Certified Access Specialist Program (CASp)
Over the last 20 years, progress has been made toward more accessible communities. Yet, significant gaps in access persist, despite the efforts by many to comply. In recent years, there have been increasing numbers of lawsuits filed against businesses asserting that violations of the ADA prevent individuals with disabilities from accessing goods and services. In an effort to increase access and at the same time to reduce the number of lawsuits, the California legislature passed Senate Bill (SB) 1608. It is a bi-partisan legal measure to promote increased ADA compliance through mandatory continuing education for design professionals and the establishment of a Certified Access Program (CASp).
A certified access specialist (CASp) is a person who has been tested and certified by the state that business owners can hire to assess accessibility. SB 1608 sets up a process whereby business owners can voluntarily hire a CASp to inspect their buildings to ensure compliance with disability access standards and obtain an inspection report as proof of inspection. A business implementing recommendations of a CASp would be entitled to a 90 day hold on any legal proceedings and is eligible for an early evaluation conference.