ADA Restroom Signs

While the ADA sets the standards for restroom signage and other signs that you use in and around your establishment, some states take it upon themselves to add to these rules whenever they see fit. One example is California and their restroom signs rules. California still follows the general rules set for restroom signs set by the ADA, however they have added a few more rules to make these signs easier to recognize and understand.

To help you understand the many nuances of California ADA restroom signs, here are some of the things that you should remember:

Two signs instead of just one. – the ADA declares that restrooms have to carry one sign that shows people whether a restroom is for men, women or unisex. In California, they use two signs to show this. Before the ADA created a mandated sign for restrooms to use, California already had restroom signs that showed people what a bathroom is for and this is done with the use of geometric figures. In order to stay compliant, and to not confuse people with the new signs, the state opted to use both the old and the new signs on their bathrooms.

Geometric symbols are employed to show bathroom genders. – ADA signs for bathrooms are made in a rectangular or square shape with a male or female pictogram in the middle to show people whether a bathroom is for men or for women, and with both pictograms on the sign for unisex bathrooms. While this particular sign design is also used in California, a second bathroom sign that uses the old geometric symbol centered design is also employed. The geometric symbol used for male bathrooms is a triangle, for women’s restrooms it is a circle, and for unisex bathrooms it is a triangle within a circle.

Signs that are in both designs are to be mounted on doors as well as beside these doors. – since California restroom signs are mounted on doors, there is a possibility that these geometric symbols will end up being used as tactile indicators of bathroom gender by users with visual impairments, opening them up to the dangers of getting hit by opening and closing doors. The ADA has therefore mandated that California restrooms should have these signs on the doors as well as beside the doors to ensure the safety of users who read these signs with their fingers.