UNITED STATES—It should go without saying that a CASp report is a highly important document all business owners should have. A Certified Access Specialist report is a report that states whether or not your property or establishment is compliant with the ADA’s standards, that is, accessible and safe for persons with disabilities. With the Americans with Disabilities act in place for nearly thirty years, establishments should already be well aware of what they need to have installed, prepared, or built in order for their restaurants, malls, offices, etc. to be considered ADA-compliant. Unfortunately, business owners are still on the receiving end of ADA lawsuits based on property deficiencies with regards to being ADA-compliant. A CASp report may very well protect you from cases such as these but may also provide valuable insight on what can be improved with your property and how you can better provide for your customers who may be a part of the ADA community.
It’s important to remember that there is no establishment, property, or facility which is 100% complaint. Now, just because this is true, doesn’t mean that your establishment cannot be improved upon or should just stop with trying to be ADA-compliant. CASp reports can do and provide so much even if your establishment does not pass with flying colors.
CASp reports are given to those who have had their establishment, facility, or property inspected by and assessed by a Certified Access Specialist. These specialists will assess these accordingly as they will know the standards that apply to building of a certain age, usage, etc. while keeping in mind that this is to be enjoyed and utilized by everyone and not just able bodied individuals.
Should your establishment be deemed compliant, a certification will be given to you stating such. But rest assured that even without being completely compliant, the CASp in charge of the assessment will share with you should there be any deficiencies or things that may need improving. It is important to get started on addressing the violations so as to avoid any untoward incidents but more importantly — because the owner of the CASp report only has a 90 day “stay or a temporary halting of all litigation preventing attorneys from engaging in motions, discovery or other activities that compound legal fees.”
Since you have received feedback on what you need to improve on, it is important that these aren’t ignored. On the chance that you will be unable to immediately address any violations pointed out by the CASp report, you will only be given a certificate “in a pending status.” An upside is that the CASp assigned to assess your property isn’t merely there to point at things you’ve done right or wrong. They may also advise you on the best steps to take moving forwards and for you to improve your property.
Having a CASp assess your property may be a better investment than you’d anticipate. It is an opportunity to learn from an expert about how you can improve your property and better service your customers. It is a much better way to spend your money bettering your business through increased accessibility to more customers than to pay for lawsuits, legal counsel, or badly thought out construction projects!