ADA Signage

Some people find that using ADA signage can be somewhat confusing, and at times, they do not know what exactly an ADA sign should carry, how it should look and what types of signs need to be ADA compliant. In order for you to understand what an ADA compliant sign is, and where these are supposed to be used, here are a few ADA basics that may help.

*ADA stands for Americans with Disabilities Act and is not meant to cover just signs. This act was put together to protect the rights of people with disabilities and to give them equal opportunities as every other able bodied American.

* ADA signage rules are put in place in accordance with the law and is designed to help people with disabilities find their way around easily even without the help of other people.

*There are many signs that are covered by the ADA, however the type of sign that is needs to follow more rules than other types are permanent room signs.

*Permanent room signs are signs that are used on rooms that are highly unlikely to change its usage, such as bathrooms, auditoriums, kitchens, closets and the like. These have to have signs that should follow very specific rules.

*Permanent room signs need to have Braille translations of the sign wordings on them, tactile wordings, follow specific mounting rules and to have a 70% contrast between the background and the information on it.

*Life safety signage, such as those marking emergency exits, stairwells and other passageways need to have signs that are similar to those used for permanent rooms.

*Rooms that are used as offices need not have signs that carry names which are ADA compliant however the numbering or the room name (if the company is using names on their rooms instead of numbers) should be ADA compliant. This means that room occupant names need not be tactile and in Braille but room numbers and room identification names have to be.

*Overhead signs and wayfinding signs have to follow a number of ADA signage rules like color contrast, character sizing and non-glare finish.

*Office cubicles need not have ADA signs on them unless these are bolted to the floor and can be considered permanent spaces. If these are permanent fixtures in an establishment, these need to have some identifying signs on them, like numbers that are tactile with Braille translations.