How does the Americans with Disabilities ACT (ADA) affect me and my business?

The Americans with Disabilities Act prevents discrimination and ensures accessibility within businesses for those with disabilities through sign requirements. ADA signage includes signs with images and Braille so blind and visually impaired, or otherwise unable to read standard text can navigate a business or public space.

ADA interior sign requirements apply to any permanent rooms or areas in your building that assist in the safety of both employees and customers. Restrooms, vending areas, room numbers, floor numbers, and door signs to name a few. These signs also need to be placed at every entrance and exit on the interior and exterior walls.

As of 2020, businesses or organizations that don’t comply with ADA signage requirements can face a fine of up to $100,000 for a first offense and $200,000 for subsequent violations. Because of this, you must understand what makes a sign ADA compliant, and how to install ADA signs in your office.

You can see the serious ramifications when you’re not compliant. But, you shouldn’t adhere to the guidelines purely to avoid a fine. Having proper ADA signage in your business creates an environment of inclusiveness and accessibility for employees and customer. It also provides a safe environment in the case of an emergency, aiding the disabled to find their way to safety.

So, what makes standard way finding signage and ADA compliant signage? ADA signage must include the following features per the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design.

Features required for ADA signage:

  • High contrast ratio, so the background color contrasts with the image on the sign
  • A non-glare finish
  • Text characters in sans serif or serif font, not italicized, condensed, or extra bold, and ranging between 5/8 of an inch and 2 inches in height
  • Grade 2 Braille, although some states require other spacing and sizing requirements
  • Appropriate images, such as stairs or restroom signs, when applicable

Not only must you consider design standards, but also the regulations on installation.

  • Height: Tactile characters must be within 48-60 inches from the ground.
  • Just a few examples of installation Position:
    • Single doors, the sign must be mounted on the latch side of the door.
    • Double doors, the must be mounted to the right of the right handed door
    • Inward swinging doors, mount the sign the wall
    • Outward swinging doors the sign, mount the sign on the wall 18″ from the door.

If you’re not sure if your facility is compliant, give the experts at Paramount Signs a call for a free consultation.

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