ADA Compliant Signs

When you are having your signs made for your company, you should be aware of the many rules that actually govern these. Not just rules of aesthetics where you need to make sure that your signs look good and attract attention, but also rules that the government has put in place. These rules can be found in the ADA Standards for Accessible Design, and are created for a very good reason – to allow for equality among everyone in terms of accessing public places and understanding the signs that show the way.

In order for your signs to be considered as compliant with these standards set by the government, here are some things to keep in mind:

Color pairings are important – also called color contrasts, you should be aware that the colors you use for your signs need to be a specific combination that makes it easy to see and read. The most commonly used color contrast pairings that you will find being used by most companies are red and white, black and white, black and gray, & blue and white. The color combinations for your signs are not limited to these however, since there are actually quite a few allowable pairings for signs as per ADA standards. You simply need to choose a combo that is at a 70% contrast, and this can be found in a Rowmark color chart.

Tactile features are needed for signs that are to be used on doors – if the signs that are being made are to be used to mark doors heading into rooms, stairwells, and the like, these need to carry what are called tactile features. These include raised characters and pictograms, braille translations and raised sign borders. This is to help people with visual impairments to still read these signs with the help of their sense of touch. Since not all visually challenged individuals can read braille, the use of tactile letters, numbers, and pictograms (which are usually utilized for bathrooms and other similar permanent rooms) are needed. These are for those who have lost their sense of sight a little later in life and can recognize letter, number, and pictogram shapes with their fingertips.

Non-reflective and non-shiny material finishes – while some people think that glossy and shiny signs are nice to look at, what they might not be aware of is that this gloss or shine actually make these signs difficult to read when light bounces off them. This is why non-gloss and non-glare finishes are required by the government when it comes to your signs. Some sign finishes are simply just not glossy, while other materials that are used for this purpose have a textured finish to make these compliant. Other signs are fitted with a substrate that make them lose their shine, and a few are laminated with a protective surface that reduces or removes this reflective state.

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