ADA Signs: Does Your Business (Legally) Need Them?
What is ADA?
The ADA stands for the American with Disabilities Act and it was implemented back in the 1990s so that people who are disabled have rights that are protected. The law’s intent when it comes to signs is to make sure that people who are disabled have access to services and goods and that the signs have the proper identification including size, character, color contrast, tactile copy, and sign location so that the signs are readable.
The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) was implemented in the early 1990s to protect the civil rights of the disabled. The intent of the law as it pertains to signage is to ensure access to goods and services by mandating identification standards including character, size, color contrast, sign location and tactile copy for readability.
Do All Signs Have to be ADA?
Not all of the signs need to be compliant. The signs that are exempt include building directories, company logos and names, menus, row and seat designations in the assembly areas, signs in the parking facilities (with the exception of signs for accessible parking spaces), occupant names and the temporary signs that will only be used for a week or less.
What types of signs need to follow the ADA guidelines?
All of the permanent spaces and rooms need to have a sign that is ADA that provides identification. The safety signs that identify the doors at discharge, stairwells, and passage ways need to be compliant with the ADA. This includes Braille copy and raised characters. Flag-mounted, wall-mounted, and overhead signs have to follow the ADA guidelines but don’t need tactile copy.
Do the ADA signs need a number or name for identifying spaces?
Rooms that have equipment that can’t be moved easily, such as restrooms and kitchens, are identified by their names. If it’s a space that might change, like a cubicle or office, alphanumerical addresses will be fine.
Where should I install ADA signs related to doors?
When you are mounting signs that are ADA compliant, the location of the sign is related to the swing path and type of the door.
- Single door – the sign has to be next to the door on the side of the latch.
- Double doors with one side active – the sign needs to be placed on the door that isn’t active.
- Double doors with both sides active – the sign should be placed on the right of the door on the right.
- Push doors – The sign should be on the on the doors’ push side without devices that hold the doors open and that have closers.
If the door doesn’t have enough wall space on the single door’s latch side or on the double door’s right side, the sign should be mounted on the adjacent wall that is closest.
The mounting spot for this type of sign should be so that someone can approach within three inches of the sign without running into a protruding object or standing where the door will swing.
Basic ADA Sign Requirements
One thing that you have to remember is that all of the ADA compliant signs have to contain Braille so that people who are blind can read them. But this is only part of the requirements. Another thing that a sign must have is that it has to have a certain level of contrast within the colors which are being used upon the signs.
A third thing that is important to note is that there are really strict guidelines regarding fonts that signs use.
For example, signs have to feather letters in uppercase letters. The letters have to be in the sans serif font. In addition, all of the ADA signs must have characters and backgrounds that don’t cause a glare. These types of rules are so that the signs are easy to read and very visible.
Trouble for Not Complying
When a business doesn’t comply with these mandates regarding the ADA signs, it could mean that they are facing a large fine or legal action that is more severe. But any types of actions like litigation or files won’t be placed on the business immediately.
The law states that businesses that aren’t in compliance with the requirements will be able to rectify the problems in a timely manner that won’t also cause the business unnecessary hardship. This is designed to help the newer businesses that have launched by their office isn’t set up with the required signs. This way the business has wiggle room so that they are compliant.
Along with trouble with the law, depending on your business you also might also get some backlash from your customers. This can hurt your business and can create a problem for your business besides the legal ramifications. Offering ADA signs in your business is both legally and morally responsible, and it helps create a feeling of good will towards all your customers and employees.
Questions about ADA Signs?
Spectrum Signworks is proud to have installed ADA signs some of the finest companies in Naples, Florida. If you’re interested in working with our world-class designers on ADA signs for your business, give us a call at 239-908-0505!