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ADA guidelines must be followed

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The front-page article regarding ADA compliance (Journal, Nov. 11) should have been on the editorial page. It appears to be an opinion piece and not an unbiased news article based on factual information. Why didn’t the author seek out the views of the disabled community which might have lent a bit of objectivity to the article? Here are just a few examples of the biased nature of the article: “predatory attorneys,” “potentially abusive,” a “poster” business for the drive to stamp out predatory legal actions.” The ADA has been on the books since July 26, 1990, when it was signed into law at a White House ceremony. Now, 21 years later, business owners who are and always have been legally required to comply with the law complain that they are being subjected to expensive lawsuits. Sure, there are attorneys out there who might be characterized as “predatory,” but to accuse them of being the problem is to ignore reality. The crux of the problem lies with those who think that a “wink and a nod” at the ADA is sufficient. Sorry, folks, there is simply no excuse for not complying with federal and state law. Strip away your personal beliefs, and the law is what remains as reality. The fact that compliance can be expensive is also no excuse. For tenant businesses, their failure to require their landlord in the lease to comply with applicable structure-related laws is their own fault; for landowner businesses, there is simply no basis to cry foul because there is no inherent right to own or operate a business in violation of the law. What makes more sense — hiring an expensive attorney to defend an ADA lawsuit, or spending that money on compliance? Mr. (U.S. Rep. Dan) Lungren’s point regarding notice and a list of perceived defects has some merit, but it clearly needs to be vetted by the disabled community. Bill Carnazzo, Foresthill