Efforts SDOT constructs or improves existing curb ramps within the public right-of-way as a part of several different programs, most notably larger capital projects and street resurfacing projects. Curb ramp work is also included as a part of SDOT's Safe Routes to School Program, the Pedestrian Master Plan improvements, Neighborhood Park and Street Fund Improvements, as well as private development projects and utility work.  SDOT engineers strive to design and build curb ramps to best serve all pedestrians. This can be very challenging given the topography in Seattle as well as any existing built infrastructure such as utilities, areaways, or other conflicts.  When larger projects include roadway reconstruction and modifications to channelization, SDOT looks for opportunities to make pedestrians more visible and to shorten street crossings by using curb bulbs or other measures. These efforts can help to make street crossings easier and safer for all pedestrians, particularly those with disabilities.  Traffic signal improvements occur that include the installation of Accessible Pedestrian Signals (APS), which provide important information to pedestrians with visual and/or hearing impairments.  Many SDOT projects include sidewalk installation or replacement of older sidewalks. These new sidewalks can make use much easier for people with disabilities and those using mobility assistive devices. 

Additional Details

SDOT provides opportunities for the public to make specific requests to improve pedestrian mobility. In addition to general maintenance requests, curb ramps and Accessible Pedestrian Signals (APS) may be requested to serve a person or persons living with a disability that require increased access in specific areas of need. These requests can be submitted through the City of Seattle Customer Service Bureau or by contacting SDOT by phone, email, or by using our ADA Request Form. The SDOT ADA request option allows for and addressed the needs of an increased levels of access in areas where capital projects or other larger-scale projects are not currently planned.

In 2015, SDOT hired an ADA Coordinator to formalize policies and best practices for achieving ADA compliance within the public right-of-way. The SDOT ADA Coordinator assists with training SDOT staff on ADA compliance, provides technical assistance on design requirements, serves as liaison between the public and SDOT staff, and coordinates and participates in community outreach. The ADA Coordinator participates in national ADA-related conferences and has active communications with others in similar roles throughout the region.  The SDOT ADA Coordinator also works closely with the City of Seattle Title II ADA Coordinator and established interdepartmental accessibility workgroups. These workgroups are intended to serve as an important tool that keeps all city departments working together as a united citywide team striving for access to city programs and facilities. 

The SDOT ADA Committee is a group of stakeholders comprised of representatives from all SDOT divisions. The Committee meets regularly to discuss and agree upon a united departmental approach on ADA compliance and best practices for providing accessibility in the public right-of-way as a department. The committee is charged with drafting policies, procedures, and guidance on ADA and accessibility-related topics as well as assisting in delivering this information to committee member teams and divisions. The ADA Committee is facilitated by the SDOT ADA Coordinator. The ADA Coordinator briefs the SDOT division directors on material covered by the ADA Committee. 

Training occurs both in-house at SDOT via the ADA Coordinator as well as from outside sources to ensure that the staff is aware of current requirements and best practices. Some of the training opportunities that SDOT has participated in include the U.S. Access Board, the National ADA Network, and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Trainings include large-scale efforts that deliver material to large groups, including entire divisions within SDOT or even other involved city departments and agencies. Custom workshops are also available and may be tailored to fit the needs of smaller groups within the department.  SDOT actively searches for opportunities to work with individuals and communities living with disabilities to better understand the needs and abilities of all pedestrians.  Engineers and designers at SDOT have participated, and will continue to participate in, blindness simulations, and mobility observations of Deaf-blind pedestrians to better understand the needs of pedestrians with visual and/or hearing impairments. SDOT has worked with professional mobility instructors to discuss possible new treatments in the public right-of-way that could assist pedestrians with visual and/or hearing impairments.  SDOT staff has participated in wheelchair exercises to experience first-hand some of the challenges of rolling over the sidewalks and curb ramps in Seattle. SDOT has a wheelchair available and is used by engineers to test different curb ramp designs after construction to determine and evaluate improvements or adjustments that could be made.

In 2016, SDOT rolled out an online map intended to help pedestrians with disabilities plan their routes considering varying features and conditions of Seattle sidewalks, curb ramps, and street crossings. This map, known as the Curb Ramp Map and Accessible Route Planner, will be updated as city assets are added or modified and data will be corrected if information is found to be inaccurate.

SDOT is in the process of evaluating pedestrian features in the public right-of-way with respect to accessibility. In May of 2016, SDOT completed a citywide evaluation of all known curb ramps, totaling in excess of 28,000 curb ramps. Click on the link to view the procedure used and the final results of the curb ramp assessment in the technical report.Currently the City of Seattle is updating the Transition Plan to ensure access to city programs for people with disabilities. With authority over streets and sidewalks, SDOT is updating the Transition Plan for features within the public right-of-way with priorities for improvements defined in Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulation 28 C.F.R. § 35.150(d)(2). These efforts in updating this plan include public involvement and outreach. The updated plan will be available for the public to view.