Accessibility Essentials for California Commercial Spaces

a Pleasanton Program
Thursday, February 25, 2016
Location: Dahlin Group, 5865 Owens Drive, Pleasanton
Free and open to all. Please RSVP to for room setup.


This course provides information about the current state of accessibility lawsuits in California and what architects must inform their clients of regarding their legal obligations to provide accessible public accommodations and what steps they can take in order to protect themselves against the threat of an access lawsuit.

Topics covered include:
· The Unruh Civil Rights Act and California public accommodation “access discrimination” lawsuits
· Serial litigants and the rise in the number of lawsuits
· The Certified Access Specialist (CASp) program
· The Construction-Related Accessibility Standards Compliance Act (CRASCA)
· Responsibilities of designers, contractors, and building officials
· How violations are assessed and the most common types
· Responsibility of an owner vs. a tenant
· Existing versus New Construction under the California Building Code
· The top (10) disabled access demand letter and claim violations from 2015

About the Presenter:

Robert Cooley, AIA is a California licensed architect with over ten years of design experience. In 2012, he was the project manager for the barrier removal of 35+ Whole Foods Market grocery stores in Northern California. This program was the result of a lawsuit brought by a serial plaintiff. Robert became a CASp in December of 2014. In May, 2015 he founded Cooley Architectural Corporation to provide accessibility inspections and full architectural services focused on commercial office, retail, and grocery store tenant improvements.

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this presentation, attendees will:

  1. Be able to list some of the top access violations in California in 2015.
  2. Be able to identify architects’ responsibilities in minimizing violations.
  3. Be able to describe how violations are assessed
  4. List three examples of existing vs. new construction differences under the California Building Code.
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