TITLE 42
State Affairs and Government

CHAPTER 42-46
Open Meetings

SECTION 42-46-13


§ 42-46-13 Accessibility for persons with disabilities.

(a) All public bodies, to comply with the nondiscrimination on the basis of disability requirements of R.I. Const., Art. I, § 2 and applicable federal and state nondiscrimination laws (29 U.S.C. § 794, chapter 87 of this title, and chapter 24 of title 11), shall develop a transition plan setting forth the steps necessary to ensure that all open meetings of said public bodies are accessible to persons with disabilities.

(b) The state building code standards committee shall, by September 1, 1989 adopt an accessibility of meetings for persons with disabilities standard that includes provisions ensuring that the meeting location is accessible to and usable by all persons with disabilities.

(c) This section does not require the public body to make each of its existing facilities accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities so long as all meetings required to be open to the public pursuant to chapter 46 of this title are held in accessible facilities by the dates specified in subsection (e).

(d) The public body may comply with the requirements of this section through such means as reassignment of meetings to accessible facilities, alteration of existing facilities, or construction of new facilities. The public body is not required to make structural changes in existing facilities where other methods are effective in achieving compliance with this section.

(e) The public body shall comply with the obligations established under this section by July 1, 1990, except that where structural changes in facilities are necessary in order to comply with this section, such changes shall be made by December 30, 1991, but in any event as expeditiously as possible unless an extension is granted by the state building commissioner for good cause.

(f) Each municipal government and school district shall, with the assistance of the state building commission, complete a transition plan covering the location of meetings for all public bodies under their jurisdiction. Each chief executive of each city or town and the superintendent of schools will submit their transition plan to the governor's commission on disabilities for review and approval. The governor's commission on disabilities with assistance from the state building commission shall approve or modify, with the concurrence of the municipal government or school district, the transition plans.

(g) The provisions of §§ 45-13-7 – 45-13-10, inclusive, shall not apply to this section.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1989, ch. 487, § 1; P.L. 1997, ch. 150, § 14.)