When trying to follow ADA regulations regarding signages, one can’t help but wonder which signs do really need to be ADA compliant and which ones need not follow ADA rules. Do all your signs need to follow the guidelines set for ADA compliance? What kinds of signs need to be manufactured following the strict rules set by the government?

Not all signs need to be ADA compliant. There are quite a few sign types that are exempt from such rules. Included in the list of sign types that need not follow ADA codes are building directories, menus, company names and logos, seat and row markings in assembly venues, and building addresses. Other signs that are included in these exemptions are parking facility signs (save for those that are made for accessible parking spaces), signs in correctional facilities, and signs that are made to be used for only a week or less.

The kinds of signs that need to follow ADA requirements include signs that are to be used on permanent rooms or spaces, and life safety signs that show people where exits, stairwells and discharge are. You can also include in this list wall-mounted, flag-mounted and overhead signs that show direction. These types of signs have to follow ADA guidelines for contrasting colors, font and character size but do not need to have tactile letters or Braille on them.

Some people find the rules regarding ADA compliant signs confusing. For example, some companies consider office cubicles to be permanent spaces but there are times when these do not need to have ADA compliant signages on them for identification purposes. Rooms like restrooms and kitchens, which have equipment that are not easily moved, a name sign needs to be used. If the room is something that can change uses, like a cubicle or an office, alphanumeric signs are acceptable.

The ADA sign rule for cubicles can be somewhat confusing due to their configuration, but it can be easily followed with the help of this simple logic. A cubicle can be called permanent if it is in a fixed position in the office, or is not movable, hence the need for an ADA compliant sign. If it is not bolted to the floor, then it is not permanent, therefore does not necessarily need to have an ADA compliant sign.