ACCESSIBILITY and CASp
The California Access Specialists program (CASp) was established by the State of California to certify professionals who fully understand accessibility issues and are knowledgeable of State and Federal accessibility laws and regulations and possess the expertise to promote access to buildings and facilities for persons with disabilities. Effctive January 1, 2014, the State of California Civil Code section 55.53(d) (1) requires all municipal jurisdictions to have a sufficient number of CASp certified Building Inspectors on staff or retainer. All commercial and multi-family projects must be plan-checked and inspected by a CASp inspector. In the last six years of certifying eligible applicants, the number of CASp certified Building Inspectors is still under two hundred.
W | A Associates offers plan check and inspection services on an as-needed basis for those jurisdictions who cannot justify a full time staff member to comply with the Civil Code requirement. We will customize a plan for your jurisdiction to fit your needs in a timely manner at reasonable rates to accommodate your budget.
COMPLIANCE FOR BUSINESS PREMISES
Per the ADA Standards (Americans with Disabilities Act, Title III), all public facilities must provide access to individuals with disabilities on an equal basis as with the general public. When an existing facility (constructed prior to 1992) includes any type of architectural or communication barrier that would prevent access for individuals with disabilities, the regulations require removal of that barrier when the removal can be carried out without much difficulty or expense (readily achievable). There isv no “grandfathering” clause in the ADA, therefore one is required to remove barriers for all facilities constructed prior to 1992.
W | A Associates offers design and site review services for accessibility by a Certified Access Specialist (CASp). An assessment will be made, a report providing information regarding compliance with the ADA will be written, and the report will specify the required removal of any such access barriers that may exist. ADA standards should be followed for all barrier removal, unless the removal of such barriers is not readily achievable.
Consultation with a design professional is necessary to establish whether full compliance with the ADA requirements is achievable for the entire facility. Some required modifications may be readily achievable while others are not; The documentation of these items, and plans for compliance must be provided by the design professional. In cases where barrier removal is difficult to achieve due to site or structural constraints, modifications not in full compliance with ADA Standards may be undertaken as long as the modifications do not result in any health or safety risk to the public.
W | A Associates offers consultation services for Design Professionals who seek pre-Design review and recommendations, including a thorough review of existing facilities to determine the level of compliance, and/or measures to be taken in order to comply with ADA requirements.
The following are suggested steps toward compliance:
Inspection by a CASp professional
Documentation and prioritization of required compliance items; design of same
Based on the documentation in item #2, an estimate for the required work
Based on the estimate, an annual budget for barrier removal
Schedule of barrier removal
Please note that the 2010 ADA Standard states that barrier removal which is compliant with the 1991 Accessibility ADA standard that has been completed prior to 3/15/12 does not require modification to come into compliance with the 2010 Standards.