Building and Safety is providing the following resources to property and business owners to help guide them through State and Federal accessibility laws. Current information can be found through the following websites:
California’s Division of the State Architect
United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division
Title 24 vs. the Americans with Disability Act (ADA)
California was one of the first states in the U.S. to have created its own accessibility laws that provide accessibility standards for disabled access in public and commercial facilities. These standards are adopted into the California Building Codes (CBC) by the California Building Standards Commission (CBSC). The CBC is also known as Title 24 of the California Building Standards Code and every building agency in the State is required to enforce these accessibility provisions. At the time of their adoption, California’s accessibility standards were considered by the design community as the most comprehensive in the country. In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law, covering all public accommodations, commercial facilities, employment, state and local services and transportation. With its adoption, California was now governed by both Title 24 and ADA, resulting in discrepancies between the two codes. Every code cycle, the CBSC works to coordinate state and federal provisions to provide common design standards. Unfortunately, compliance with Title 24 does not mean properties may comply with ADA.
There are many resources available to property and business owners that can assist with federal and state accessibility requirements. Certified Access Specialists (CASp) are available to assist with design and inspections. It is important that property and business owners consult with CA licensed design professionals who are familiar with these laws when making improvements to their properties/businesses.
California Building Code (Title 24)
Accessibility provisions enforced by Building and Safety Division are found in Volume 1 of Part 2 of the CBC.
Chapter 11A – Housing Accessibility
Chapter 11B – Accessibility to Public Buildings, Public Accommodations, Commercial Buildings and Public Housing
The CBC can be accessed through the California’s Building Standards Commission here.
Certified Access Specialists (CASp)
Certified Access Specialists are great resources to assist owners in navigating accessibility laws. The CASp program was created by Senate Bill 262 (Chapter 872, 2003) and is designed to meet the public's need for experienced, trained, and tested individuals who can inspect buildings and sites for compliance with applicable state and federal construction-related accessibility standards. A list of CASP providers can be found here.
This section will be updated regularly to provide important legislation affecting accessibility.
AB 2093 - This bill, for every commercial rental agreement or lease executed on or after January 1, 2017, would require the property owner to state whether the premises have been inspected by a CASp specialist, to provide the tenant with a current disability access inspection certificate and inspection report, or would require a statement on the agreement that the property owner not prohibit a CASp inspection. More information can be found here.
AB 3002 - Effective January 1, 2019, last year’s AB 3002 requires local jurisdictions issuing building permits for commercial construction, or business licenses, to make available a notice containing specified information regarding disability access. More information can be found here.
FAQs for Business Owners, Property Owners and Consumers - https://www.dgs.ca.gov/dsa/Programs/programCert/casp/consumerfaq.aspx
California Building Officials - https://www.calbo.org/post/accessibility
Division of the State Architect - http://www.dgs.ca.gov/dsa/Programs/progAccess.aspx