Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 USC 794) is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs and activities, public or private. It ensures that any child with a disability has equal access to programs and activities, public or private. Specifically, North of the River Recreation and Park District (NOR) shall not, either of its own devices or through contractual agreements, do any of the following:
- Deny persons with disabilities the opportunity to participate as members of the Board of Directors and/or program commissions.
- Deny persons with disabilities the opportunity to participate in services, programs, or activities that are not separate or different from those offered others, even if the District offers permissibly separate or different activities.
- In determining the location of facilities, make selections that have the effect of excluding or discriminating against persons with disabilities.
Programs offered by NOR to the public must be accessible. Accessibility includes advertisement, orientation, eligibility, participation, physical access, provision of auxiliary aids, evaluation, policies, and communication. The District may achieve program accessibility by several methods:
- Structural methods such as altering an existing facility
- Acquisition or redesign of equipment
- Assignment of aides
- Providing services at alternate accessible sites
When choosing a method of providing program access, NOR will give priority to the one that results in the most integrated setting appropriate to encourage interaction among all users, including individuals with disabilities. In compliance with the requirements of the ADA, the District provides equality of opportunity, but does not guarantee equality of results.
North of the River Recreation and Park District does not have to take any action that the District can demonstrate would result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of its program or activity, would create a hazardous condition or would represent an undue financial and administrative burden. The determination that undue burden would result shall be based on an evaluation of all resources available for use in the program. For example, if a barrier removal action is judged unduly arduous, the District must consider other options for providing access to the benefits and services of the program or activity by individuals with disabilities.
North of the River Recreation and Park District designates the following position as its Section 504 Coordinator:
Steph Sanders – 504 Coordinator
North of the River Recreation and Park District Administrative Complex
3825 Riverlakes Drive
Bakersfield, California 93312