California - Online disabled access course

CaliforniaArchitectCE is pleased to announce our new online course.

To celebrate, we are offering this course for a reduced price of $60.00!

Our 5-Hour California Disabled Access Course completely satisfies the California Architect Board's continuing education requirement.

Per California Senate Bill 1608, all California architects must complete a 5-hour course on the disabled access requirements for facilities.

Our course is completely online. Take it any time at your convenience.

Our goal at CaliforniaArchitectCE is to offer you a no-nonsense course that makes sense for busy professionals:

- We won't make you sit through slow-loading videos, slides, or annoying flash effects.

- No quizzes or exams.

- No timer. If you get through this course in less than five hours, simply spend the rest of the required time reviewing the supplemental materials we provide.

- No clumsy and cumbersome interface.

- No software to download.

- Your schedule, at any time, in the comfort of your home or office.

- Take as long as you'd like to complete it.

- Great value. Compare our course to live seminars or other online options and you will agree.

You're a professional and we don't want to waste your time. Other course providers can't say the same.

The special launch price of $60 is for a limited time only. Get your course out of the way now before we go to our regular price.


Jul 22, 10 5:44 am

i know this is a spam post ^

but i was going to make a thread about disabled access requirements for california architects and how you are getting the required 5 hours for the least amount of money.

googly searches gave me this: california disabled access education - 2 1/2 hour course for $39.95, 5 hour course not up yet

AIA - California Council - non member courses - 1 hour $40, 1 1/2 hour $60, 5 hour course available september 1

richard chylinski at arch exam prep has a 5 hour course for $160, though it doesn't show up on his website

cal casp has a 5 hour course for $99.99, 30 days access

and then the spam post above .. is there anything for FREE?!?

as you know times is hard and i can't believe the california legislature doesn't think architects can read chapter 11 of the ubc.

in addition to this added fee (tax) they have raised the renewal rate from $200 every 2 years to $400 every 2 years so maintaining your license has more than doubled in a horrible recession. way to go, california!

Jul 22, 10 10:41 am

I'm sorry if you think it's spam. I just noticed the "archmart". Would it be more appropriate there?

I do find it curious though that you linked to the other sites, so I'm not really sure what your point is.

Believe me, I'm very aware of the economy and we've tried to keep costs low. Clearly we're the cheapest alternative out there.

You might find a free hour, but that's about it.

BTW, CAB has amended the fee increase to $300. It's higher in many states.

Jul 22, 10 10:55 am

i linked to other sites because i'm looking for the best price and want to know what other architects have found. i'm not advertising my company with my first post on archinect (though yours appears to be the best price ..).

okay, well $300 is better than $400. and while it's higher in many states it's also lower in many states (nebraska is $100 for 2 years). wait 'til times are good to jack up fees, not while large numbers of people are out of work.

and my mistake it's 'ibc' or 'cbc', not 'ubc'

Jul 22, 10 11:05 am

ohio - $125/2 years
pennsylvania - $100/2 years

Jul 22, 10 11:17 am
Sarah Lorenzen

You can do free tests through McGraw Hill's site. Just look for those related to ADA. I did my credits without paying for a course.

Jul 22, 10 11:40 am

thanks Sarah!

is this the correct site? -> McGraw Hill Construction - Continuing Education Center

Jul 22, 10 11:56 am
Sarah Lorenzen

Yes that right.
Here's one.

Jul 22, 10 1:37 pm
Sarah Lorenzen

I didn't hear about the increase in CA rates. Between NCARB, AIA, GA and CA license renewals I am going to be broke. Be happy CA only requires 5 CE units. GA requires 24. I try to do most for free one credit at a time, but I have run out of time on occasion and been forced to buy NCARB book credits to get them done faster.

Jul 22, 10 1:43 pm

yeah there was a los angeles state legislator who wrote the bill raising it to a max of $400 which passed and schwarzenegger signed (just like the 5 hours accessibility which passed in 2006 i believe).

apparently the cali architects board did push it down to only $300 but it's still above average for u.s. states.

i forgot about my ncarb fee due in september :( but for good or for bad i'm not an aia member so i don't have that expense.

thanks again for the link to free continuing ed credits .. i have until march of 2011 to wrap it up so i want to start knocking these out now.

Jul 22, 10 3:29 pm

The law was passed in California in late 2008 and was disguised as a continuous education requirement. It also comes as a sliding scale requirement, meaning you will need the full 5 hour credits only if your license is due for renewal after Jan/2011.

I'm with FRaC on this one. Is the government concerned with architect's inability to read the UBC and ADA? Was this additional requirement a result of incompetent work across the state in the last few decades? What deficiency in the architectural profession is this law suppose to close? Who benefits the most from this? Is this done to celebrate 20th anniversary of ADA?

This really feels like a predatory fee akin to being charged an "exiting fee" by an airline.

Also, 5 hours??? Sure, if you are teaching the concept to someone who's never even heard of accessibility; but to a registered architect who's dealt with the issues all his professional life? Dumb, dumb, dumb.

Jul 22, 10 4:28 pm
Sarah Lorenzen

I think the continuing education credit requirements are there to feed allied businesses.

AIA benefits because they are the ones keeping records on this (a service they provide to members.) At the same time they are the principal lobbying entity for architects. I would be curious to find out if the AIA is behind the continuing credit requirements in most states. Many people attend the AIA convention just to get the CE credits required from states (most CE requirements from other states are pretty high - higher than CA's.)

Jul 22, 10 4:44 pm

i have heard part of the reason continuing ed accessibility is because of all the frivolous ADA shakedown lawsuits in california - see this article in time magazine back in december 2008.

but what these disabled dudes do is go into any old restaurant, check out the bathroom, and if the mirror is 2" too high they threaten a lawsuit and often settle with the restaurant owner out of court for a couple thousand bucks. total scam, but you get lawyers involved and pretty soon the restaurant is out of business.

i can't stand any of this b.s. it drives me loco en la cabeza !!

Jul 22, 10 4:45 pm

some info from CalChamber regarding SB 1608: Disability Access Law Reform

The reform legislation, SB 1608 (Corbett; D-San Leandro, Chapter 549, Statutes of 2008), is designed to promote and increase compliance with laws providing equal public access in places of business to individuals with disabilities, while reducing unwarranted litigation that does not advance that goal.

This article provides guidance to business on how SB 1608 helps to reduce unwarranted Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) litigation and what business owners need to do to benefit from the new law:

*How can business owners ensure compliance and reduce chances of getting sued?
*If a business owner does get sued, how does SB 1608 help to encourage early resolution of the lawsuit?
*What elements of SB 1608 help to reduce unwarranted ADA lawsuit practices?

then there's this:

How can business owners ensure compliance and reduce chances of getting sued?

*Businesses should hire a CASp. A certified access specialist (CASp) is a person business owners can be assured has been tested and certified by the state as an expert in disability access laws. SB 1608 sets up a process whereby business owners can voluntarily hire a CASp to inspect their buildings to ensure compliance with disability access standards and obtain an inspection report as proof they did so. A link to a list of certified CASp inspectors is available at

great, so just like architects having to waste time and (sometimes) money on continuing education businesses as well have to waste money hiring a 'certified access specialist' so that they can put a pretty little sign in their window.

this is not productive !!

Jul 22, 10 5:07 pm

@FRaC: Wow, thanks for the links! Very eye opening. The fact that frivolous lawsuits were a huge propagator of this requirement was definitively outside the scope of my imagination.

According to the linked article, "Only 2% of buildings are compliant in California since the ADA guidelines went into effect."-California ADA requirements that are more strict than national ADA, but often in conflict with each other...

I wonder what the compliance percentage is for projects completed AFTER the new ADA laws went into effect. Retroactive compliance is the dumbest of the dumb measuring sticks.

The proposed solution is even more puzzling. Does the additional certification of registered architects effectively shift burden of blame to them as well? Can the restaurant now turn around and seek damages from you? Better bring a measuring tape for the substantial completion walk-through.

On the other hand becoming a 'certified access specialist' may be beneficial to small practitioners who may be struggling to pick up any work in this economy. Easy money for what amounts to checking mounting heights, turning radii, and unobstructed egress.

Productive solution to a bizarre problem? Not by a mile.

Jul 22, 10 5:53 pm

@Sarah: I agree that AIA has on occasion been more concerned with self preservation than betterment of profession. CE requirements in some states amount to nothing more than sitting through a bunch of lunch 'n' learn sales pitches. AIA does things for reason. In this case (specific CE requirement for CA) I don't see any collusion of interest.

I do blame AIA for not offering a stronger, highly qualified opinion on the matter of new law. The law was passed by CA lawmakers who honestly thought this was a logical solution to an artificially created problem. Their limitation of technical knowledge is not to be blamed (as all mature laws and regulations become sufficiently complex over time). That's why AIA is supposed to be the political lobby group representing design professionals.

With friends like these, who needs enemies?

Jul 22, 10 6:03 pm

"you will need the full 5 hour credits only if your license is due for renewal after Jan/2011."

Since we all renew in odd-numbered years, that means everyone unless your renewal is currently delinquent.

"Also, 5 hours??? Sure, if you are teaching the concept to someone who's never even heard of accessibility; but to a registered architect who's dealt with the issues all his professional life? Dumb, dumb, dumb."

I agree. That's why we made our course as painless as possible.

5 hours probably didn't sound like much to the authors of the bill, but it's an eternity in CEU terms.

I think it's safe to say that the groups that supported the bill were looking to reduce frivilous lawsuits and didn't pay attention to the CE issue. All they saw was how a CASp inspection could offer a semblance of protection. I don't see a single organization on the supporters list that has a clue about what we do and what we need to know to do our job properly.

It should be noted that CAB opposed the bill. In their opposition, they said:

"The board has no complaint data suggesting there is a problem relative to compliance with disabled access standards."

"Architects are already educated, trained, and tested in disabled access standards."

Jul 22, 10 6:37 pm

@CaliforniaArchitectCE : Do you have the link to the full CAB opposition statement? I'm curious...

Opposing a law in defensive mode is one thing. Proactively aiding the discussion and promoting convincing alternatives is another.

I see no problem with a disabled person reporting non compliance and then expecting a solution in a reasonable time-frame. I do see a problem in anyone monetarily benefiting from this. New CE requirements do nothing to improve the situation.

Jul 22, 10 6:55 pm

From TFA:

"ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION : CAB states in opposition, SB
1608 requires five hours of continuing education for
architects on disabled access provisions as a condition of
license renewal. In addition, the bill establishes an
'early evaluation conference' as part of civil actions
concerning disabled access. A key component of those
proceedings would be a report and/or certificate issued by
a Certified Access Specialist.

The Board opposes SB 1608 for the following reasons:

There is no justification for mandating continuing
education on disabled access issues.

The board has no complaint data suggesting there is a
problem relative to compliance with disabled access

Architects are already educated, trained, and tested in
disabled access standards.

This bill has financial impact for the Board without any
appropriation to support it.

The 'piecemeal approach' to continuing education could
lead to mandates in areas that may not be in the public's
best interest."

That was weak. Really, really weak. No wonder it passed...

Jul 22, 10 7:19 pm

It's about all a state agency can do. The interesting thing is that CAB used 1608 as a reason to raise their fees.

The question to ask is, Where was AIACC?

Jul 22, 10 8:18 pm

AIACC put out two e-mail alerts about this bill as it was coming down the pike that I recall. I wrote to the legislators involved and to my own, to no effect, of course.

Architects were caught in the middle between disability advocates (who want the built environment fixed regardless of cost) and building owners (who wan to be protected from law suits), both of whom are much better versed in the legislative process. I suspect that we architects were just too late to the table so it was easy to make the compromise on our backs.

CAB's solution seems to be to work toward a comprehensive CE requirement in line with most other states. Let's just hope they don't model it on New York, which does not allow some kinds of CE that AIA does . . . if I had wanted all this trouble I would have been a lawyer!

For those doing the CE, be sure to get and keep the certificates of completion, as you have to be able to prove that you did the course, and watch the timing. I sat through a free 2.5 hour class in '09 and now find that it does not count toward my '11 renewal, as the hours have to be in the two years directly before renewal.

Jul 22, 10 11:21 pm

@spruce: You have a valid point on dealing with two organizations that are much better versed in all things law. Still, there is no excuse at the type of response our profession (CAB or AIACC or whomever) put out.

As far as CE certificates are concerned, since they look like photocopied diplomas, I keep them in cheap frames that get brought out of storage twice a year and hung on walls just in time for my mother's visit. It sure makes her feel proud!

Jul 22, 10 11:55 pm


- i did the free 1 hour course that Sarah linked above (mcgraw hill construction site): Vertical Wheelchair Lifts: Specifying for Safety, Accessibility and Building Needs

i wasn't able to find any other accessibility courses at the mcgraw hill site. this one may have worked but now it says the 'test is no longer available for credit'. (*edit* this course is available at the aec daily site below)

- somehow i found this site: - accessibility courses. courses are free and according to their little symbols the ones with two wheelchairs should count for california continuing education (only two courses available for 2.25 hrs).

the courses with only one wheelchair symbol are related to accessiblity so i'll probably take those as well since california's requirements aren't specifically spelled out (the cali architect's board does not approve course providers or courses).

anyone else have updates on how they're completing this requirement?

Nov 17, 10 2:14 pm

CAB does not exactly approve courses but they will disapprove what you submit if it doesn't follow the law.

If your courses are just generic ADA and don't cover California you'll have a problem renewing. A friend of mine had to take another course and his renewal was delayed.

I think I looked at every possible option and decided on

The price is fair and the course is good & painless. I also know someone who renewed with thier course so that put my mind at ease.

Nov 17, 10 5:07 pm

Is this a raffle?

Nov 17, 10 5:19 pm

what the H happened to

Nov 17, 10 7:05 pm

wow - I havent looked at my archinect profile in ages.
the url or whatever was bought by someone else - I had an account with godaddy that expirered and they never told me I should renew - then after I looked at my website and realized it was was too late and the deleted all my content. damn! It was a portfolio of my work I had set up so that I could give my interviewers a web portfolio instead of a physical one...I was looking to move across the country. That was over 4 years ago.

I should prolly remove that link! lol

Nov 17, 10 7:22 pm

Those generic courses might be free but you are not learning much about ADA except what the manufacturer is selling...

I have checked out several websites and delighted when a friend of mine recommend after he went through it and renewed his license.

Still can't believe that AIACC is milking its members with those coursework fees... ;-(

Nov 19, 10 1:32 pm

Hey guys. I forgot to mention that I got a 10% off discount code for

The code is: cace10

Every little bit helps!

Nov 29, 10 6:10 pm

That's neat Howie not your name. How about you buy an advertisement?

Nov 29, 10 11:13 pm

I'm not selling anything. Just trying to help out.

If I found a nice, new building material provided a link to useful information would you accuse me of advertising?

Nov 29, 10 11:24 pm


from this thread at areforum i got some additional FREE continuing ed classes: - Introduction to Barrier-free Design and ADA Standards for Accessible Design (free - just create an account to take the 1 hour course) - they added the 'High Density Accessible Storage' course recently so there are 3.25 total hours available

i just got my $300 license renewal so i gotta save any pennies i can!

Feb 4, 11 5:58 pm

I've used to fufill CE credits - no charge and they credits typically show up on my AIA transcript in a week or so.

Feb 6, 11 7:24 pm

another 1 hour course -> WBDG08 Principles and Goals of Accessible Design from whole building design guide (

according to their info it is CAB approved for 1 hour

Feb 7, 11 4:46 pm

^ and free, of course

Feb 7, 11 4:46 pm

I wished there are more of those CAB-qualified freebies out there that are really ADA educating. After reviewing through most of them and trying to save, I decided to go with what my friend recommended ( and learned quite a lot about the new 2010 ADA Standards. Money worthwhile and painless.

Feb 7, 11 7:02 pm

paying $$$ is not painless

it's a perfect example of excessive governmental regulation that sucks money out of the economy which is part of the reason california is in such bad shape and is one of the worst states to run a business.

Feb 7, 11 7:17 pm

paying = pain

Feb 7, 11 7:18 pm

Tell me about it. I am feeling a lot of pain paying $3.35 per gallon of gas. about: no pay = no pain = no go. Silly comparison?
FYI, you misunderstood my meaning...

Feb 7, 11 7:29 pm

I visited and took the course. I realize the frustration about continuing education and the endless regulation of a profession managed by non-professionals, but deciding to get it over with instead of spinning in a circle, I took the plunge. The course was straight-forward, applicable and reasonably painless. It was also far less than the $50-$100/hour online offerings elsewhere. My suggestion - pay the money, take the class and move on. It was worth the price of admission to put it behind me.

Mar 13, 11 8:30 pm

California architects are worthless, good for nothing, lazy, egg suckers!

CAB is out of control with BS like requiring continuing education for disabled access design. When will California Architects stand up and say no more and take back the practice from the bureaucrats in Sacramento.

ADA is a federal civil rights law!!!!!!!

How are the people of California being protected by this stupid law? Buildings can still fall down but with plenty of room for wheel chairs.

Raising fees in a depression. Only in California!

You can either complain or do something!

Second amendment solutions are working in North Africa.

Mar 15, 11 1:18 am

no need to take up arms, bro

Mar 15, 11 11:53 am

the cali architect's board has approved the FREE classes i took (and cashed my check) - i'm good for two more years !!

Mar 24, 11 5:11 pm
ADAwebstudy will like to say a big "THANK YOU" to Archinect for referring a lot of architects to our website.

May 20, 11 4:43 pm

I have used Lift-U (wheelchair lift company) courses and got them approved by CAB. And you get a certificate emailed to you right away! Better yet, it's free!

Jul 27, 11 2:23 am

Another course for 5 hours ADA is

5 hours. Did it in Portland, but they are do training all over CA all the time too. Instructors knew what they were talking about and could answer questions correctly.





Aug 1, 11 10:59 pm

Since this rolls around every couple years I thought this might be helpful.  A list of free online courses you can use to cobble together your 5 hours:

Jan 3, 15 1:53 pm

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