Americans with Disabilities Act or ADA was enacted over 25 years ago to safeguard the rights of disabled Americans. ADA regulations dictate that public organizations and businesses must accommodate disabled individuals, including signage that is conveniently located and easy to read both visually and through tactile touch. The ADA broadly protects the rights of individuals with disabilities in employment, access to State and local government services, places of public accommodation, transportation, and other important areas of American life. The ADA also requires newly designed and altered constructed State and local government facilities, public accommodations, and commercial facilities to be readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities.
ADA signs are often found indoors or at the entrance of a building. They identify a permanent room or space within the facility including exit signs, elevators, restrooms etc. ADA signs can also direct or inform one about functional spaces, identify accessible features of the facility, and they must comply with ADA guidelines. Signs for marketing or advertising purposes, temporary signage, company logos are examples of signs or sections of signs that do not have to comply with the guidelines.
There are a few general rules for ADA signs which include:
The background and visual characters must contrast from light to dark or dark to light and have a non- glare finish. Glare and reflection can be a major problem for anyone with vision impairments as well as the elderly.
All signs must contain easy to read fonts that are not italic, script or decorative. Tactile signs require uppercase letters in sans-serif typefaces. The characters can be between 5/8 inch and 2 inches high and Grade 2 Braille must accompany the character below it.
ADA signs that identify a room or space are to be located adjacent to the door they identify and at the appropriate height, so they can easily be located by tactile and visual readers. These signs are installed 4’ minimum from the baseline of the lowest raised character and 5’ maximum from the highest raised character.
Proper ADA signage is required in order to obtain a certificate of occupancy for your business or building. All buildings need to be compliant no matter what kind of establishment you may have, so it’s important to work with D.E. Gemmill so we can help you make sure your ADA compliant. We are experienced with creating and installing ADA compliant signage, and we look forward to assisting you with any of your needs.
ADA – US Department of Justice
ADA Parking Requirements