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News & Notes


Nifty-FiftyA resource for accommodations and modifications in California.  By requiring reasonable accommodations and modifications, the fair housing laws ensure that tenants with disabilities have the same access to housing as everyone else. California advocates, tenants, and landlords have created thousands of nifty and inexpensive solutions for tenants with disabilities. We are compiling 25 recent examples each of reasonable accommodations and modifications as a resource for housing providers, tenants, and advocates. Click here for more information:


Walk and Roll Santa Monica


Santa Monica is a city that is well-known for being disability-friendly. We have beach access paths that go to the water's edge, electric beach wheelchairs that can be borrowed for the day, assisted listening in a number of public buildings, and walk signals that talk to the blind. 

We are asking for the help of the community to continue to make Santa Monica a great place for residents and visitors to live and play. We are launching a campaign to make the entire city more pedestrian friendly for persons of all abilities. This not only helps people with mobility devices, but also people with strollers and personal shopping carts.

Did you know?

  1. Property owners are responsible for keeping the sidewalk in front of their homes and businesses clear of plants, debris, trash cans and automobiles
  2. How much of the sidewalk needs to be clear? At least a four-foot contiguous sidewalk width should be kept clear for pedestrian passage at all times. Some wheelchairs have wide wheel bases. Overgrown plants can scratch arms as persons walking or wheeling by. Individuals with walkers and mothers with strollers also need to be able to walk along sidewalks without having to go around obstacles into the street. Excessive leaves become slippery and a hazard when they are wet. 
  3. You can report cracked or broken sidewalks by calling 310-458-4991 or log onto the City of Santa Monica's Government Outreach Customer Service Center "GO Request".
  4. You can call parking control at 310-458-8466 if a vehicle is blocking a sidewalk.
  5. If needed, there is a flyer you can download from our website to inform a property owner of how he/she can help keep the sidewalk user-friendly.
  6. If the property owner doesn't respond to your request you can call Code Compliance at 310-458-4984 or download a complaint form. Let's all do our part to continue making Santa Monica a beautiful place to Walk and Roll!

Have you heard about Common Ground The Westside HIV Community Center free testing? Click here for more information!

Santa Monica's First Universally Accessible Playground

Accessible PlaygroundImagine children of all abilities playing side by side and socializing so that any stigma attached to disabilities melts away. Imagine this happening at a brand new playground with an ocean view. This is what the City of Santa Monica's first universally accessible playground brings to Santa Monica State Beach.


Santa Monica's First Universally Accessible Playground: South Beach Park Playground for kids of ALL abilities IS NOW OPEN!! 

The playground is located at 2600 Barnard Way (at Ashland)

Both the Disabilities Commission and Recreation & Parks Commission have been strong advocates for a universally accessible playground in Santa Monica. The Disabilities Commission had a "Let's Play" poster contest and the Winners and First Runners up had their posters displayed on the construction fence surrounding the site. Click here for City TV's feature on the celebration to commemorate the start of construction. 

For more on universally accessible playgrounds, visit

Santa Monica Awarded Nearly $500,000 for Transportation for Seniors & People with Disabilities

The City of Santa Monica has partnered with the Big Blue Bus, WISE & Healthy Aging and MV Transportation to secure $469,971 in Federal Transit Authority’s (FTA) New Freedom funding to expand the Santa Monica Dial-A-Ride’s (DAR) door-through-door services over three years. Door-through-door services provide an escort, upon advance request, to DAR riders who need help out of and back into the home or destination and with heavier items such as groceries. The City of Santa Monica is one of few municipalities across the country that funds door-through-door services. The FTA’s New Freedom funding will provide more hours and greater flexibility in scheduling escorted rides and meeting the transportation needs of seniors and people with disabilities. The increase in services will being in the Spring, 2013. 

DAR provides over 22,000 rides to Santa Monica residents annually, primarily through shared van curb-to-curb services. To qualify for the program, riders must be 18 years and older with a disability or an adult 60 years of age and older. For information about services for seniors please visit and

Americans with Disabilities Act! 

ADA LogoThe disability rights movement, begun in earnest after the Korean War, gained strength from the successes of the civil rights movements of the 1960s and early 70s. During this time, the rights of women and minorities were protected by three major pieces of civil rights legislation, but the first legislation protecting the rights of people with disabilities did not come until 1973 when the Rehabilitation Act was passed. For the first time, people with disabilities were considered a protected class. From this time, however, there were more sit-ins, roll-ins and marches publicizing the situation of people with disabilities because, although access was mandated under the Rehabilitation Act for any entity receiving federal money, almost no buses, courts, statehouses or other government buildings were accessible. People who used wheelchairs had to crawl or be carried up stairs to gain access. 

Additional legislation protecting the rights of people with disabilities was passed between 1975 and 1988, the year the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was introduced in Congress. It passed in 1990 and was signed into law on July 26, 1990. The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, housing, transportation, education, communication and access to public and most private facilities and programs.

Spotlight on Siobhan O., A Happy Camper 

Siobhan O. 140x187Summer camp is a rite of passage for youth. For children living with a disability, though, finding the right camp may be a daunting prospect. Siobhan O., who lives with a developmental disorder, and her family found themselves in this spot seven years ago when they found Camp Santa Monica. With the support of staff, a one-to-one aide and her communication board, Siobhan participates fully in all Camp Santa Monica activities, from field trips to the water park to swimming and games. This past summer she even had a part in the camp musical, making her marks with the help of cast mates, and also served as a volunteer assistant in the free lunch program.

In Siobhan's spare time, she loves to watch and ride trains and airplanes, spending time at Griffith Park's Travel Town and at LAX. She's also a big fan of Mexican food, using her communication board to order a soft beef taco "for here." Siobhan has made many friends through Camp Santa Monica where her communication skills have improved through interaction with her peers. This inclusive summer camp experience has also helped her develop social skills and strong community ties. Siobhan is truly one happy camper.

Last updated: 6/23/2016
City of Santa Monica © 2020

Notice of Non Discrimination:     PDF  |  AUDIO

ADA Section 504 Grievance:     PDF  |  AUDIO

Santa Monica welcomes people of all abilities. Have a suggestion to improve this website? Email us at
Accessible Santa Monica: A project of the Human Services Division of the Community & Cultural Services Department.