Federal compliance for transit - Title VI/ADA

The Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a federal law that protects individuals and groups from discrimination on the basis of race, color and national origin in programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance. Specifically, 42 USC 2000d states:

"No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities. Specifically, 49 CFR Part 37.5(a) states:

“No entity shall discriminate against an individual with a disability in connection with the provision of transportation service.”


Title VI prohibits WisDOT and entities that receive federal funds via WisDOT from discriminating against the public based on race, color, or national origin. ADA prohibits WisDOT and entities that receive federal funds via WisDOT from discriminating against the public based on disability. Other federal non-discrimination legal authorities add protections based on age, sex, and low-income status.

Any entity that receives federal funding from WisDOT for its transportation service, program, or activities, must comply with Title VI and ADA requirements. Moreover, when an agency or unit of government accepts federal funds, all its programs and activities are subject to Title VI and ADA requirements, regardless of their funding source.

Title VI/ADA requirements include:

  • ​Ensuring the level and quality of services is provided in a nondiscriminatory manner.
  • Making transportation decisions without regard to race, color, or national origin.
  • Ensuring meaningful access to transportation relat​ed programs for persons with limited-English proficiency.
  • Developing and implementing a Title VI/ADA/Nondiscrimination Plan. 



Filing a discrimination complaint​

​For more information or questions on filing a Title VI/ADA complaint to WisDOT​, contact:

Taqwanya Smith, Senior Title VI and ADA Coordinator
Office of Business Opportunity and Equity Compliance (OBOEC)
4822 Madison Yards Way, 5th Floor South
Madison, WI 53705
Telephone: (608) 266-8129
TTY: (800) 947-3529; WI Relay 7-1-1
Fax: (608) 267-3641
Email: taqwanya.smith@dot.wi.gov​


State requirements
Federal legal authorities
Federal guidance
Training links
Other helpful resources

WisDOT Compliance Manager​

Becky Soderholm
Wisconsin Department of Transportation
Bureau of Transit, Local Roads, Railroads and Harbors
(608) 266-1650