People often ask us what is the purpose of ADA signage? Is it required? What does ADA mean? Hopefully this post can answer some of those questions for you…
What is ADA Compliant signage? ADA stands for the American Disabilities Act, which is a federal law that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities. The law documents specific regulations to universalize accessible design so that handicapped people can easily navigate any building they enter. ADA signage is installed in specific locations, at certain heights, and are designed with special features to provide an easily accessible experience for all.
Location: ADA signs should be placed next to any closed off room and sometime even open spaces and hallways depending on the project. Some obvious locations are areas where people go frequently such as restrooms, elevators and exits, but ADA signage should also be used to identify mechanical, electrical rooms so that people know not to go in those areas.
Height: The height at which the sign is mounted is also regulated to accommodate those in wheelchairs. The top of the sign should fall between a 54’’-60’’ height and it should be 2’’ away from the edge of the door frame. The sign should be installed on the side of the door with the door handle.
Design: ADA signage design regulations include braille, raised lettering, and sometimes pictograms, depending on the space. The braille should be on its own line below the raised letters. We are lucky enough to have a program embedded into our adobe suite that allows us to type words in English and the program automatically generates the braille, which makes our ADA sign design process run smoothly. Including braille and raised lettering gives the sign a tactile feel, which provides wayfinding for the visually impaired. Another design feature of ADA signs that accommodates low-vision individuals is a non-glare finish background that contrasts with the raised lettering; meaning, the design should depict light text on a dark background or dark text on a light background. In addition, the font should be a sans-serif font, which means the text is more minimal and easier to read.
We are not only able to create and install signs that adhere to all ADA regulations, but we can make them beautiful! All our design packages automatically include ADA design requirements but have different materials, colors, and layouts to choose from. We can include any branding colors and imagery as well. Check out our previous blog post on the importance of blending art and signage!
For more information on ADA signage click here!