The term CASp stands for Certified Access Specialist. A CASp is a person who has been tested and certified by the State of California Division of Architecture to be an expert in accessibility for the construction industry. They are knowledgeable about which standards apply to your specific property based on the age of the building and its history of improvements. CASPs are qualified to inspect constructed facilities and issue certificates of inspection.
The CASp program was created pursuant to California Senate Bill 1608 with the intention to address the growing number of lawsuits costing California business owners tens of thousands of dollars in settlements and legal fees. Every CASp-inspected facility is considered a “qualified defendant” and can obtain the following legal benefits:
It should be noted that only businesses that have received the CASp certification before a complaint is filed are entitled to the legal benefits mentioned above. Although, it is still beneficial to obtain a CASp certification to prevent future unwarranted litigation on your property. A CASp certification does not always warrant that the property is in full compliance with the law, it instead shows that efforts are being made to provide a compliant facility. A licensed design professional, such as an architect or engineer, can provide you an access compliance evaluation of your facility, but only a CASp can provide services that offer you “qualified defendant” status.
• CASp report and certificate, which includes an accessibility evaluation of the facility, a detailed report of items not in compliance with construction-related accessibility standards, and a schedule for removing barriers;
• Pre-construction plan reviews to verify that the design is in compliance with all applicable federal, state, and/or local accessibility codes before construction begins;
• Site inspections to verify a facility meets all applicable federal, state, and/or local accessibility codes after it has been constructed;
You need a CASp certificate to protect your business from ADA lawsuits. Having your business/property reviewed by a CASp shows you care about ensuring equal access for all customers and the intent to follow the law. The good-faith effort of hiring a CASp may minimize your liability and provide certain legal benefits if an accessibility claim is filed against you.
Partner Engineering and Sciene, Inc has CASp on staff that can perform disabled-accessibility reviews and provide a CASp certification for your property.