What does “ADA” mean and how does it affect my signage?

The term “ADA” refers to the Americans with Disabilities Act. Published by the Department of Justice, this act sets minimum requirements for accessibility standards for individuals with disabilities. Part of this publication includes standards for signage. A common misconception about ADA signs revolves around the idea that the term “ADA” is synonymous with Braille signage.

In addition to tactile Braille signs, the ADA defines and requires many styles of signs. Some sign types required include handicap parking signs, elevator signs and directional signs toward accessible features. The ADA also defines mounting specifications including how far a sign can protrude and the distance from the ceiling any fixture may be placed. These guidelines also apply to general signs within a building.

Traditional ADA-compliant Restroom Sign.
 What buildings or spaces require ADA signs?

All public buildings must have ADA signs. If you have a business, with employees, clients or customers, you must follow all aspects of the ADA including sign requirements. These requirements say every permanent room or space in all public buildings in the US must have identifying signs. These signs include bathroom labels, conference room signs, signs for the cafeteria, etc. If a sign labels a permanent area it must comply. Every doorway inside a building must also have an ADA sign. Additionally, if a sign directs or informs about the function of the space it must also comply. This is especially true if a sign directs or informs about accessibility features.

Example of Internal Lobby Sign displaying company name not falling under ADA restrictions.
What signs don’t have to follow ADA guidelines?

Business signs function as a necessity for business success. Although many sign styles fit within the ADA specifications, signs for advertising and marketing purposes, temporary signs, company logos and names do not have to comply.

Where ADA signage follows strict guidelines set by the Department of Justice, different elements guide traditional signage. Due to zoning and districts, various locations have different signage allowances permitted. Likewise, building owners can specify which signage types are permitted on any given property.

Traditional sign packages include a vastly diverse list of signage. To learn more on full sign packages check out our social media accounts! (Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin)

Washroom ADA sign required to label permanent area in public office.
Where are ADA signs required in my facility?

Section §703.4 of the Standards for Accessible Design dictates placement of ADA sign mounting locations. These standards include directly mounting ADA signs to the inside handle side of the door. They also include ADA compliant signs positioned at all doorways of permanent building space or area that requires identification.

ADA compliant branded locker room signs!

Even with the strict standards and requirements for ADA signage, with a creative twist these signs can blend with an internal branding sign package! At Paramount Signs we pride ourselves on creative signage! We will work to create a signage package the works with your goals and budgets.  Creative signage solutions for ADA signs can start by including branding colors and logos. ADA signs can also branch out into specialty materials or specialized shapes to fit your brand! Coupled with logo and brand signage, ADA signs can round out your signage package.

If you need ADA signs that enhances your office or retail space and would like to get away from the boring online offerings, give us a call for a free consultation.

Remember, “getting you noticed is Paramount!”

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