Protect ADA progress
Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s introduction of a bill to lessen the impact of ADA for small businesses sounds on the surface to be a good thing. California faces the worst recession since the 1930s and to save small business, even a few dollars seems like a worthy cause.
I spend a considerable amount of time traveling around the country. I find significant difference in accessibility between the rest of the country and California. I am a wheelchair rider and accessibility is important to me.
In California, my expectation of accessibility even with small businesses is fulfilled about 90% of time. In other parts of the country, I am lucky if it is fulfilled 30% of the time. The reason is that in California, there is stricter enforcement of ADA.
We are an aging population and with aging, mobility issues emerge. Elders buy. Many times, the cost of accessibility is less than $1,000 and the use of common sense. Instead of creating new laws which may weaken ADA, let’s use existing organizations to help small business to become more accessible and keep ADA strong. Call your local Independent Living Center — they can help.
Richard O. Salsgiver