ADA signage can be a complicated matter for the uninitiated. But it is a very important issue and can have consequences with both how welcoming and accessible your business is to all customers and also consequences with the law, as there is plenty of government legislation that requires and regulates ADA signs.
ADA stands for Americans with Disabilities Act. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 was a law passed by the United States federal government that sought to end and prevent the discrimination of people with disabilities. One of the ways the law intended to do this was to provide Americans with disabilities the same access to public spaces as everybody else. This article will explain how this act affected and continued to affect signage to this day.
When you talk about ADA signs, we are most often referring to the use of braille on signs. Braille is a tactile writing system for the visually impaired; essentially a pattern of raised bumps on a surface. For those of us who are not visually impaired, we often take our eyesight for granted. It’s easy to find a restroom, exit, or elevator because we can just look around for sign. But for those with impaired vision, braille is an invaluable tool for navigating what can be a very confusing world.
Utilising proper and effective ADA signage is a great thing to do for several reasons. For starters, it’s just a good thing to do. Being visually impaired is difficult enough, so we should all do what we can to help out. Furthermore, for business owners, it makes total sense to employ ADA signs because it makes your product or service more accessible to a large group of the population. Lastly, and perhaps most crucially, you might well be legally obligated to have proper and plentiful ADA signage in your place of business.
Compliance with ADA standards and regulations
ADA standards require that all signage should be easily read by all people. These regulations come from the federal level, but also states and municipalities have their own laws regulating ADA signs. What’s more is that these laws change quite often, so they can be difficult to stay on top of. This is why it is imperative to enlist the services of a sign contractor to ensure you are in compliance with all these rules and regulations.
With regards to braille, standards require that the text is between 5/8” to 2” tall. The font options are limited and glossy finishes are prohibited. Furthermore, the braille cannot be within 1/2” of the written text. Having said all that, it doesn’t mean that your sign is restricted to just one font and one color. There are plenty of options available to make you to make your braille signs durable and attractive.
But we’ve just scratched the surface of ADA signage. There are still many more ins and outs that are too in depth to cover here. Factors such as the differences between indoor and outdoor ADA signs and the variety of finishing options. As stated above, you really want a good sign contractor on your side to help you navigate all this, so please don’t hesitate to contact us today!