Title VI / Nondiscrimination Policy and Plan

POLICY STATEMENT

The City of DeFuniak Springs values diversity and welcomes input from all interested parties, regardless of cultural identity, background or income level.  Moreover, the City of DeFuniak Springs believes that the best programs and services result from careful consideration of the needs of all its communities and when those communities are involved in the decision-making process.  Thus, the City of DeFuniak Springs does not tolerate discrimination in any of its programs, services or activities.  Pursuant to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other federal and state authorities, the City of DeFuniak Springs will not exclude from participation in, deny the benefits of, or subject to discrimination anyone on the grounds of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, religion, income or family status.

COMPLAINT PROCEDURE

The City of DeFuniak Springs has established a discrimination complaint procedure and will take prompt and reasonable action to investigate and eliminate discrimination when found.  Any person who believes that he or she has been subjected to discrimination based upon race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, religion, income or family status in any of the city’s programs, services or activities may file a complaint with the City of DeFuniak Springs Title VI/Nondiscrimination Coordinator:

Craig Drake
Assistant City Manager - Public Works Director
City of DeFuniak Springs
45 North Park Street
DeFuniak Springs, Florida  32433
(850) 892-8537
publicworks@defuniaksprings.net

If possible, the complaint should be submitted in writing and contain the identity of the complainant; the basis of the allegations (i.e., race color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability or family status); and a description with the date of occurrence.  If the complaint cannot be submitted in writing, the complainant should contact the Title VI/Nondiscrimination Coordinator for assistance.

The Title VI/Nondiscrimination Coordinator will respond to the complaint within thirty (30) calendar days and will take reasonable steps to resolve the matter.  Should the City of DeFuniak Springs be unable to satisfactorily resolve the complaint, the city will forward the complaint, along with a record of its disposition to the appropriate District of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).

The City of DeFuniak Springs’s Title VI Coordinator has “easy access” to the city manager and is not required to obtain management or other approval to discuss discrimination issues. However, should the complainant be unable or unwilling to complain to the city, the written complaint may be submitted directly to the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). FDOT will serve as a clearing house, forwarding the complaint to the appropriate state or federal agency:

Florida Department of Transportation
Equal Opportunity Office
Attention:  Title VI Complaint Processing
605 Suwannee Street MS 65
Tallahassee, FL  32399

ADA/504 STATEMENT

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1972 (Section 504), the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and related federal and state laws and regulations forbid discrimination against those who have disabilities.  Furthermore, these laws require federal aid recipients and other government entities to take affirmative steps to reasonably accommodate the disabled and ensure that their needs are equitably represented in transportation programs, services and activities.

The City of DeFuniak Springs will make every effort to ensure that its facilities, programs, services and activities are accessible to those with disabilities.  The city will make every effort to ensure that its advisory committees, public involvement activities and all other programs, services and activities include representation by the disabled community and disability service groups.

The City of DeFuniak Springs encourages the public to report any facility, program, service or activity that appears inaccessible to those who are disabled.  Furthermore, the city will provide reasonable accommodations to disabled individuals who wish to participate in public involvement events or who require special assistance to access facilities, programs, services or activities.  Because providing reasonable accommodation may require outside assistance, organizations or resources, the City of DeFuniak Springs asks that requests be made at least 14 calendar days prior to the need of accommodation.

Questions, concerns, comments or requests for accommodation should be made to the city’s ADA officer:

Craig Drake
Assistant City Manager - Public Works Director
City of DeFuniak Springs
45 North Park Street
DeFuniak Springs, Florida  32433
(850) 892-8537
publicworks@defuniaksprings.net

LIMITED ENGLISH PROFICIENCY (LEP) GUIDANCE

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 13166, and the various directives from the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and US Department of Transportation (DOT) require federal aid recipients to take reasonable steps to ensure meaningful access to programs, services and activities by those who do not speak English proficiently.  To determine the extent of which LEP services are required and in which languages, the law requires the analysis of four factors:

  • The number of proportion of LEP persons eligible to be served or likely to be encountered by the city’s programs, services, or activities;
  • The frequency with which LEP individuals encounter these programs, services or activities;
  • The nature and importance of the program, service or activity to people’s lives and;
  • The resources available to the City of DeFuniak Springs and the likely costs of the LEP services.

Using census data, the city has determined that LEP individuals speaking English less than well represent approximately 7.5% of the city.  The City of DeFuniak Springs realizes that such statistical data can be outdated or inaccurate.  Therefore, the city contacted local law enforcement, social services agencies and the school board to determine the proportion of LEP served by those entities.  Spanish was reported to be the prevalent LEP language and an estimated 5% of calls for service for these agencies were in the Spanish language.  Given this information, the city reasons that a relatively small portion of its service population are LEP speakers of Spanish.

The City of DeFuniak Springs has not received any requests for translation or interpretation of its programs, services or activities into Spanish or any other language.

The City of DeFuniak Springs believes that transportation is of critical importance to the public, as access to health care, emergency services, employment, and other essentials would be difficult or impossible with reliable transportation systems.

The City of DeFuniak Springs is fortunate to house within its jurisdiction, education institutions which have extensive language services and staff that can provide language services as needed.

PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT

To plan for efficient, effective, safe equitable and reliable transportation systems, the City of DeFuniak Springs must have the input of its public.  The city spends extensive staff and financial resources in furtherance of this goal and strongly encourages the participation of the entire community.  The city holds many transportation meetings, workshops and other events designed to gather public input on project planning and construction.  Further, the city attends and participates in other community events to promote its services to the public.  Finally, the city is constantly seeking ways of measuring the effectiveness of its public involvement.

Persons wishing to request special presentations by the city; volunteer in any of its activities or offer suggestions for improvement of county public involvement may contact:

Craig Drake
Assistant City Manager - Public Works Director
City of DeFuniak Springs
45 North Park Street
DeFuniak Springs, Florida  32433
(850) 892-8537
publicworks@defuniaksprings.net

DATA COLLECTION

Federal Highway Administration regulations require federal-aid recipients to collect racial, ethnic and other similar demographic data on beneficiaries of or those affected by transportation programs, services and activities.  The City of DeFuniak Springs accomplishes this using census data, American Community Survey reports, Environmental Screening Tools, driver and rider surveys, its community development department and other methods.  From time to time, the city may find it necessary to request voluntary identification of certain racial, ethnic or other data from those who participate in its public involvement events.  This information assists the city with improving its targeted outreach and measures of effectiveness.  Self-identification of personal data to the city will always be voluntary and anonymous.  Moreover, the city will not release or otherwise use this data in any manner inconsistent with the federal regulations.

ASSURANCES

Every three years, or commensurate with a change in city executive leadership, the City of DeFuniak Springs must certify to FHWA to FDOT that is programs, services and activities are being conducted in a nondiscriminatory manner.  These certifications are termed “assurances” for two important purposes.  First, they document the city’s commitment to nondiscrimination and equitable service to its community.  Second, they serve as a legally enforceable agreement by which the city may be held liable for breach.  The public may view the annual assurance on the city’s website or by visiting the city’s offices.

This policy is approved and adopted this 1st day of March 2018.