Noisebridge Space Program/Accessibility

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See Accessibility for current and new space accessibility info. This is for planning purposes during the space search and move.

Accessibility Checklist[edit]

ADA short checklist for Space Walkers

This checklist has been adopted and shortened from ADA checklist to use by space-walkers to assess spaces for potential Accessibility issues. This shortened list only indicates items which are most-likely not hackable. The full list provides an excellent view on what it means for a space to call itself accessible. Viewing the full checklist will show someone every detail of what accessibility means and is a very strong resource.

The goal of the check list is to determine if a space has issues which will prevent Noisebridge from offering an accessible space. Knowledge of the requirements is necessary to identify potential issues. The checklist illustrates potential issues such as non-movable objects which may cause problems.

What was removed:

  • Parking
  • hand-rail specifications
  • Signs and placement
  • Interior door/clearances
  • Access to controls (light switches, elevators, etc)
  • non-relevant seating (assembly, stadium)
  • Restroom specs (It is assumed these will be reviewed in detail when the time comes, suffice to say, there needs to be a big bathroom)
  • requirements around general access to things requiring reach, height, etc


Noisebridge falls under the context of a public accommodation, and therefore the 2010 STANDARDS FOR PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS AND COMMERCIAL FACILITIES TITLE III section (page 15) of the File:ADAstandards.pdf ADA Standards.

Major Documentation[edit]

Items most pertinent to NBSP[edit]

Space should be

  • Readily Available
  • to the maximum extent possible
  • via good faith effort
  • As NB is not looking to build a new building or increase existing gross floor area, only standards applicable alterations are required
    • "A change in the building or facility that affects or could affect the usability of a building or a facility of portion thereof"
    • remodeling, renovation, rehabilitation, reconstruction, restoration, resurfacing of circulation paths or vehicular ways
    • changes or rearrangement of structural parts, elements, or walls.
    • Normal maintenance, reroofing, painting or wallpapering, or changes to mechanical and electrical systems are not considered alterations unless they affect a facility’s usability.

Standards Summary[edit]

  • NB is prioritizing accessibility for the new space
  • Below are points which may be part of assessing a potential location.
  • These points are high level, and specific point can be raised against the documents mentioned for details down to the dimensions of specific features.

General Points[edit]

  • access features required by the ADA Standards must be fixed or built-in even though portable alternatives may be available.
    • includes requirements for assistive listening systems, visual alarms, shower seats, ramps, and platform lifts.
    • Non-fixed, like medical equipment, should be accessible
    • in removing barriers to existing places of public accommodation, portable solutions may be permitted in some cases where permanent solutions are not readily achievable)
  • only those elements altered are required to comply
    • it is advisable to maximize opportunities for accessibility in alterations. Alteration of multiple elements in a room or space may provide a cost-effective opportunity to make the entire room or space fully accessible.
  • Any clearances or space issues around existing fixed objects or rooms in the sapce
  • Any issues with 180 degree turns required, e.g. down a hall way or around a table
  • hand rails at ramps
  • Freight elevators cannot be used to satisfy the requirement for an accessible route between floors.
    • ASME A17.1 elevators “used primarily for carrying freight and on which only the operator and the persons necessary for unloading and loading the freight are permitted to ride.”

Building Interior[edit]

  • Surfaces should be smooth but not slippery
  • transitions from carper to tile, or uneven transitions are 1/2" without bevel, 1/2" with
  • clear spare around accessible controls like elevators, sinks, fire extinguisher
    • Forward approach or side approach
  • turning space
    • manuerving for turns
    • turning radius
  • Protruding objects may impact ppl with vision impariments
    • above head room are fine
  • Operable parts
    • one hand with no grasping, pinching, or twisting

Accessible Routes[edit]


  • Minimum one accessible route to an accessible entrance
    • e.g. from BART or street to accessible entrance


  • One route (path) must connect all accessible spaces and elements
    • meaning there cannot be two accessible areas separated by an inaccessible
  • Vertical access is required
    • achieved by ramps, curb ramps, elevators or, where permitted, platform lifts

Exemption (Yes, i know we are not going for exemptions, however, they can be strategically useful)

An accessible route is not required to connect stories in a private sector facility (place of
public accommodation or commercial facility subject to title III of the ADA) that is either
less than 3 stories or that has under 3,000 square feet per story

CASp Inspections[edit]

  • A CASp inspection determines if a building/space complies with ADA and what needs to be done in order to comply, if necessary. It is not legally binding, but provides some protections.
  • If a CASp report exists, the property owner or landlord must provide the CASp Report to the tenant before the lease is signed.
    • If it is not provided to the tenant at least 48 hours prior to signing the lease, the tenant may cancel the lease for 72 hours after signing.
    • If the CASp Report concludes the building meets all applicable ADA requirements, the owner or landlord must provide the Disability Access Inspection Certificate (Clearance) to the tenant within seven days of when the lease is signed.
  • If the property has not had a CASp inspection, the owner or landlord must include a notice on a commercial lease

If a landlord does not have an inspection or will not show a certificate and will not amend the lease with the specific disclaimer, that would raise questions as to why.

Additional Resources[edit]

Legal article on responsibility

Small Business Checklist

Notes on vertical accessibility (elevators and such)

SF Small Business Portal

  • Click on document Resources, select ADA
  • Obligations Guide to compliance
  • Up to 50K in loans available at 6% interest for costs of compliance

Financial implications[edit]

  • I have seen some notes with incentives for both for profit and non-profit, however, there are no specifics in those notes
  • One possibility is that non-profits which incur non-exempt income, and perhaps that is why it's possible to find incentives that mention non-profits.
  • Should discuss with IRS regardless
  • Also trying to find grants for non-profits


DOJ’s and DOT’s ADA Standards are not a building code, nor are they enforced like one.

* They constitute design and construction requirements issued under a civil rights law.
* The ADA’s mandates, including the accessibility standards, are enforced through investigations of complaints filed with federal agencies, or through litigation brought by private individuals or the federal government.
* Entities covered by the law ultimately are responsible for ensuring compliance with the ADA Standards in new construction and alterations.

With respect to the Uruh Civil Rights Act, The code of California states:

(5.1.5c) "This section shall not be construed to require any construction....or modification what is required by law..."
(5.2a) "Whoever denies...or makes any discrimination contrary to section 51, 51.5, or liable for each and every offense for the actual less than 4,000 dollars"

In general, landlords and tenants are jointly responsible for compliance with access laws, at least from the standpoint of third-parties (eg, disabled visitors to the property);

however, landlord and tenants are free to shift the allocation of responsibility between them by contract.

In many jurisdictions including California, this obligation is presumed to rest with the landlord

landlord may contract with others (including tenants) to fulfill this obligation, but will never be relieved of it with regard to the claims of third parties


As the ADA constitutes a requirement by law to make spaces accessible, California's code makes any and every violation a violate of civil rights, with a penalty of at least $4,000 for each instance of a violation, not just the existence a violation.