Clueless County of Humboldt holds ADA compliance seminar

Remember how the County of Humboldt has a dismal record when it comes to ADA compliance? You know, a record so bad that the U.S. Department of Justice issued a judgement against the County, mandating that they get their shit together and improve ADA access and services – only to have the County completely ignore the judgement.

Yeah, well, turns out that the big wigs in the County lack any and all self-awareness or sense of irony.

This past Wednesday, the County held a no-cost seminar aimed at “educating” contractors and property managers about ADA requirements and compliance.

From the County website:

“Topics of the training will include:

  • Accessories and clearances
  • Adjusting door closures and automatic door openers
  • Aisle/corridor widths
  • Door maneuvering clearances
  • Furniture and fixtures
  • Mounting heights/reach heights
  • Parking signage, striping and parking stalls
  • Path of travel, minor concrete work, grinding, and asphalt to include parking lots and sidewalks
  • Protruding objects
  • Ramps and stairs
  • Restrooms
  • Signage
  • Terminology”

Unfortunately, the County appears to have forgotten the most valuable topic that potential attendees would need to hear about – how to avoid being complete f***-ups like the County, who have simultaneously failed to serve and accommodate the County’s disabled and also put the entire County at risk of a massive financial penalty thanks to their complete dismissal of the U.S. Department of Justice. (Which, as a rule, really doesn’t like to be ignored.)

Unfortunately for those who attended the seminar, the no-cost training may lead lead to some extremely costly lawsuits or revamps if they’re relying on the County’s advice about compliance.

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3 Responses to Clueless County of Humboldt holds ADA compliance seminar

  1. Ken d says:

    “Competent government” for the most part, is a oxymoron. They do have the benefit and retirement situation down, however.


  2. Lynn Mae says:

    There are people who make it a profession, doing drive bys to see a place that has an obvious ADA non-compliant situation. They make a note of the place, continue on driving in the neighborhood, then the ones they’re going to target they’ll do a walk by. then go home/back to the office and write up the lawsuits.
    Three senators proposed a bill to limit the scope of ADA lawsuits and it was signed into law in April of 2016.
    Here’s an article about the bill, what it covers, what it doesn’t, and there’s a link to the full text of the bill in the story:

    ” Lawmakers said the ADA reforms will allow business owners to address minor violations such as weathered or missing parking lines, sidewalks painted the wrong color or missing signage. These minor violations can draw a minimum $4,000 fine and most ADA lawsuits allege multiple violations.
    California has become a breeding ground for ADA lawsuits since the act was signed in 1990, with an estimated 40 percent of all ADA cases nationwide filed in the Golden State. Serial litigants such as Robert McCarthy and Scott Johnson have filed thousands of lawsuits against California businesses.
    Johnson, who is paralyzed, has already filed more than 80 ADA lawsuits in California Federal Courts in 2016.
    The National Federation of Independent Businesses said it hopes SB 269 will minimize “shakedown lawsuits” and allow small businesses the chance to fix minor violations.
    “California’s legal climate remains one of the highest costs of doing business in this state, and SB 269 moves the needle in the right direction,” federation director Tom Scott said in statement. “While this bill does not completely fix California’s hostile legal climate, hopefully it helps to move us away from being annually ranked the number one judicial hellhole in the nation by the American Tort Reform Association.”

    I’ve copied some of the text so those who don’t want to click through can read how serious the situation is. Perhaps it represents a solution to unemployment in Humboldt County. File an ADA lawsuit and wait for the money to pour in. And for those with a conscience, let them go after government offenders first.

    I hope you can wake up the people who would be hurt the most; the small businesses that trying to fight a lawsuit would force them to close their business. That why this bill was drawn up. Several well-known local restaurants with a long history ot taking good care of the locals (San Joaquin Valley) had to close because the cost to fight the lawsuit would have bankrupted them anyway.

    There is one funny side to this. If a local grower wants to invite tourists to ‘see the real thing’, well they’ll have to make everything ADA compliant…
    I am curious. Do the people who approve new construction (or changes) verify as to the ADA compliancy? If not, why not?
    I know, too many questions.


  3. Meebee says:

    Public facilities need to provide access to all citizens. It is too bad that it takes litigation to ensure compliance. Stop blaming the lawyers and instead blame the businesses, agencies and Local governments that blow off the requirement. With that said, I can tell by the language used by County officials that they will be seeking CDBG funds for the removal of current barriers. So what is the proposed ACTUAL cost to the County?


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