Ensuring that your business is open and available to all members of the public, including those with disabilities, can be challenging. You know that it is not only the law, but also good customer service. But not knowing if your facility is accessible and the fear of opening yourself up to a lawsuit may keep you from asking for help. With their specialized knowledge of accessibility codes and standards, a Certified Access Specialist (CASp) can help.

Only a CASp inspection can offer you legal protection as a “qualified defendant,” which can limit your financial liability in the event of an accessibility-related lawsuit.

A CASp 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. He or she will know which standards apply to your property based on the age of your facility and its history of improvements. A CASp can also help you put together an action plan for any changes needed for your facility to become compliant.

The cost of an inspection can vary. You can find a CASp providing services in your area on the Division of the State Architect’s website. Those who are available for inspections will have a “Yes” in the “Do Inspections?” column.

To see examples of accessibility requirements for multiple facility components, view the Department of Rehabilitation’s “Boost Your Business” video series. The California Commission on Disability Access also has information on their website on how to protect your business.

Additional information and answers to questions like, “What should I look for in an Agreement for CASp Services?” and “What should I look for in an Inspection Report?” is available in the “For Business Owners, Property Owners, and Consumers” section of the Division of the State Architect’s CASp Web page. Or, you may contact Ida Clair with the Division of the State Architect at or 916.322.2490.

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