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Don’t allow your property to get sued for lack of Disability Access. One small barrier for an individual living in a wheelchair can lead to a costly law suit.
What is ADA Access? Often also referred to as “Disability Access” or “Handicap Access” by others, ADA Access is short for Americans with Disabilities ACT which was passed in 1990. The main purpose of handicap accessibility is to require commercial facilities as well as public accommodations to become accessible to individuals with disabilities. “Disability Access Inspection” is when a commercial property hires a professional Certified Access Specialist / CASP before they are taken to court for lack disability access to the general public.
There are no grandfathering conditions in the act, which means buildings that were constructed prior to 1992 still have to comply and need to be made accessible and reviewed by an disability access specialist.
Our Pledge to You – we pledge to have been thoroughly tested on the Americans with Disability Act knowledge of the state of California and federal accessibility standards. With our inspection and report, in addition to inspecting / learning your facility’s accessibility status, you can receive legal benefits if taken to court for lack of access or other non-compliance status.
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CASp Videos and Information
Disability Access Specialists
Reviewing your property for lack of accessibility. Saving you thousands in potential lawsuits for lack of access for the handicap.
Performing an accessbility survey by a Certified Access Specialist.
Reviewing Your Property as Certified Access Specialists
We review all commercial and governmental properties for disability accessbility issues and DSA oversight. Hiring and competent firm is the first priority any new or existing property owner should consider. Mitigating any risk associated with disability access lawsuits should remain a priority until reviewed by a CASp Inspection company.
We provide you constructive counsel, clear processes and ongoing communication. We specialize in: DSA on-site, long inspections, access assessments, with clear plan for transitions. Our consultants are licensed and certified construction professionals who will understand the complexity of your project early and will counsel your team in advance of any challenges.
Reviewing Your Property as a Certified Access Specialist
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a CASp consulting company?
How do I find a CASp?
You may also consult with a CASp by contacting your local city or county building department; however, a CASp employed or retained by a local building department is only authorized to offer information regarding compliance to California construction-related accessibility standards, and not the ADA, and will usually only provide these services for new construction, additions, or alterations submitted for approval for permit.
What are the “qualified defendant;” status benefits?
- Reduced statutory damages (See “What is my potential liability if I am not in compliance?”; for more information
- 90-day stay of court proceeding and an early evaluation conference.
Additionally, an inspection by a CASp and following the schedule of improvements demonstrates the intent to be in compliance.
What is the Americans with Disabilities Act and how does it apply to my business or facility?
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) is federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination of individuals with disabilities and requires all facilities used by the public (public accommodations) to be accessible to individuals with disabilities. Since January 26, 1992, all new construction, additions and alterations are required to comply with the ADA standards. The ADA contains no “grandfathering” provisions. The “applicable construction-related accessibility standards” are based on the age of the facility and/or date of renovation(s):
- Facilities Built/Renovated Before January 26, 1992 Places of public accommodation constructed before this date are required to remove barriers if it is “readily achievable to do so” – a CASp can help make this determination.
- Facilities Built/Renovated Between January 26, 1992 and March 14, 2012 Places of public accommodation built during this time are required to be in compliance with the 1991 Americans with Disabilities Act Standards (1991 ADAS) or the equivalent provision in the building code in place at the time of construction or renovation. Additionally, barriers must be removed if it is readily achievable to do so.
- Facilities Built/Renovated after March 15, 2012 Places of public accommodation and commercial facilities built after this time must be built in compliance with the 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act Standards (2010 ADAS) and the standards of the building code in place at the time of construction or renovation.
In addition, accessible features are required to be maintained at your facility. Failure to come into compliance or maintain compliance leaves you vulnerable to having a discrimination claim filed against you by an individual that is denied access to your business or facility due to physical access barriers.
If my facility isn't compliant with the current building code, does that mean I have a violation?
Is there a grace-period for coming into compliance?
Who has responsibility for ADA compliance in leased places of public accommodation, the landlord or the tenant?
Landlords (lessors) are required to disclose on every lease form or rental agreement executed on or after July 1, 2013, whether the property being leased or rented has undergone inspection by a CASp, and, if so, whether the property has or has not been determined to meet all applicable construction-related accessibility standards.
Am I required by law to have an inspection by an ADA consultant?
What areas of my business will a Access Specialist inspect?
CASp reports are on public areas of your facility– not areas of your business accessible only to employees.
What should I look for in a written agreement for ADA consulting services?
- Define the public accommodation area of your facility being inspected.
- State that a CASp inspection report prepared according to the Construction-Related Accessibility Standards Compliance Act (CRASCA, Civil Code §55.51-55.545)
- State that a disability access inspection certificate will be provided.
- Include the CASp’s certification number and certification expiration date.
- Contain a place for both parties to sign the agreement.
What should I look for in a Access Inspection report?
For a site that “meets applicable standards” the inspection report shall contain the following information:
- An identification and description of the inspected structures and areas of the site.
- A signed and dated statement that, in the opinion of the CASp, the inspected structures and areas of the site meet construction-related accessibility standards. The statement shall clearly indicate whether the determination of the CASp includes an assessment of “readily achievable barrier removal.”
- If a determination of “meets applicable standards” was issued in a report after corrections were made as a result of a CASp inspection, then the report shall contain a signed and dated statement by the CASp that indicates such and includes an itemized list of all corrections and dates of completion.
For a site that is “inspected by a CASp” the inspection report shall contain the following information:
- An identification and description of the inspected structures and areas of the site.
- A signed and dated statement that, in the opinion of the CASp, the inspected structures and areas of the site need correction to meet construction-related accessibility standards. The statement shall clearly indicate whether the determination of the CASp includes an assessment of “readily achievable barrier removal.”
- An identification and description of the structures or areas of the site that need correction and the correction needed.
- A schedule of completion for each of the corrections within a reasonable timeframe.
The CASp may request that a schedule for corrections be provided by you and submitted to the CASp for inclusion in the inspection report, depending on the nature and extent of improvements, or may work with you in establishing a reasonable schedule for correction of violations. A schedule of corrections is required, however, in order for you to have “qualified defendant” status. If you are a business owner that has employs 50 or fewer employees average over the past three years, and you opt to correct within 120 days all violations that are listed in the CASp inspection report, the CASp may acknowledge in the report that you have opted for a 120-day schedule.
Along with your CASp inspection report you will receive from the CASp a disability access inspection certificate and a notice about the safekeeping of CASp inspection reports. It is important that you try your best to adhere to the reasonable schedule to demonstrate your desire to achieve compliance. If you adhere to your correction schedule and a claim is filed against you, you may be eligible for reduced liability for statutory damages. If you have opted to correct all violations listed in the report within the 120 from the inspection, you are eligible for a grace period from liability for minimum statutory damages if a claim is filed against you on the inspected area.
What is "readily achievable barrier removal?"
- Identification of barriers that prevent an individual from accessing goods and services at your business.
- The scope and cost of measures necessary to remove or mitigate the barriers.
- Careful examination of the overall financial resources of your business enterprise.
You may not want to release the above personal information to the CASp you hire, and many CASps may not be qualified to make such a thorough assessment of “readily achievable barrier removal;” therefore, a CASp may provide to you information on how a determination of “readily achievable barrier removal” is made in order for you to determine if an accessibility improvement is readily achievable. If you or your CASp determine that an accessibility improvement is not readily achievable, you will want to retain any documentation that substantiates this determination in your files, along with the CASp inspection report.
Will the CASp issue certification that my facility is compliant?
What is a Disability Access Inspection Certificate?
Business/facility owners should accept no other certificate offered by a CASp other than a Certificate purchased from the Division of the State Architect. Certificates are blue, sequentially numbered, and bear a golden State of California Seal. The Certificate number is recorded by the CASp in a record book maintained for that purpose and identifies that the certificate is issued in conjunction with a specific CASp inspection report.
You are not required to post the Certificate at the facility that was inspected, but you should have it readily available to offer it as proof that your facility has been inspected. If you do decide to post the Certificate, you may want to post a color copy and keep the original with the inspection report, as site conditions may cause the Certificate to fade or deteriorate. CASp inspection reports, however, should remain confidential and should only be disclosed after seeking the advice of an attorney.
I have a CASp inspection report and certificate. What should I do now?
If your CASp inspection report has a determination of “inspected by a CASp” you should strive to adhere to your schedule for improvements to come into compliance with applicable construction-related accessibility standards. Keep the CASp inspection report in your records. After improvements to come into compliance have been made to your property, you do not need to obtain a final inspection from a CASp in order to obtain or maintain “qualified defendant” status; however, you may elect to do so to ensure that improvements were made in compliance to the applicable standards. Most important, maintain the accessible features of your facility.
Can my CASp inspection report expire?
Do only renovations requiring a building permit need to be compliant?
Can a ADA consulting firm review my plans prior to construction?
If I receive demand letter prior to a lawsuit regarding an access violation, can a CASp still help me?
In the event you receive a construction-related accessibility lawsuit, a review by a CASp of the alleged violations can help determine the validity of the claim(s) and provide information on correcting them. An inspection performed after receiving a lawsuit will not provide you with protections as a “qualified defendant” in that lawsuit; however, an inspection will provide a schedule of improvements for the correction of any identified violations.
Ultimately, a CASp can inspect your property for compliance issues at any time. While hiring a CASp after a claim has been filed against you may not offer you legal benefits for the present claim, it can provide you with legal benefits on any future accessibility claim that may be filed against you. Having a CASp inspection and possession of a CASp inspection report prepared according to CRASCA will offer you the legal benefit of “qualified defendant” and may, if you are eligible, offer you a grace period from liability for statutory damages in any claims that occur while you are making improvements, and may reduce your liability from statutory damages for future claims that may be filed on the inspected area according to the DGA.CA.GOV website.
What are the specifications for Handicap Ramps?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides Wheelchair Ramp Specification, code and handicap access guidelines that most business are required to meet. Most residential applications (please see our residential or light duty commercial Pathway ADA wheelchair ramps) do not need to meet ADA code and ADA guidelines, but they are a good reference point for recommended ADA ramp slope and lengths. Most businesses, churches, schools and other organizations must be in compliance with ADA ramp specifications and ADA guidelines for handicapped wheelchair ramp slope access. Contact your local building inspector for additional ADA compliant ramp information.
ADA Ramp Specifications Require a 1:12 ramp slope ratio which equals 4.8 degrees slope or one foot of wheelchair ramp for each inch of rise. For instance, a 30 inch rise requires a 30 foot handicap wheelchair ramp.
ADA Guidelines Require a Minimum 5′ x 5′ Flat, unobstructed area at the top and bottom of the ramp.
ADA Standards Require wheelchair ramps to have a Minimum width of 36 inches of clear space across the wheelchair ramp. Massachusetts and California ADA code now require 48 inches ramp width to be an ADA compliant ramp.
ADA Code Compliance Require a Minimum Turn Platform size of 5′ x 5′. California ADA ramp code now requires a minimum 6 foot (in the direction of travel) platform size.
ADA Guidelines for Wheelchair Ramps allow a Maximum run of 30 feet of wheelchair ramp before a rest or turn platform.
ADA Ramp Guidelines Require ADA Ramp handrails that are between 34″ and 38″ in height on both sides of the wheelchair ramps.
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