Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Blue ADA LogoThe Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) complies with Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by providing reasonable modifications of DMHAS services, programs and activities.  

About the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The ADA has a functional definition of disability. According to the ADA, a person with a disability is someone who:

• Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity,
• Has a record of such impairment, or  
• Is regarded as having the impairment.

A person does not need to receive Social Security Disability to be covered by the ADA.
The ADA is made of 5 ‘Titles’:

Title I: Employment
Title II: State and local governmental entities including DMHAS and other state agencies as well as Connecticut cities and towns.  
Title III: Places of Public Accommodation, businesses and non-profits which provide services and goods to the public including websites. 
Title IV: Telecommunications including telephonic relay and closed captioning.   
Title V: Miscellaneous provisions 
For more information about the ADA, go to United States Department of Justice Website at www.ADA.gov.
ADA Title I - DMHAS Employees
Employees of DMHAS and members of the DMHAS workforce are covered under ADA Title I and employers with more than 50 employees must have a Title I Coordinator.

DMHAS Title I ADA Coordinator

DMHAS Equal Opportunities Office 

Barbara Vidalia, Director.
171 Bow Lane (Cottage 20) Middletown, CT 
860-262-6886 | Fax: 860-262-5197

Employers provide reasonable accommodations on request from a qualified person with disabilities. Contact the Title I ADA Coordinator if:

• You are a DMHAS employee with a disability and you need a reasonable accommodation, or
• You are someone with a disability applying for employment at DMHAS and you need a reasonable accommodation or 
• You have a complaint DMHAS did not provide a reasonable accommodation.
ADA Title II - DMHAS Clients, Patients, Visitors and Guests

Title II prohibits state and local governments from discriminating against qualified persons with disabilities (persons who are eligible to participate in programs and services regardless of having a disability) and to provide equal access to programs, services and activities as other persons. For DMHAS qualified persons with disabilities are clients, patients, visitors and guests of DMHAS operated facilities, services, programs and activities.  

State and local government entities are required by Title II to have an ADA Coordinator. 

DMHAS Title II ADA Coordinator:

William Pierce, DMHAS Office of the Commissioner

410 Capitol Avenue, 4th Floor PO Box 341431

Hartford, CT 06134

Phone 860-418-7000 (TTY Relay 7-1-1) Fax: 860-418-6691



Reasonable Modifications

Clients, patients, guests or visitors of DMHAS facilities or programs with disabilities can request a reasonable modification of a DMHAS service, program or activity by:

  • Speaking to the DMHAS staff person or clinician holding the activity or program, or the facility’s Client Rights Officer (CRO) or
  • Submitting a reasonable modification request to DMHAS facility’s ADA Title II Contact Person. 

Requests can be verbal or in writing. Written requests should include: 

  1. Name and contact information of the person making the request  
  2. The requested modification
  3. The DMHAS program, service or activity where the modification is needed
  4. Date and time the modification is needed
  5. How the request is a reasonable modification  

DMHAS is prohibited from asking someone to disclose their disability. However, the person can be asked to provide information and answer questions necessary for DMHAS to determine how the request can be addressed. 

The person does not have to answer questions and refusal will not affect services being provided or be discriminated against. 

  • Requests should be made as far ahead of when they are needed as possible to allow time for a review and for arrangements.  Requests should be made at least 10 calendar days before the program or activity.  However, DMHAS may waive the 10-day period in urgent situations.
  • Requests can be for specific equipment and services, such as sign language interpreters, printed material in alternate formats, or modifications to procedures and policies.  DMHAS is not required to address requests for personal use items (such as hearing aids or wheelchairs for your home).
  • Information from a request is kept confidential and only shared on a need to know basis to address the request unless disclosure is otherwise required by law.  Once a request is reviewed, a written response will be issued. 
  • Requests for reasonable modifications will be honored unless:
  • The request fundamentally alters the program, service or activity or poses an undue burden and an equally effective alternative modification will be provided or
  • The request was denied because, it was not made by or on behalf of a person with disabilities, the request was not for a reasonable modification of a DMHAS program, service or activity that directly concerns the person’s disability.
  • Requests for reasonable modifications can also be submitted in writing to the DMHAS ADA Title II Coordinator.   

Effective Communication

DMHAS Deaf, Deafblind and Hard of Hearing (DHOH) Services

DMHAS facilities offer Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHOH) to clients, patients, visitors and guests of who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Service Animals

The ADA defines Service Animals as dogs specifically trained to work for or provide a task to the person with a disability using the animal. Title II and Title III entities are required to allow service animals in all public locations unless:

  • It can be demonstrated the service animal would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program, or activity
  • The animal poses risk of safety or health
  • The animal is not under control of the person with disability handling it

The person using a service animal does not need to prove the animal is a service animal. The person cannot be asked about the nature of his/her disability.

Title II and Title III entities are allowed to ask an animal’s user two questions:

  1. Is the animal a service animal required for the person’s disability?
  2. What is the task the animal is specifically trained to accomplish?

Service animals may go anywhere the public is allowed to go. They cannot be denied access to a public place due to other people’s concerns, fears, allergies or disabilities.

The ADA does not require service animals to wear vests or ID badges which identify them as service animals. The animal’s user is not required to provide proof their animal has been trained or certified by any organization. 

The person using the service animal is responsible for its care and the animal must be in harness or leash or otherwise controlled by command. 

The person using the animal may be directed to remove the animal if it is not under their control or it is determined the animal poses a threat to health and safety or has a history of being a threat to safety. If an animal is removed the person is provided effective alternative to the animal and the animal allowed to return once the issue is resolved. The ADA does not recognize animals in training as service animals. However, Connecticut statute allows animals being trained by a service animal training organization in the company of an authorized representative to enter public areas. 

Under Connecticut Law, all dogs including service animals must be licensed in the town or city they live in.


Clients, visitors, and guests of DMHAS state operated programs may submit a written complaint to the DMHAS ADA Title II Coordinator, Office of the Commissioner.  

Regulations regarding Title II of the ADA are overseen by the US Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section-NYAV 950 Pennsylvania Ave. NW Washington, D.C. 20530 (1-800-514-0301).

For more information contact a statewide advocacy organization or seek legal advice.

Links to Resources

ADA Resources

DMHAS Resources

Statewide Advocacy Programs

This information is available in other formats on request from the DMHAS Office of the Commissioner. 

DMHAS and other federally funded healthcare providers complies with federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Section 1557).

REVISED: August 23, 2023