ADA Signs

ADA signs need to follow very specific guidelines when it comes to the colors that are used on them as well as to the use of tactile letters. These rules are put in place for a number of very good reasons. Some of these reasons have to do with avoiding fines and litigation, and others have something to do with giving people with visual impairments the equal opportunities that this particular law aims to give them.

Which Signs Need to Follow Specific ADA Rules?

When you are asked to put up signs that are ADA compliant, you will need to know which rules govern which signs. Some signs do not need to have tactile letters or Braille on them and other signs do not even need to follow ADA guidelines. Almost all of the signs you post in and around your business though need to follow color contrast rules.

Signs that are within reach of individuals who come to any public accommodation, specifically those that are used to show people permanent room names, need to have tactile letters on them. These also need to have grade 2 Braille on them. This is to enable people with visual impairments to easily read the sign with their fingers.

General Reason Why Contrast and Tactile Letters Are Needed

When people think “visually impaired”, they often think “blind”. What they do not realize is that visual impairment is not only about loss of vision but also about other vision problems like being color blind, nearsightedness, farsightedness and even night blindness. With all these different vision problems, signs that have tactile letters, as well as color contrasts that make them easier to see or understand by most anyone with these different visual impairments, is indeed required.

The reason why signs need to follow the color contrast and tactile letter rules set by the ADA is, as you might have deduced by now, for the benefit of these people with visual impairments. The 70% contrast in colors for all directional, overhead and permanent room signs is used to help people who may have blurry vision or other similar problems with their eyesight. This is so they can to still discern what these signs are saying. Tactile letters, on the other hand, are placed on signs for people to easily read these even if they cannot read Braille.