Clients often ask me………….why does an ADA Accessibility Field Survey & Report take so long?? In the clients mind you simply need to visit a property, look at a couple of items and do a little writing. How can it take so long?? The answer to this question varies by property; however, to start I usually explain to clients the tremendous amount of information that must be gathered during an ADA Accessibility Field Survey.
As an example, for every door in the building I must check about 10 separate items. This list includes, but is not limited to the following:
5. Door Lever
6. Lever Height
7. Closing Speed
8. Push/Pull Force
9. Strike Edge Clearance ( Interior & Exterior )
10. Required Signage
For a high rise office building there can easily be 20 to 30 doors per floor with each door taking 10 – 15 minute per door. This could result in a door survey that takes several hours especially if there are many different types of doors. And this is just the time necessary to survey the doors. There are many other items that must be checked during an Accessibility Survey that can also take a number of hours to survey including the toilet rooms where there is an endless list of items that must be checked.
In addition to the field survey, there can be a number of hours spent in the preparation of the data into a format for presentation to the client depending on what type of report the client is requesting. In California, the “gold standard” is the Certified Access Specialist Report. This report is the most inclusive and best report for the client; however, it takes a number of hours after the field survey to complete. Time estimates vary by CASp, but the office time to complete the report is often a multiple of the hours spent in the field. And in addition, a CASp may need to spend a number of hours in researching a particular issues as the accessibility requirements are general in nature and don’t address specific issues as they relate to a specific property.
All in all, the hours needed to survey and prepare the data for a client can often equal several days for even the smallest project.