ADA Compliance Blog
What Rooms Require ADA Signs?
The first step in making sure your school, church, or business is following ADA compliance is to determine which rooms require ADA signage. All public buildings are required to meet the guidelines outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act. Most business owners don't have time to wade through the act to determine what is required of them and at first it can seem overwhelming just to determine where compliant signage is needed. Luckily, there is a growing amount of information available on the web now that helps make it easy to keep your business in compliance.
The easiest place to start in this process is to make a list of all of the permanent rooms. Permanent rooms all require compliant signs. For the rooms that contain permanent fixtures that cannot be moved easily these rooms should be labeled by room names and not just room numbers. Examples of these would be kitchens, electrical rooms, and restrooms. Permanent rooms that can change function more easily can be labeled using alphanumeric or ADA room number signs. Examples of these would be cubicles mounted to the floor or ceiling, classrooms that could change subject from year to year, and some offices.
What is a Temporary Room?
If you have spaces that you aren't sure are permanent or temporary rooms the best rule to go by is if the walls are fastened to either the wall, ceiling, or both it's a permanent room even if it's a movable wall once it's unfastened.
Rooms changing function in less than 7 days do not require ADA compliant signage.
Life Safety Signs
After making a list of all of your permanent rooms the next place to look at is life safety signs. Life safety signs include information on how to exit a building during an emergency or where and how to get to areas of refuge. These can include the following sign types:
- Exit signs at doors
- Stairwell signs indicating stair designation, floor level, floor served, roof access information, and the level at which the exit is located
- Floor designation signs at stairs
- Elevator restriction during emergency such as "In case of fire use stairs"
What Signs are not Required to be ADA Compliant?
Not all signs are required to be ADA compliant and not all signs need tactile characters and braille to be ADA compliant. Overhead signs like ones used often in hospitals and flag signs that are mounted perpendicular to the wall are not required to have raised characters or braille but do have some requirements regarding fonts and readability.
Directories, menus, company logos, occupant names, and instructional signs are examples of signs that are not included in ADA codes.
How to Approach ADA Signage as a Business Owner When it comes to being ADA compliant, it helps to think about it from the perspective of satisfying the customer or client. Over 50 million people in the United States have a disability, with an aging population that will make understanding the needs of the disabled even [...]
Does the Braille Need to be Below Tactile Letters? On signs which designate permanent rooms and spaces, tactile characters must be accompanied by Grade 2 Braille, a series of contractions that forms a shorthand version of braille. Braille must be raised a minimum of 0.025" and a maximum of 0.037". Braille must be located below the [...]
Many new and old businesses want to know why they should have ADA compliant signs. ADA compliance is more than just doing what the government tells you to. It is knowing who your customer is and working to address their needs.Many people like to do a cost-benefit analysis to determine if taking action is worth [...]
Let me be clear. I am opposed to most of the litigation surrounding ADA compliance happening right now. But unfortunately, lawsuits filed against businesses that are out of compliance are increasing. And there seems to be no difference in the number of suits against large or small businesses. My personal opinion is that many of these [...]
One of the most recent and most exciting trends in ADA signage is the introduction of Thermoformed ADA signs into the marketplace. Thermoforming isn't new. In fact, if you've ever fought to open a new gadget in a "blister pack" package, you've handled a thermofored product.Thermoforming uses heat and pressure and compresses plastic into a mold. [...]
For a business owner who wants to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, figuring out what signage they will need can be tricky. What are the rules? Do I need to put a sign on the break room door? What about in the lobby? How big should they be? [...]
It's no secret that the Department of Justice is actively enforcing ADA compliance laws. But the pace of action taken seems to be increasing. The number of new lawsuits filed against businesses that are not in compliance is up. Many of these suits never reach the public because they are settled between the attorneys suing [...]
Why all the fuss about ADA Compliance? In a tough economy, why should businesses add ADA compliant signs in their facilities? Legal requirements aside, I think it's a fair question. And I hear it all the time. Here's the short answer: it's the right thing to do. Here’s a fact courtesy of the Department of Justice. Approximately 2.5 [...]
Let's start with a few basic facts: 1- The majority of ADA signs being manufactured today are made with the raster Braille method- i.e. the Braille is formed by drilling a hole and inserting a small plastic bead. 2- Photopolymer signs (fabricated by exposing UV light to a photo-sensitive sheet) are being called for by an increasing [...]