ADA Policy

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity and access for persons with disabilities.


The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) a comprehensive civil rights law, provides individuals with broad rights to equal opportunity and nondiscrimination in employment, services provided by public entities, public services provided by private businesses, and communications.  The goals of the ADA are to assure that persons with disabilities have a chance to participate fully in society, can live independently, and can be economically self-sufficient.

Regulations implementing the transportation provisions of the ADA (CFR Parts 27, 37 and 38) were issued on September 6, 1991 by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT).  Some of the requirements address areas such as non-discrimination against persons with disabilities and the provision of services to such individuals and apply to operators of both fixed route and paratransit services.  Other requirements focus on the provision of public paratransit service for individuals who are unable to use accessible fixed route service independently as a result of a disability.

ADA Regulations – Part IV Department of Transportation 49 CFR Parts 27, 37 and 38

Transportation for Individuals with Disabilities, Final Rule defines disability as follows found in 49 CFR Part 37.3:


Disability means, with respect to an individual, a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual; a record of such an impairment; or being regarded as having such an impairment.


  1. The phrase physical or mental impairment means –

(i)            Any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems:  Neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory including speech organs, cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genitor-urinary, hemi and lymphatic skin, and endocrine;

(ii)           Any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities;

(iii)          the term physical or mental impairment includes, but is not limited to, such contagious and non-contagious diseases and conditions as orthopedic, visual, speech, and hearing impairments; cerebral palsy, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, mental retardation, emotional illness, specific learning disabilities, HIV disease, tuberculosis, drug addiction and alcoholism;

(iv)         The phrase physical or mental impairment does not include homosexuality or bisexuality.


(2)          The phrase major life activities means functions such as caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.


(3)          The phrase has a record of such an impairment means has a history of, or has been misclassified as having, a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.


(4)          The phrase is regarded as having such an impairment means –

(i)            Has a physical or mental impairment that does not substantially limit major life activities, but which is treated by a public or private entity as constituting such a limitation;

(ii)           Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity only as a result of the attitudes of others toward such an impairment; or

(iii)          Has none of the impairments defined in paragraph (1) of this definition but is treated by a public or private entity as having such an impairment


  1. The term disability does not include –

(i)            Transvestism, transexualism, pedophilia, exhibitionism, voyeurism, gender identity disorders not resulting from physical impairments, or other sexual behavior disorders;

(ii)           Compulsive gambling, kleptomania, or pyromania;

(iii)          Psychoactive substance abuse disorders resulting from the current illegal use of drugs.

Requests for reasonable modification may be addressed by calling the Executive Director or Chief Operations Officer at (910) 346-2998; or submitting it online request through OUTS website; or in writing to the following address:


Onslow United Transit System, Inc.

Executive Director

PO Box 1548

Jacksonville, NC  28541


Requests must include the following elements:

  • Description of what the individual needs in order to use the service
  • Individual’s contact information


Request Procedures are the same as the comment and complaint procedures. During initial passenger eligibility determination, individuals are encouraged to inform OUTS staff of any other concerns or issues not discussed. If information is not provided in advance, Director/ Operations Supervisor/ or Designee will make determination.


Requests for modification may be denied on one or more of the following grounds:

  1. Granting the request would fundamentally alter the nature of the entity’s services, programs, or activities.
  2. Granting the request would create a direct threat to the health or safety of others;
  3. Without the requested modification, the individual with a disability is able to fully use the entity’s services, programs, or activities for their intended purpose.


If requested modification is denied, other actions will be taken to the “maximum extent possible” without violating rules 1-3 above to allow individual to use the service. Decisions will be guided by the provisions of Appendix E to part § 37.169(d)

Service animals are defined as “any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to perform tasks for an individual with a disability. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals with impaired hearing to intruders or sounds, pulling a wheelchair, providing minimal protection or rescue work, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. If an animal’s only function were to provide emotional support or comfort for the rider, for example, that animal would not fall under the regulatory training-based definition of a service animal.


  • Service animals must be set up in advance with OUTS before transportation is allowed.
  • OUTS can refuse transportation if the animal poses a direct threat to others, creates a seriously disruptive atmosphere, or is not in rider’s control.
  • Passenger must maintain control of service animal at all times. OUTS drivers will at no time take charge of a service animal.
  • OUTS may ask if an animal is a service animal or ask what tasks the animal has been trained to perform, but cannot require special ID cards for the animal or ask about the person’s disability.
  • A service animal may not be excluded unless the animal is out of control and the animal’s owner does not take effective action to control it or the animal poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others.

1. Wheelchair Transportation is limited to a “wheelchair” and must be secured according to ADA regulations and OUTS’ policies. Wheelchair means a mobility aid belonging to any class of three- or more-wheeled devices, usable indoors, designed or modified for and used by individuals with mobility impairments, whether operated manually or powered. The definition does not include devices not intended for indoor use or devices not primarily designed to assist individuals with mobility impairments.

2. All wheelchairs and mobility aids are required to be secured while on an OUTS vehicle.

3. OUTS drivers will provide a level of assistance that is reasonable and that won’t constitute a direct threat to their health or safety. Situations that arise will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

4. OUTS lift equipped fleet can safely accommodate a 1000-pound wheelchair/passenger combination, but not a combination exceeding 1000 pounds.

5. Passengers who use wheelchairs are required to ride in the designated securement area.

6. OUTS’ designated securement area is 30” x 48”. Wheelchairs and other mobility aids and attachments exceeding the securement area may still be transported as long as the device does not block the aisle.

  • OUTS’ securement policy states, “Drivers are required to secure all mobility devices. Drivers must secure the device the best they can. Drivers are to inform passengers of any securement concerns and recommend the passenger transfer to a seat when necessary. If passenger refuses to transfer, driver must explain risks prior to transport and notify dispatch”.

7. Seatbelt and shoulder harness attached to the vehicle must be worn at all times.

8. Passengers in wheelchairs must be secured in the wheelchair before boarding the vehicle. OUTS will not transport anyone in a wheelchair that is deemed unsafe.

9. All wheelchair passengers must have safe wheelchair access. This includes a ramp. No wheelchairs will be taken up or down steps by a driver. The access from the house to the vehicle must be clear of debris and the wheelchair must be able to travel without any resistance (i.e. no mud, holes, etc).

10. For safety purposes, OUTS maintains the right to refuse transportation for anyone who does not follow the above-stated policies on wheelchair transportation.

Complaint Process including Responses to Complaint and Incident


The complaint procedures outlined herein apply to Onslow United Transit System, Inc. (OUTS), the NCDOT and FHWA, FTA, FAA, and other primary recipients and sub-recipients in the administration of the Federal-aid highway program.  These procedures cover discrimination complaints filed under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other nondiscrimination authorities relating to any program or services administered by OUTS to sub-recipients, consultants, and contractors.


OUTS will make every effort to obtain early resolution of complaints at the lowest level possible.  All complaints of alleged discrimination will be investigated by the OUTS Office.   The option of informal mediation meeting(s) between the affected parties and the OUTS Office staff may be utilized for resolution.  Upon completion of each investigation, OUTS staff will inform every complainant of all avenues of appeal.



The purpose of the discrimination complaint procedures are to specify the process to be employed by OUTS in accordance with guidance from the Federal Highway Administration to investigate complaints, while ensuring due process for complainants and respondents.  The process does not preclude the responsible staff of any agency from attempting to informally resolve complaints.



The complaint procedures apply to the beneficiaries of OUTS programs, activities, and services, including but not limited to the public, contractors, subcontractors, consultants, and other sub-recipients of federal and state funds.


Any person who believes that he/she has been subjected to discrimination or retaliation prohibited by any of the Civil Rights authorities, based upon race, color, sex, age, national origin, or disability may file a written complaint with the OUTS Office.  The law prohibits intimidation or retaliation of any sort.  The complaint may be filed by the affected individual or a representative and must be in writing.



Discrimination involves any act or inaction, whether intentional or unintentional in any program or activity of a Federal-aid recipient, sub-recipient, or contractor, which results in disparate (unfavorable) treatment, disparate impact, or perpetuating the effects of prior discrimination based on race, color, sex, national origin, age, disability or in the case of disability, failing to make a reasonable accommodation.


An act (or action) whether intentional or unintentional, through which a person in the United States, based on race, color, sex, age, national origin, or disability has been subjected to unequal treatment under any program or activity receiving financial assistance from the FHWA under title 23 U.S.C.



1.      Time Limits and Filing Options – A complaint must be filed no later than 180 calendar days after the following:

  • The date of the alleged act of discrimination; or
  • The date when the person(s) became aware of the alleged discrimination; or
  • Where there has been a continuing course of conduct, the date on which that conduct was discontinued or the latest instance of the conduct.


Title VI complaints may be submitted to the following entities:

  • Onslow United Transit System, Inc.
  • NCDOT – Office of Civil Rights and Business Development
  • Federal Highway Administration
  • Federal Transit Administration
  • Federal Aviation Administration
  • US Department of Transportation
  • US Department of Justice


2. Type of Complaints – Complaints shall be in writing and signed by the complainant(s) or a representative and include the complainant’s name, address, and telephone number.  Complaints received by fax or e-mail will be acknowledged and processed.  Allegations received by telephone will be reduced to writing and provided to the complainant for confirmation or revision before processing.


3. Complaint Basis – Allegations must be based on issues involving race, color, national origin, sex, age, income status or disability.  The term “basis” refers to the complainant’s membership in a protected group category.

A man in a wheelchair on a lift of a vehicle