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Ripon sets workshop on ADA tonight

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POSTED June 11, 2014 1:41 a.m.

Threats of lawsuits focused at Ripon businesses that are allegedly violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is the subject of a Ripon Chamber of Commerce workshop tonight from 5 until 7 p.m. in the city council chambers.

Federal and state representatives will be on hand to advise local merchants and professionals on ways to rebuff what they see as threats that might force them to shutter their shops. 

The workshop will address how to become ADA compliant and what a business owner can do while becoming compliant to help prevent having a lawsuit filed against their business.

Ripon Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tamra Spade said her office has received many calls from area business owners concerned with the thought of a pending lawsuit. 

“You might start to notice the ‘no public restroom’ signs going up in merchants’ windows,” she said. 

Ripon has already had a couple of businesses hit with demand letters and actual ADA lawsuits, she noted.

The workshop was planned on short notice as the chamber felt it was important to address the concerns now rather than putting it off to a later date. Manteca has been hit with more than 20 ADA suits to date.

“We don’t want that to happen to the businesses here in Ripon,” she said. “Please join us and help us help educate and prevent this from happening to one of our Ripon merchants.”

Possible questions merchants and business professionals might ask include:

• What is ADA and how does it affect me?

• How do I know if I am ADA compliant?

• How do I become ADA compliant?

• Are there tax incentives for ADA improvements?

• If I don’t own my building am I responsible for ADA improvements?

• My building is old. Is it grandfathered in?

The speakers planning to attend include George Sharp with the Disability Resource Agency for Independent Living along with a representative from the Department of General Services; Tom Vermeulen, noted Ripon CPA; and Tom Scott representing California Against Lawsuit Abuse.

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