Los Fresnos News

Chamber of Commerce Provides Insight On ADA Compliance for Local Businesses


Continues to bring more Networking Opportunities

The Los Fresnos Area Chamber of Commerce held its second general meeting of the year and continues to deliver on its focus to bring more networking opportunities to its members.  At the Tuesday, February 24, 2015 general meeting, the feature presenter was Mr. Stanford Knowles of K+ Architects who provided insight into the history and many changes of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Knowles was well informed and prepared as he educated the attendees of the many updates and the need to comply with these updates in order to avoid being penalized.  The Americans with Disabilities Act applies to all who own, lease, lease to, or operate facilities such as beauty shops, restaurants, retail stores, motels, private schools, doctor’s offices, pharmacies, day care centers, fitness clubs and the list goes on.

After a review of the history of the ADA which began in 1990 during the Bush administration, Knowles cited numerous examples of compliance regulations.  One such example was that of deciding to change the carpet in a building, one might be tempted to just replace it with a carpet of personal choice but could actually put the facility out of compliance if the choice impedes the ability for someone disabled to access or maneuver around while inside the facility.

Knowles stressed the importance on soliciting a third party review from a certified source.  “The third party review backs you up when you’re open to a civil suit or a lawsuit by an individual, it shows you tried everything you could to be in compliance” said Knowles.  For more information about ADA compliance for you facility go to www.ada.gov.  Also speaking at the meeting was Hank Perkins of the Lower Rio Grande Valley Hispanic chamber of Commerce.  Perkins spoke about Statement of Qualifications (SOQ), both the State and Federal Governments are constantly looking to out-source their needs to local businesses wherever they can find them and a business must have a Statement of Qualifications.

This is the document that governmental buyers ask for, when they first meet local businesses to become potential new partners.  “The SOQ is basically your resume for working with government contracts” said Perkins.  He also extended an invitation for business owners and leaders to attend the South Texas Business Opportunity Forum slated for March 11, 2015 at the UTRGV Brownsville Campus on One West University Blvd.  To RSVP for the Forum contact (956)665-8931 or for more information on SOQ for government contracts contact Hank Perkins at (956)493-5201.