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. Typically, this refers to making sure visually impaired occupants can read your sign, and the standards are very specific. It can be confusing, but KC Sign & Awnings has experience in this area, and we can help by designing your ADA compliant signs.
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. Think about the type of sign you see outside handicap-accessible restrooms that shows the wheelchair icon with text and braille underneath--that’s an ADA bathroom sign. 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. ADA signs need to be placed within a standard height range so that when a visually impaired occupant comes to a room in your building, they know where to feel for the braille. 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 have a non-glare finish.
- 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. (In certain scenarios, it may be permissible to place the sign on the door itself.)
- The International Symbol of Access (the blue square with a white wheelchair symbol) must be standard rather than stylized.
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, so it’s important to work with a sign company that ensures your signs are ADA compliant--which is where KC Sign & Awnings comes in!
We’re experienced with creating and installing ADA compliant signage. If you want to make sure your facility is compliant, get in touch with the ADA sign experts at KC Sign & Awnings today.