Certified Access Specialist (CASp)

California – one of the most ADA compliant states in the nation – is also the most ADA litigious.  Under California law, any violation of the ADA is considered a civil rights violation and subject to a minimum statutory penalty of $4,000, plus attorney’s fees.

Any disabled person who encounters a building condition that does not meet the accessibility requirements of the ADA or the California Building Code (CBC) is entitled to file a lawsuit and receive a minimum of $4,000 in statutory damages plus attorney’s fees.

While the ADA laws were enacted to protect  the rights of the disabled, they have also led to an expensive flood of ADA lawsuits by individuals intent on taking advantage of the system.

It is estimated that over 20,000 ADA lawsuits have been filed in California courts since enactment of the ADA in 1992, and conservative estimates indicate that this litigation costs California businesses over $20 million each year.

ADA lawsuits are difficult to defend and typically result in minimum payouts of $4,000 – $6,000, even if the lawsuit is uncontested.  Fortunately, there is now an effective defense against such lawsuits.

Newly Available Protections

Recent California legislation provides essential protections for business and property owners from unwarranted ADA lawsuits.

Senate Bill 1608 enables business and property owners to have their facilities inspected for access compliance by a Certified Access Specialist (CASp).

A CASp inspection will:

  • Protect against unwarranted ADA lawsuits
  • Insure compliance with federal and state accessibility requirements
  • Identify “readily achievable” issues requiring correction
  • Provide reasonable time frames to make required corrections
  • Insure that your business is accessible to all potential customers, regardless of disability

Even if a building is not fully accessible, a CASp inspection provides a business owner with immediate protection by identifying “readily achievable” issues for correction and establishing an intent to address required accessibility issues.

Tax Benefits

Tax credits and deductions are available to help pay for inspection and construction costs. A tax credit of up to $5,000 is available for small businesses that incur expenses related to accessibility improvements.

A tax deduction of up to $15,000 per year is also available to all businesses for qualified accessibility expenses that are normally capitalized.

Check with your tax advisor regarding the applicability of these credits and deductions.

Protect yourself, your property and your pocketbook

The best protection against expensive and time consuming ADA lawsuits is to have your business or property inspected, as soon as possible, for access compliance by a Certified Access Specialist (CASp).

Ashdown Architecture is a full service architectural firm with significant expertise addressing complex access compliance issues in buildings and facilities throughout California.  We are committed to improving access to the built environment for individuals with disabilities, by providing information, education and solutions to business and property owners.  Ashdown Architecture is certified by the California Division of State Architect as a Certified Access Specialist (CASp).

Contact us today for additional information about the invaluable, cost effective benefits a CASp inspection can provide.


About Dwight Ashdown

The website is authored by Ashdown Architecture, Inc., a California Architectural firm and Certified Access Specialist (CASp) #112 All content is copyrighted by Ashdown Architecture and may not be used without the written consent of Ashdown Architecture, Inc.
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One Response to Certified Access Specialist (CASp)

  1. cindy schmitt says:

    I Have been a public transportation bus driver for 11 years( 2000). I have injured my neck several times during the course of my job. currantly i am driving a type 7 chevy bus truck,( the seat is 5ft from the street and requires climbing into) the employer installed a cargo box ( 2009) to the right side of the driver seats in 9 of the buses, and has instatuted a policy forbiding the drivers to use what use to be access for the drivers to do the work of helping passengers within the bus, due to my neck injuries and pain i have asked them to allow me to cross over the box( easily and safely done) while working, to minimize the number of times i would need to climb into and out of the seat, and into the street, the right side of the seat is level with the passengers, and it is easier for me to help boarding passengers in wheelchairs and using walkers by using the passenger door instead of the drivers door. i have 2 doctors notes requesting them to allow me to do so. they have instead written me a warning that i would be fired if I continued to violate the policy, does CASp inspect work sites and do employees have rights of access protections under the ADA, i am otherwise capable of doing my job, i have a 7 year safety pin, a great driving record, above average and average evaluations, and have never hurt a passenger or person other than my self in the course of my work. can you help me, or refer me to another… thanks

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