ADA access compliance for new construction begins at the design stage with the architects. The check point for proper accessibilty design then rests with the "plan check" or "plan review". All this should take place before construction begins. The problem however is that ADA requirements are still new and unknown to many design professionals and building department inspectors. Because ADA law is 19 years old, there really is no excuse, but for many, it's just been "business as usual".
The business and property owners ultimately bear the burden of proper ADA access compliance and are the first targets in an access complaint or lawsuit.
In California, state law allows damages of $4,000 for each violation of discrimination due to violations of the ADA. Many businesses go bankrupt as the awards can reach six figures. New laws have been enacted to curb the rampant lawsuits, but ADA compliance still rests with the business and property owner (yes, both can be dragged into court).
As an ADA Access Specialist, I can help with ADA compliance in both design review and on-site inspections.
Post a question, or Contact me with your ADA questions - Jon Rose