Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Administrative and Service Environment (PA-ASE) 3: Accessibility and Accommodation

Service and administrative facilities are accessible and accommodate the needs of service recipients. 
2020 Edition




 The agency’s administrative and service environments are respectful, safe, and accessible and contribute to agency effectiveness.
Full Implementation, Outstanding Performance
A rating of (1) indicates that the agency's practices fully meet the standard and reflect a high level of capacity.  
  • All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, with rare or no exceptions: exceptions do not impact service quality or agency performance. 
Substantial Implementation, Good Performance
A rating of (2) indicates that an agency's infrastructure and practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement.
  • The majority of the standards requirements have been met and the basic framework required by the standard has been implemented. 
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality or agency performance.

Partial Implementation, Concerning Performance
A rating of (3) indicates that the agency's observed infrastructure and/or practices require significant improvement.  

  • The agency has not implemented the basic framework of the standard but instead has in place only part of this framework.  
  • Omissions or exceptions to the practices outlined in the standard occur regularly, or practices are implemented in a cursory or haphazard manner.  
  • Service quality or agency functioning may be compromised.  
  • Capacity is at a basic level.
Unsatisfactory Implementation or Performance
A rating of (4) indicates that implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all.  
  • The agency’s observed administration and management infrastructure and practices are weak or non-existent; or show signs of neglect, stagnation, or deterioration.
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
County/Municipality Administered Agency, State Administered Agency (Central Office), or other Public Entity 
  • Procedures for adapting programs and services to meet the needs of clients
State Administered Agency (Regional Office)
  • No Self-Study Evidence
No On-Site Evidence
All Agencies
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Agency leadership
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Persons served
  • Observe facility


PA-ASE 3.01

In planning the location and use of offices and branches, the agency considers:
  1. accessibility, availability, and affordability of public transportation; 
  2. location of other relevant community resources;  
  3. the special needs of the defined service population as well as the needs of persons with disabilities.
Note: Please see the Facility Observation Checklist for additional guidance on this standard.

Fundamental Practice

PA-ASE 3.02

The agency designs and adapts its programs and services, as appropriate, to accommodate the visual, auditory, linguistic, and motor abilities of persons served.


PA-ASE 3.03

The agency accommodates the written and oral communication needs of clients by:
  1. communicating, in writing and orally, in the languages of the major population groups served; 
  2. providing, or arranging for, bilingual personnel or translators or arranging for the use of communication technology, as needed;
  3. providing telephone amplification, sign language services, or other communication methods for deaf or hard of hearing persons;
  4. providing, or arranging for, communication assistance for persons with special needs who have difficulty making their service needs known; and
  5. considering the person's literacy level.
Examples: Examples of ways the agency can demonstrate standard implementation include, but are not limited to:
  1. providing basic program information in languages representative of consumer groups;
  2. proactively reaching out to ensure that all individuals can use its services and fully participate in planning;
  3. hiring sufficient numbers of bilingual personnel for all programs in which confidential interpersonal communication is necessary for adequate service delivery;
  4. ensuring there is a bilingual worker on staff for each language group large enough to comprise an average-sized caseload;
  5. offering trained translators or interpreters in non-counseling services when bilingual personnel are not available without depending upon children or other individuals unable to maintain the integrity of the client-provider relationship; and
  6. using assistive technology, such as amplification for deaf or hard of hearing persons or a language telephone line, when appropriate.