BY RICHARD K. De ATLEY | The Press-Enterprise
With increased lawsuits or notices of violations for Americans with Disabilities Act violations throughout Riverside, a March 6 seminar has been scheduled to address compliance issues.
Co-sponsored by the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce and State Sen. Richard Roth, the seminar will review the top 10 ADA compliance violations, and how businesses can bring their facilities into compliance.
Along with Roth, panelists will include Ida Clair, Division of the State Architect senior architect for the certified public access specialist program, and Kimberly Stone, president of the Civil Justice Association of California.
It also will review legislation aimed at businesses achieving access for the disabled while avoiding costly litigation, focusing on the state’s certified public access specialist program.
The program, established in 2003, is designed to offer businesses a compliance inspection and, if needed, provide a sample timeline schedule for curing possible violations.
“Businesses want to be in compliance, but they also need to know their rights,” said Cindy Roth, chief executive officer of the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce.
Riverside businesses have been hit recently with waves of either lawsuits or notices of ADA violations.
Roth said the most recent notices have been received by businesses in Magnolia Center, the Brockton Arcade, downtown Riverside, and the airport area.
Many of the merchants who were sued in 2014 owned or leased businesses in older downtown Riverside buildings. Aged structures are not exempt from compliance with ADA requirements for public business access.
The federal ADA became law in 1990 and has been enforceable since 1992; California instituted its own handicap access rules several years earlier.
“Being a historical city has great opportunity, but it comes with challenges,” Roth said.