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4 Places Where ADA Signs are Required

Sep 9th 2019

4 Places Where ADA Signs are Required

Understanding ADA compliance requirements can be overwhelming for even the most seasoned business owner. The exact set of rules for proper ADA sign compliance differ depending on a variety of factors, from door type to sign purpose. In general, signs that can be accessed by people (like room signs) need to have raised letters and braille.

They must also follow certain font rules. Pictograms featured on signs, such as the pictograms on restroom signs or the familiar symbol for wheelchair, must meet ADA requirements. All ADA required signs must have strong color contrast (for readability), a non-glare finish, and follow specific mounting height and location guidelines. However, not all signs are ADA required signs.

As of 2019, places where ADA signs are required include:

  • Most permanent rooms and spaces within an organization. Such signs include those labeling the floors, suites, and rooms within a building, as well as signs that indicate the function of a room. Bathroom signs, kitchen signs, and exit signs (including life saving emergency exit signs) are common examples of signage that indicates typically permanent locations that are required to be ADA compliant within a business.
  • Wayfinding signs, such as entrance signs.
  • Signs that indicate accessibility within or outside of the building, such as a wheelchair accessible location or accessible parking space.
  • Signage that would be important during an emergency, known as “life safety signs.” Life safety signs include stairwell signs, signs indicating what to do in the event of a fire (such as the closure of an elevator), and evacuation plans.

Where are ADA Signs Not Required?

ADA signs aren’t necessarily required if the sign is simply meant for advertising purposes or otherwise isn’t integral to safely navigate the organization, such as a sign featuring the company logo or a menu sign. Depending on the way that a sign is mounted, certain signs (like overhead signs) don’t have to feature the same tactile lettering that room signs accessible to entrants do. However, those signs must still demonstrate the other requirements of the ADA.

Temporary rooms also have special consideration when it comes to ADA sign regulations. A space that is likely to frequently change its purpose, such as a classroom that is a designated band room one year and then an art room the next year, can simply include the room number instead of the function of the room. If a space is only going to be used for a week or less, then no ADA signage is required at all.

The Importance of ADA Signs

Failure to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act can result in steep fines and even potential lawsuits. Of course, failing to include the essential signage required by the ADA can also be extremely damaging and limiting to a business. Making your organization as accessible as possible means a wider pool of skilled job applicants and clients. Having an ADA compliant business will keep visitors and employees alike safe, comfortable, and feeling welcome at your facility. It’s a win-win for everyone.

At ADA Central, we can help you understand the ADA regulations and comply accordingly with our wide variety of custom ADA sign options, including braille signs, office and room number signs, door signs, restroom signs, wheelchair accessible signs, and much more. Take a closer look at ADA compliance information or browse our signs by industry. We’ll help your business be accessible to everyone. Contact us to ask about ADA signs for your organization or request an ADA sign quote today.