RON THORNBURGH
Secretary of State
image of the Kansas Secretary of State seal
STATE OF KANSAS
Memorial Hall, 1st Floor
120 SW 10th Avenue
Topeka, KS 66612-1594
(785) 296-4564
www.kssos.org


This ADA Self-Evaluation Report has been prepared by:

 

            The Kansas Secretary of State

            Memorial Hall

            120 SW 10th Avenue

            Topeka, Kansas 66612

            (785) 296-4564

 

DIVISION LISTING

 

 

The following summary identifies each agency division, the contact person for the division, and the dates of the initial Self-Evaluation and subsequent reviews of the Self-Evaluation.

 

 

Division:                                 Administration

Liaison:                                   Kathy Sachs, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State

Self-Evaluation Dates:

            Employment:              June 11, 1993; Reviewed January 1, 1994; Revised Sept. 2004

            Nondiscrimination:     June 11, 1993; Reviewed March 1, 1994; Revised September 2004

            Communications:       June 11, 1993; Reviewed May 1, 1994; Revised September 2004

            Facilities:                    June 11, 1993; Updated September 25, 2000

 

 

Division:                                 Business Services – Corporations and Uniform Commercial Code

Liaison:                                   Stephanie Mickelsen, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State

Self-Evaluation Dates:

            Employment:              June 11, 1993; Reviewed January 1, 1994; Revised Sept. 2004

            Nondiscrimination:     June 11, 1993; Reviewed March 1, 1994; Revised September 2004

            Communications:       June 11, 1993; Reviewed May 1, 1994; Revised September 2004

            Facilities:                    June 11, 1993; Updated September 25, 2000

 

 

Division:                                 Elections and Legislative Matters

Liaison:                                   Brad Bryant, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State

Self-Evaluation Dates:

            Employment:              June 11, 1993; Reviewed January 1, 1994; Revised Sept. 2004

            Nondiscrimination:     June 11, 1993; Reviewed March 1, 1994; Revised September 2004

            Communications:       June 11, 1993; Reviewed May 1, 1994; Revised September 2004

            Facilities:                    June 11, 1993; Updated September 25, 2000

                       


LISTING OF PROGRAMS, SERVICES AND ACTIVITIES BY DIVISION

 

 

Administration

 

1.      Human Resources Department

2.      Legal Department

3.      Publication of the Kansas Register, Administrative Regulations, and session laws

4.      Information Technology Department

5.      Notary Commissions, Apostilles, and Authentications

6.      Service of Process

7.      Audits of Prearranged Funeral Agreements, Merchandise Funds and Cemetery Permanent Maintenance Funds

8.      Registration of Athlete Agents

9.      Registration of Business Agents

10.  Labor Union Annual Reports

11.  Filing oaths of office, charter ordinances, watershed and drainage districts, and other miscellaneous public records

 

Business Services – Business Entities and Uniform Commercial Code

 

1.      Business entity formation filings

2.      Annual report and franchise fee filings

3.      Business filings subsequent to formation (i.e. amendments, dissolutions, cancellations, withdrawals, reinstatements, mergers/consolidations, etc.)

4.      Miscellaneous business filings (i.e. consent to jurisdiction, discount health care card suppliers, designation of service agent, certificates of correction, warehouse bonds, name reservations, etc.)

5.      Copy and information services (i.e. certificates of good standing, certificates of business history, certificates of fact, letters of good standing, etc.)

6.      Registration of trademarks, service marks, and insignia

7.      Filings for charitable organizations, and professional fund raisers and solicitors

8.      Uniform Commercial Code filings (i.e. financing statements, amendments, continuations, terminations, etc.)

9.      Uniform Commercial Code searches

 

Elections and Legislative Matters

 

1.      Central voter registration records

2.      Election laws, standards, and statistics

3.      Law book and flag sales

4.      Candidate and lobbyist filings

5.      Voting machine certification

6.      Census adjustment


Individuals Participating in the Self-Evaluation Update of May, 2004

 

            Melissa Wangemann ……………………………….. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State,

                                                                                                    Legal Counsel and ADA

                                                                                                     Coordinator

 

            Stephanie Mickelsen ………………………………..  Deputy Assistant Secretary of State

 

            Brad Bryant …………………………………………  Deputy Assistant Secretary of State

 

            Kathy Sachs …………………………………………  Deputy Assistant Secretary of State

 

            Nancy Bryant …………………………………………Chief of Staff

           

Jesse Borjon …………………………………………  Director of Communications

 

            Jackie Barnes ………………………………………… Administrative Assistant

 

            Mike Brassel ………………………………………… Human Resources Officer

 

            Anthony Fadale ……………………………………..  Statewide ADA Coordinator

                                                                                                   Kansas Dept. of Administration

 

 

 

 

 

 

Participation of Individuals Representing Persons with Disabilities

 

            The following individuals and groups have been contacted or were available to provide information and guidance on ADA compliance issues. 

 

            Kansas Department of Administration, Statewide ADA Coordinator

            Kansas Commission on Disability Concerns

 


ALL FACILITIES OR LOCATIONS WHERE PROGRAMS, SERVICES AND ACTIVITIES ARE CONDUCTED ON A REGULAR OR INCIDENTAL BASIS

 

            Kansas Secretary of State’s office, 120 SW 10th Avenue, Topeka, Kansas 66612

 

Description of Programs, Services and Activities by Division

 

Administration

 

            The Administration division provides operating services for the entire office including legal support, human resources, and information technology.  Additionally, this division prepares and publishes the Kansas Register, Kansas Administrative Regulations, and session laws and accepts various filings including watershed and drainage districts, oaths of office, business and athlete agents, and notary applications.  The division is also the resident agent for service of process under prescribed circumstances.

 

Business Services

 

            The Business Services division consists of three departments: 1) business entities, 2) uniform commercial code, and 3) the agency’s customer service center.  The business entities department files and maintains records of corporations, limited liability companies, limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships, general partnerships, business trusts, and issues certificates of authority to foreign entities doing business in Kansas.  Additionally, the business entities department files and maintains subsequent documents related to mergers, consolidations, dissolutions, cancellations, withdrawals, and annual reports.  Finally, the business entities department files and maintains trademarks, service marks and insignia registrations, as well as charitable organizations, and professional fund raisers and solicitors.

 

            The uniform commercial code department files financing statements and subsequent related filings.  This department also maintains an extensive database of recorded documents and provides searches of that database for debtors and creditors to determine their respective property interests. 

 

The agency’s customer service center answers approximately 400 telephone inquiries daily covering a wide variety topics related to the programs, services and activities of the Kansas Secretary of State’s office.

 

Elections and Legislative Matters

 

            The Elections and Legislative Matters division assists local election officers with all national and state elections.  This division files and maintains national and state candidate filings, campaign receipts and expenditure reports for state candidates, and financial disclosure statements for state officers and certain state employees.  Additionally, the Elections and Legislative Matters division sells and distributes the Kansas Statutes Annotated, the Kansas Administrative Regulations, session laws, house and senate journals, and Kansas state flags.  The division also registers lobbyists and files their expenditure reports.


EQUAL OPPORTUNITY TO PARTICIPATE AND BENEFIT

 

            The Kansas Secretary of State assures that no qualified individual with a disability is denied access or an opportunity to participate in, or benefit from, any program, service or activity provided by the agency.  Opportunities for qualified individuals with disabilities to participate or benefit in the programs, services or activities of this agency are equal or equally as effective as those provided to others.  The Kansas Secretary of State does not impose eligibility criteria for access or participation in any of its programs, services or activities that would, directly or indirectly, prohibit qualified individuals with disabilities from participating.  There are no circumstances in which a qualified individual with a disability would be prohibited from participation in, or required to pay a fee or meet any other requirement not imposed upon any other participant in, any program, service or activity provided by the Kansas Secretary of State. The Secretary of State’s office intends to offer this policy both to the public through its website and to its employees through the office’s employee handbook. 


REASONABLE PROGRAM, SERVICE OR ACTIVITY MODIFICATIONS

 

            The Kansas Secretary of State has made and will continue to make reasonable modifications to policies and practices related to programs, services and activities provided by the agency in order to prevent discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities.

 

MODIFICATIONS FOR CUSTOMERS VISITING OUR OFFICE

 

The staff at the Kansas Secretary of State’s office will make accommodations or modifications in the agency’s policies and practices to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to participate in, and benefit from, the programs, services and activities provided.  The Secretary of State’s office intends to include a description of this policy in the employee handbook.

 

MODIFICATIONS FOR PARTICIPANTS IN A PUBLIC MEETING

 

            The public is informed that the Kansas Secretary of State is prepared to make reasonable modifications to its programs, services and activities, so qualified individuals with disabilities are able to participate in the programs, services and activities in a manner equally as effective as those provided to others.  Notices of public meetings are distributed statewide to media contacts provided by the Kansas Press Association and the Kansas Broadcasters Association.  Listed below is a sampling of the major media outlets that receive these notices:

 

                        Topeka Capital Journal                         Olathe Daily News

                        KMAJ AM/FM                                    Kansas Public Radio

                        KAKE TV 10 Wichita                          KSNT – 27

                        WIBW 13 – TV/Radio                         Mid America News Network

                        Topeka Metro News                            Wichita Eagle – Capital

                        K.C. Star – Capital                               Lawrence Journal World                      

 

            The notices of public meetings include the following statement:

 

Any individual with a disability may request accommodation in order to participate in, or benefit from, the public meeting.  Requests for accommodation should be made in advance of the public meeting by contacting the Kansas Secretary of State’s office at (785) 291-3603 (Voice) or 1-800-262-8683 (TTD/TTY).

 


MODIFICATIONS FOR EMPLOYEES AND POTENTIAL EMPLOYEES

           

The Secretary of State’s office has an official procedure through which a potential employee can request a modification to ensure his or her participation in the employment application process. Employment applications include the following statement:

 

ACCOMMODATIONS NOTICE

 

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ensures you the right of reasonable accommodations.  A request for an accommodation will not affect your opportunities for employment with the Secretary of State’s office.  Arrangements will be made if you have a disability that requires an accommodation for completing an application form, interviewing or any other part of the employment process.  It is your responsibility to make your needs known to our office.  Please contact us at (785) 291-3603 (Voice) or 1-800-262-8683 (TTD/TTY).

 

            The Secretary of State’s office does not have a written policy outlining the procedure by which a current employee can request an accommodation.  However, there is an informal understanding that the Secretary of State will make reasonable modifications to accommodate current employees if it does not impose an “undue hardship.”  The Secretary of State plans to develop an official procedure and include it in the employee handbook. 

 

EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES

 

The Kansas Secretary of State’s office does not discriminate against individuals with disabilities in its employment practices.  The employee handbook includes the following statement:

 

The office of the Secretary of State is committed to a philosophy of equal opportunity for employment.  No employee shall be denied access to equal opportunity in personnel actions on the basis of age, race, color, sex, religion, disability or national origin. 

 

The Kansas Secretary of State is dedicated to providing reasonable accommodations in order to ensure that employees with disabilities enjoy the "benefits and privileges of employment" equal to those enjoyed by similarly-situated employees without disabilities. 

 

The Kansas Secretary of State utilizes nondiscriminatory employment selection criteria that measure an applicant’s and employee’s job skills rather than the person’s hearing, visual, speaking or manual skills when both hiring employees and considering employees for promotion.  Additionally, the Secretary of State’s employment application is available online, which is accessible through the utilization of screen reader programs.


PROCESS FOR RESPONDING TO REQUESTS FOR ACCOMMODATION

 

            The current process for responding to requests for accommodation is both formal and informal.  Notice of public meetings and employment applications provide information on the formal process for requesting an accommodation.  At public events, qualified individuals with disabilities may request an accommodation by contacting the Kansas Secretary of State’s representative responsible for the event.

 

            When requests for accommodation are made, the Kansas Secretary of State determines whether the accommodation would fundamentally alter the nature of the program, service or activity, or create an undue financial or administrative burden.  Requests for accommodation are reviewed by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the division impacted or the Chief of Staff if the request is employment-related, and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Legal Counsel and ADA Coordinator for the Kansas Secretary of State.  Recommendations for feasibility are properly and expeditiously made to the Kansas Secretary of State.

 

            The Secretary of State’s office does not have a written policy explaining this procedure or how long a decision regarding an accommodation request will take.  The Secretary of State intends to include an explanation of this policy both in the employee handbook on the Secretary of State’s website.  

 


INTEGRATED SETTINGS AND SEPARATE PROGRAMS, SERVICES OR ACTIVITIES

 

            The Kansas Secretary of State is committed to the practice of making its programs, services and activities available to qualified individuals with disabilities in the most integrated settings possible.  Separate programs, services or activities are permitted only when necessary to ensure equal opportunity and access.  If and when separate programs are provided, qualified individuals with disabilities are not prevented from participating in the program, service or activity provided to others.

 

            The Kansas Secretary of State does not have a policy or practice of providing separate programs, services or activities for qualified individuals with disabilities.  There are no circumstances in which a qualified individual with a disability is prohibited from participating in a program, service or activity provided to others because a separate program, service or activity is provided to qualified individuals with disabilities.


ADA TITLE II COMPLAINT PROCESS

 

            Upon receipt of a Title II complaint or grievance pertaining to non-compliance with the ADA, the Kansas Secretary of State:

 

1.      Immediately provides the Kansas Secretary of State ADA Coordinator with the complaint or grievance.

 

2.      The Kansas Secretary of State ADA Coordinator reviews the complaint or grievance with the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the department impacted or the Chief of Staff and seeks to resolve the matter within 30 days.

 

3.      If necessary the Kansas Secretary of State will seek the assistance of the Kansas Statewide ADA Coordinator, the Kansas Attorney General, the United States Attorney General’s office, or any combination thereof, to reach a mutually agreeable resolution of the matter in compliance with the ADA.

 

Although this complaint process is strictly followed, it is not officially presented to the public.  The Secretary of State’s office will provide this complaint process to the public on its website.


RECORDKEEPING

 

            The Self-Evaluation Report and any related transition plan are maintained by the Kansas Secretary of State ADA Coordinator for at least three (3) years.

 

CONTRACTING WITH EXTERNAL ORGANIZATIONS

 

            The Kansas Secretary of State assumes the responsibility of ensuring that all external organizations that provide programs, services or activities for the agency comply with Title II of the ADA.  Currently, there are no programs, services or activities of the agency provided by external organizations.

 

PROCUREMENT CONTRACTS

 

            The Kansas Secretary of State follows the established state purchasing and procurement procedures.  The Kansas Secretary of State has an arrangement with the Information Network of Kansas (INK), a quasi-governmental entity that allows individuals access to certain programs, services and activities.  The Secretary of State also has a contract with Election Systems and Software, which is developing a Central Voter Registration database for the election department.  In selecting procurement contractors, the Kansas Secretary of State does not discriminate on the basis of disability.  There are no circumstances in which a consideration related to disability would influence the choice of a procurement contractor.

 

 

LICENSING AND CERTIFICATION

 

            The Kansas Secretary of State does not license or certify any entity to provide any agency programs, services or activities.  The agency does register business agents, athlete agents, professional fund raisers, professional solicitors, notary publics, and charitable organizations.  There are no circumstances in which a consideration related to a disability would influence the issuance of a certificate or registration.

           


COMMUNICATIONS

 

            The Kansas Secretary of State’s programs, services and activities involve the dissemination of information visually, aurally, and orally.  Many of the programs, services and activities of the agency require telephone communication with public and business constituents.  The Kansas Secretary of State does not provide emergency services.

 

            Information regarding the availability and location of accessible programs, services and activities may be obtained by: 1) contacting the agency customer service center, agency ADA Coordinator or agency Human Resources Officer, 2) agency brochures and newsletters, and 3) the agency’s website.

 

VISUAL

 

            The following list identifies information that is visually presented.  Auxiliary aids currently available and those that may be possible in the future or upon request are listed.

 

1.      Brochures

Auxiliary Aid: Qualified Reader, CD, Braille upon request

 

2.      Forms

Auxiliary Aid: Qualified Reader, web page form accessible by screen reader

 

3.      Employee Handbook

Auxiliary Aid: Qualified Reader, CD

 

4.      Newsletter

Auxiliary Aid: Qualified Reader, CD, Braille upon request

 

5.      Visual Displays

Auxiliary Aid: Qualified Reader, CD, Braille upon request

 

6.      Publications

Auxiliary Aid: CD

 

7.      Employment Applications

Auxiliary Aid: Qualified Reader, web page form accessible by screen reader

 

8.      Meeting Minutes and Agenda

Auxiliary Aid: Qualified Reader, CD, Braille upon request

 

9.      Policies and Procedures

Auxiliary Aid: Qualified Reader, CD, Braille upon request

 

10.  Internet Website

Auxiliary Aid: Accessible by screen reader

AURAL OR ORAL

 

1.      Telephone

Auxiliary Aid: TDD

 

2.      Job Interviews

Auxiliary Aid: A reasonable accommodation as requested by applicant

 

3.      Agency Meetings

Auxiliary Aid: Sign language upon request

Possible Aids: Materials on CD

 

4.      General Interoffice Communication

Auxiliary Aid: Written communication between employees

 

TELEPHONIC

 

            The Kansas Secretary of State communicates with the public and vendors as well as other state agencies by telephone covering a wide variety of programs, services and activities involving every division within the agency.  Public information communication covers business entity, filings, notaries, summons, elections as well as job information.  The agency communicates with vendors and other agencies on a daily basis covering service and supply matters.

 

The agency has one TDD machine located in the Elections Division.  The Secretary of State is evaluating whether additional TDD machines may be appropriate for the customer service area and the human resources department.  Updated training of personnel regarding the use of TDD machines is also needed. 
 WEBSITE ACCESSIBILITY

 

The Secretary of State’s office’s goal is to ensure that its website, www.kssos.org, is both accessible and technologically innovative.  The website provides links to demos of screen reader programs. 

 

The Secretary of State’s Information Technology (IT) Department is dedicated to improving the accessibility of the agency’s website. The IT Department attends many events that provide suggestions and assistance on how to make a website more accessible to individuals with a disability.  The IT Department also maintains contact with the State of Kansas ADA Coordinator to periodically evaluate the website’s accessibility.    The IT Department continues to implement new accessibility measures in order to continually improve the Secretary of State’s website.  Following is the IT Department’s official policy regarding the accessibility of www.kssos.org:

 

KSSOS.org developers have been advised to use the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines for the State of Kansas Version 3.0 (WCAG) by the Web Accessibility Subcommittee of the State of Kansas.  The State of Kansas guidelines are based in part on the work of the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and their Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 (WCAG 1.0).  They also encompass the rules for Web-based intranet and Internet information and applications required of federal departments and agencies (and others as applicable) by section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. 794d). KSSOS.org strives to meet the highest level (Priority 3) of the WCAG guidelines.

 

In order to satisfy many of the accessibility guidelines, KSSOS.org uses version HTML 4.01 Transitional along with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).   KSSOS.org also offers a text-only site that is updated and developed concurrently with our main site to provide an alternative page solution to assisted technology users and our dial-up modem users.  New technologies and techniques to advance the accessibility of KSSOS.org for all users will be implemented as they are identified by our development staff.

 

Our intent is to provide clear accessible content to all of our Web users while trying to maintain a unique environment and Web experience.       


PRIMARY CONSIDERATION FOR AUXILIARY AIDS

 

            The Kansas Secretary of State provides qualified individuals with disabilities the opportunity to request the type of communication technology and assistance that best meets their access needs to agency information.  The agency’s programs, services and activities:

 

1.      Inform qualified individuals with disabilities that communication aids or services are available upon request.

 

2.      Provide a procedure for consideration of the preferred aid or service a qualified individual with a disability requests.

 

3.      Provide a procedure for determining the appropriate auxiliary aid or service.

 

4.      Provide a mechanism to determine the effectiveness of alternative means of communication when the requested aid or service is unavailable.

 

The Kansas Secretary of State currently informs the public through news releases that auxiliary aids are available upon request to assist qualified individuals with disabilities who wish to attend public meetings.  The Secretary of State’s office is also considering adding a new section to its website, which will inform the public about available auxiliary aids and how to request them. 

 

            The informal policy of the Kansas Secretary of State is to provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities with a preference given to the individual’s requested aid or service.  If the requested accommodation is not readily available, then a mutually acceptable aid or service is provided.  The Secretary of State’s office is considering explaining this policy more fully in both its employee handbook and on its website.

 

SECURING SERVICES FOR AUXILIARY AIDS

 

            As demonstrated above, the Secretary of State will provide auxiliary aids to a qualified person with a disability if a request is made.  However, the Secretary of State’s office does not have an official method for obtaining these services.  The Secretary of State plans to develop an official written policy for obtaining these services.  This new policy will be included in the employee handbook.  The new policy will include guidance on where Secretary of State employees can obtain the services of an interpreter or other auxiliary aids. 

 


TRAINING FOR EMPLOYEES

 

Although there is an informal policy that the Secretary of State’s office will make reasonable accommodations to services, programs, or activities, there is no formal statement of this policy.  Currently, the Secretary of State’s new employee orientation includes a training session entitled “It’s About Respect.”  This training session includes a section about the importance of respecting individuals with disabilities.    

 

Employees throughout the Secretary of State’s office are sensitive to the needs of individuals with disabilities.  Still, the Secretary of State’s office intends to create a more formal policy, including adding its policies to the employee handbook and holding sensitivity and diversity training sessions for its employees.  Through these training sessions, the Secretary of State will ensure that its employees are familiar with the office’s policies and practices for the full participation of individuals with disabilities.

 

EMERGENCY WARNING AND EVACUATION

           

The Kansas Secretary of State has an established policy and procedure for emergency evacuation of the agency’s offices and building.  Emergency evacuation routes are posted at all exists and interior hallways. Evacuation procedures are reviewed at least annually by management, and evacuation drills are conducted regularly.

 

            Emergency evacuation procedures of the Kansas Secretary of State ensure that qualified individuals with disabilities are aware of emergency situations and exit procedures.  The alarms in the facility include both audible and visual signals and are located throughout the facility ensuring that all divisions are properly alerted in the event of an emergency.  Each division has arranged a “buddy” system to ensure qualified individuals with disabilities are promptly evacuated in emergency situations.  Division supervisors are required to remain until all staff and public have been safely evacuated.  Staff members receive emergency evacuation training including procedures for the evacuation of qualified individuals with disabilities.  The evacuation procedures are also included in the Secretary of State’s employee handbook.

 


EVALUATION SUMMARY

 

·        The Kansas Secretary of State has designated an ADA Coordinator, Melissa Wangemann, to oversee its compliance with the ADA

·        The Kansas Secretary of State has a grievance procedure in place.

·        Programs, services and activities offered to the public by the office are provided in integrated settings, as recommended by the ADA.

·        Participation in the office’s programs, services, and activities are offered to all individuals on an equal basis.

·        There is an informal policy that the Kansas Secretary of State’s employees will provide reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities. 

 

RECOMMENDATIONS

 

·        Improve communication accessibility by installing additional text telephones (TTYs/TTDs) in the customer service area, which receives a high volume of calls, and possibly an additional unit in the human resources department.

·        Provide diversity and sensitivity training to employees, including a session outlining the office’s policies.

·        Create a “Disability Etiquette Handbook” to supplement the Secretary of State’s employee’s diversity training.

·        Develop an official procedure for providing auxiliary aids and services.  This procedure will guide employees where they can obtain auxiliary aids, such as where to obtain a sign language interpreter or a Braille copy of a form. 

·        Provide the Kansas Secretary of State’s policies in written form to employees through the employee handbook and to the general public through the office’s website.