In conjunction with the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law, the City of San Diego’s Development Services Department (DSD) has launched the free Ask a CASp program to provide customers with answers about construction-related accessibility standards.
A Certified Access Specialist (CASp) is a professional who is certified by the state of California to have specialized knowledge of the applicability of state and federal construction-related accessibility standards, the city says in a statement. A CASp will know which standards apply to a property based on the age of the facility and its history of improvements.
“This new program will help ensure that business and property owners can cost-effectively remove barriers and improve access for people with a range of disabilities,” said Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer. “We want to make sure that every San Diegan has equal opportunity and access to everything our great city has to offer.”
A CASp will review building and site plans for compliance with all applicable construction-related accessibility standards. These standards ensure residential dwellings, businesses, public spaces and commercial and government facilities are fully accessible and useable by people with disabilities.
The free service is available at sandiego.gov/DSD-CASP. While it provides a direct forum for customers to ask general questions about ADA accessibility laws, codes and regulations, it does not replace the standard review of applications and projects by DSD.
“This new, free email service is provided to address simple questions concerning how accessibility standards apply to a built environment and is not intended to circumvent DSD’s comprehensive plan review required of all projects,” said DSD interim deputy director Kelly Charles.
The city says Ask a CASp is the latest program launched under #DigitalDSD, an initiative to modernize DSD workplace systems and cost-effectively leverage technology to increase productivity and improve service delivery to customers. #DigitalDSD includes the recent rollout of an online permitting system for all new development projects, virtual meetings with customers, a new Zoning and Parcel Information Portal, the online Small Cell Supplemental GIS Tool and the digitization of more than eight million building records and plans.