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How to Make Your Signage More Inclusive

Jan 4th 2020

How to Make Your Signage More Inclusive

The idea of inclusive signage may seem like a small thing if you’re used to being represented wherever you go. If you’re able-bodied, for instance, you might not give much thought to handicap signs. If you always know whether to go to the men’s or women’s restroom, the idea of gender neutral restroom signs might seem trivial.

However, it’s important to know that in a world with over 7 billion people, there are nearly 7 billion different experiences and walks of life. You never know what your customers’ experiences might be and how your signage might unintentionally exclude them, so it’s important to ensure that your signage is inclusive.

Gender Neutral Restroom Signs

As society progresses, we’ve begun to learn that not everyone falls into the gender binary of man or woman. This is not a new issue. In fact, there have always been people born intersex — with both male and female genatalia. There are also transgender and nonbinary people who may not identify with the gender they were assigned at birth. But it’s only recently that our society has really begun to accept the nuances of gender and the fact that not everyone fits into simple categories.

Gender neutral restroom signs have been a hot topic in recent years, with certain states debating over bathroom bills that will legally restrict access to public restrooms based on gender. As a response, many businesses making an effort to be inclusive have opted for unisex bathroom signs.

There are fun ways to accomplish this. Some signs show the two traditional gender signs, one in between, as well as other, wackier symbols, representing aliens, ancient warriors, or someone with two heads, and stating at the bottom “Whatever. Just wash your hands.” Others might play on a theme of a particular workplace, such as a western or superhero theme. Others might be more straightforward, displaying both the symbol for men and women or outright saying “all gender restroom” in type. Some might be blunt, reading: “Restroom With Urinal” and “Restroom Without Urinal.” Regardless of customization, this is a great way to ensure that customers who don’t ascribe to the gender binary still feel welcome in your establishment.

ADA Accessibility Signs

Another way to be more inclusive is to ensure that your signs express wheelchair accessibility. This goes beyond the signage itself and includes following through with wheelchair accessibility. In bathrooms, that may mean accessible stalls that are larger than the rest and include safety grab bars. In parking lots, this means handicap parking closer to the building than the rest. Ramps instead of stairs are also important. This wheelchair accessibility should be marked with an ADA compliant handicap sign showing the symbol of a wheelchair.

ADA Sign Specifications

The purpose of ADA sign specifications is to be as inclusive as possible, so it’s important to be ADA compliant in all your signage. This means ensuring that signs are at the right height, that the font is sans serif, and that braille 2 is used below any text so those who are blind can still read the signs. Colors can also be important when it comes to ADA compliance. You can customize ADA signs to make them your own, but make sure you stay current on ADA compliance so that your signage is as inclusive as possible.

Interested in making your ADA signage more inclusive? Contact ADA Central today for custom signage that’s all ADA compliant.