Making sure that a business is accessible to all members of the public, including those with disabilities, can be challenging in California.
One way to ensure a business is in compliance with the various construction-related accessibility standards and to minimize the threat of litigation for technical violations is to obtain an inspection from a Certified Access Specialist (CASp).
A CASp is an individual who has been tested and certified by the Division of the State Architect on his or her knowledge of complex, construction-related accessibility standards and how those standards should be applied. A CASp will know which standards apply to a specific building based upon the age of the facility and its history of improvements. A CASp also can help put together an action plan for any changes needed to bring the building into compliance.
In addition, a CASp inspection can help the business limit its financial liability if it becomes the subject of an accessibility-related lawsuit.
The cost of an inspection can vary. A business can find a CASp that provides services in a particular area on the Division of the State Architect website, www.dgs.ca.gov/dsa. Those who are available for inspections will have a “Yes” in the “Do Inspections?” column.
Additional information and answers to questions regarding CASp services, inspections, and inspection reports can be found in the “For Business Owners, Property Owners, and Consumers” section of the Division of the State Architect CASp Web page.
Or, a business may contact Ida Clair with the Division of the State Architect at Ida.Clair@dgs.ca.gov, (916) 322-2490.
The Department of Rehabilitation website has additional information on accessibility requirements in a video series titled “Boost Your Business.” The California Commission on Disability Access (www.ccda.ca.gov) also has information on its website regarding how to protect your business.