Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards ensure that everyone finds your building accessible. These standards extend to a variety of features in a building--including your signage. It is imperative that your signs are ADA compliant when necessary. This refers to making sure visually impaired occupants can read your sign, and the standards are very specific.
What kind of signs need to be ADA compliant?
ADA signs are often found indoors or at the entrance of a building. If a sign identifies a permanent room or space, it must adhere to the guidelines. Adherence is also required for signs indicating exits, elevators, and restrooms--as well as signs that direct occupants or inform them about the accessible features of your building. ADA parking signs are the blue signs that indicate handicapped parking spaces.
What does being ADA compliant mean?
Because the main purpose of ADA signs is to identify accessible features and be readable for visually impaired occupants, they need to include clear visual characters as well as tactile characters. Tactile characters are either raised letters or braille. Simply including tactile characters isn’t enough. The visual letters also must adhere to certain standards--including the height and spacing of the characters. They need to be readable by occupants with low vision.
General rules for ADA signs include:
The background and characters must contrast (light on dark or dark on light) and.
Visual characters must use an easy-to read font that is not italic, script, or otherwise unconventional and decorative.
If the sign identifies a room, it must be adjacent to the door at the proper height
The International Symbol of Access must be standard rather than stylish
Proper ADA signage is required in order to obtain a certificate of occupancy for your building. Many business owners and landlords overlook this requirement because of their busy schedules, and they get an unwelcome surprise when the building inspector comes. All buildings need to be compliant, no matter what kind of business or establishment you have.
American disability Act (ADA) signs are building signs that are specifically designed to ensure people with disabilities the same access and functionality to business facilities as people without disabilities. ADA signs must present the same information to every person regardless of physical limitations. New York, California and many other states require building owners to install per the American disability act (ADA) signs that have raised image, raised letters and Braille below. The signs need to have strong contrast between the letters and Braille at the bottom.
You can find some Frequently Asked Questions about our signs and ada signs below:
Do ADA requirements extend to Braille signage? The 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design (ADAAG) stipulates a braille standard for ADA signs requiring braille. In 1980 California was the first state to establish its own braille standard, known as “California (Title 24) Braille”, and mandate its use for ADA signs across the state.
What does ADA mean? Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990/Full name
Do all ADA signs need Braille? BRAILLE OR NO BRAILLE: Though the 2010 ADAAG guideline sets standards for braille signs, it does not stipulate where in a building braille signs are required. However, the ADA Standards for Accessible Design (1994) does require that signs designating permanent rooms and spaces must have raised characters and braille.
Where are ADA signs required? ADA signs should be installed no lower than 48 inches from the floor and no higher than 60 inches from the floor. If there is not enough space to mount the sign in the specified location, it may be installed on the nearest adjacent wall in a clearly visible location. ADA signs should not be mounted directly on a door
What is tactile text? A Tactile text is a raised surface that a visually impaired person can feel. They are with strong contrast background so visually impaired persons can locate them easily
What makes a sign ADA compliant? All ADA-compliant signs must have backgrounds and characters that do not create any glare, unless the signs are for parking or traffic. People who have vision impairments are not able to process glare or reflection very well, especially elderly people