Agency urges qualified individuals to become a licensed Registered Accessibility Specialist
AUSTIN – Texas needs more Registered Accessibility Specialists (RASes).
Although 2,000+ construction projects are registered statewide with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR), only 545 people are licensed to review and inspect those projects to ensure that the projects are designed and constructed to comply with the Texas Accessibility Standards.
Texas enacted the Texas Elimination of Architectural Barriers Act in 1970 – which includes the Texas Accessibility Standards – and President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act into law on July 26, 1990.
All publicly funded, commercial facility, and public accommodation construction projects subject to the Texas Architectural Barriers Act must comply with the Texas Accessibility Standards. Projects with an estimated cost of $50,000 or more have the additional requirement of registration, review, and inspection by a RAS.
RASes may work as consultants in architecture firms, work for inspection companies, or work as independent contractors. They are usually interested in safety for persons with disabilities, the ongoing need to eliminate unnecessary architectural barriers encountered by persons with disabilities and want to improve the overall quality of construction in general.
Here are three paths to becoming a RAS:
- Option 1: Degree (architecture, engineering, interior design, landscape architecture, or equivalent) and one year of experience related to building inspection, building planning, accessibility design, or review, or equivalent.
- Option 2: Eight years of experience related to building inspection, building planning, accessibility design, review, or equivalent.
- Option 3: Certification as an accessibility specialist granted by a model building code organization and four years of experience related to building inspection, building planning, accessibility design, review, or equivalent.
All three paths require passing a written examination covering the Texas Accessibility Standards and other information related to the Elimination of Architectural Barriers program. Learn more about becoming a RAS: https://www.tdlr.texas.gov/ab/