In 2018, a school field trip to Montgomery generated a new level of awareness around government accessibility. A student with a wheelchair was unable to gain access to a building during a tour of Old Alabama Town, and instead watched the tour through a door.
Montgomery responded by rolling out a long-term plan that would fix problem areas while creating a reference for future infrastructure. The plan to increase accessibility throughout Montgomery involves extensive measures to improve access in both the physical and digital realm.
In order to build a Montgomery that can service all its constituents, the city launched a Public Access Survey, which according to Patrick Dunson, the city engineer and head of ADA compliance efforts, would "help the City of Montgomery locate areas of most significant concern to you, our public, and help us provide better access throughout our community." Through this survey, the City gathered feedback related to physical barriers on pedestrian paths, sidewalks, curb ramps, transit stops, intersection crossings, buildings, parks, and more, that have impeded access within the community.
The survey was built as an accessible SeamlessDocs web form. Within the survey, the text size is adjustable with the click of a button, and users of screen readers or assistive technology devices can access the survey. Furthermore, citizens can fill out the survey from the comfort of their homes, without showing up to City Hall, improving access for those with mobility impairments.
By leveraging SeamlessDocs' digitally accessible forms, the City of Montgomery eliminated barriers to soliciting feedback, effectively democratizing citizen involvement in the push toward accessibility.
Montgomery offers an accessible Request for Reasonable Accommodation that makes it easier for citizens who need to make a request to do so at their own convenience, from the comfort of their homes on any browser or device.
Once citizens submit the form, the City of Montgomery can easily keep track of the requests in an online database. The City no longer has to deal with paper submissions that get lost or contain errors or illegible handwriting. With the whole process automated, managing reasonable accommodation requests is more seamless than ever before.
Citizens are an essential source of information on which areas in the city need to be made more accessible. This digital Accessibility Complaint Form empowers Montgomery's constituents to have a voice in the rebuilding efforts. Through this form, citizens can provide a detailed explanation of an accessibility barrier or discrimination, and suggest a solution to the complaint.
This digital form helps the City keep track of accessibility issues identified by citizens, as well as which agencies have been contacted regarding the issue.