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What is a Certified Access Specialist (CASp)? Interview of Janis Kent in Connection Magazine


I have been asked many times, what is a CASp (Certified Access Specialist program) and why is this program necessary.

What I have found over the years is that Accessibility has become so complex, not only in the scoping and technical aspects but also which regulations apply. Typically this has been in the realm of architects, but determining which regulations and how to apply them many times depends upon money sourcing and whether it is a program of a public entity or a federal agency. And do remember, Access is civil rights legislation, not traditional architecture with building codes. Added to the complexity is the requirement in some instances, to provide Access whether or not there is any construction.

Because of the above-stated reasons, there are many mis-understandings and mis-interpretations. It requires owners to be responsible for implementation of Access, which although they may have heard about, they do not necessarily have enough experience or knowledge. I have also seen reliance on contractors and product manufacturers. Attorneys are also a source, but this should be someone who specializes in the topic. The subject is indeed complex. In response, the States of California and Texas have both implemented testing and programs to determine which individuals have greater knowledge on these topics. The intent is to provide a first step for assisting the public to determine who they might consider relying upon for analysis and advise in order to make and maintain their buildings as accessible.


Read an interview with Janis Kent in the AIA publication: Connection – The Architecture and Design Journal of the Young Architects Forum: Soup to Nuts Q4-2017 Vol15 issue 04: