California Accessibility Checklist

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California Commission on Disability Access, CCDA, ADA Standards, Division of the State Architect

The California Commission on Disability Access (CCDA) has released three architectural access barrier removal checklists.

The checklists are intended to assist businesses and building inspectors when evaluating whether basic disability access requirements have been met; however, given the extensive nature of accessibility requirements, they are by no means to be solely depended on for determination of access compliance.
Most architects will recognize two of the three checklists, as they have been available for some time now: the U.S. Department of Justice 2010 ADA Standards for Accessibility Design and the Division of the State Architect’s 2011 California Access Compliance Reference Manual Official Comments (checklists).

The third checklist, 10 Steps to Self-access the Accessibility of Your Place of Business, is based on the Americans with Disability Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG), California Building Code (CBC) 2010 – 11B, and the California Accessibility Reference Manual (CARM) checklists and is intended to serve as a simplified checklist to identify areas where more specific information and guidance is needed – the key word here is “simplified,” as in no way should this list be considered complete in content, but rather a guide to those items most often identified as barriers to access to businesses.

The CCDA Checklist Committee will be developing a comprehensive checklist following the release of the updated 2013 CBC.

While the AIACC has been supportive of any and all efforts to resolve conflicts between state and federal access requirements and improve accessibility as a whole; AIACC staff testified at CCDA Commission meetings and at the Checklist Committee meetings opposing efforts to create a mandatory “one size fits all” checklist for architects and building officials. This position is based on the belief that every building is a prototype and therefore cannot be subjected to a single checklist. The AIACC also opposed efforts that would have required that any given project’s checklist be made available to the public. This opposition was due to potential legal ramifications, and that such a requirement would violate California Health & Safety Code Section 19851.

If you have any questions or comments about the 2013 code update process, please comment below.

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Kurt Cooknick, Assoc. AIA

Kurt T. Cooknick, Assoc. AIA, is the Director of Regulation and Practice. With experience in the profession and over 15 years as an advocate on behalf of the architectural profession in California, he is passionate about protecting and advancing the profession.

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