The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) helps to ensure that those with disabilities have full use and access to public areas and businesses throughout the country, and that means having informational signs that provide the same amount of information to every customer, regardless of their physical capabilities. When it comes to your business, the signs within it are about more than your sense of style; they’re there to communicate important information to everyone who enters your business, including those who may have disabilities. So, how can you ensure that you’re creating compliant ADA signs in Westchester County? Keep reading to get a few tips.
What Signs Must Be ADA Compliant?
First, let’s address which signs are required to meet these standards. It will assist you in ensuring that you’re designing ADA-compliant signs where they are needed. According to the ADA, the following types of signs must meet their regulations:
- All informational signs
- All directional signs
- All overhead signs
- All signs identifying permanently dedicated rooms that don’t change functions (e.g., break rooms, conference rooms, supply closets, etc.)
- All restroom signs
Requirements for the Text
The majority of ADA requirements for signage are focused on your signs’ text. As we already mentioned, these ADA requirements aim to ensure that all of your potential customers can utilize the signs, regardless of their physical limitations. To accommodate this, the first essential requirement of the ADA is including braille letters beneath the text. The braille letters must be rounded, lowercase (except in appropriate instances, such as proper nouns), and have at least 3/8 inch clearance on all sides of the lettering. The braille should also be Grade 2 or shorthand braille. Braille is not required on signs that depict only symbols or pictograms.
In addition to having braille on your signs, you must also have what is known as tactile or raised lettering. The letters on the signs should be raised by at least 1/32 of an inch and in all capital letters. The font must be sans-serif or another plain, easy-to-read text with at least 1/8 of an inch spacing between adjoining characters. The letters should be between 5/8 of an inch and 2 inches in height. It allows for easier readability for those who may have diminished eyesight but who do not read braille.
Requirements for the Colors
Color can be important in the design of your office to help create a cohesive brand look. However, it’s important that your office signs still adhere to ADA standards regarding color. The good news is that there are no specific color requirements. The ADA only states that the signs must use highly contrasting colors to improve visibility. So, if you want a dark blue background for your signs, you should opt for white letters; conversely, if you want a pale gray background, black letters are a better option.
Requirements for Placement
Finally, you should ensure that the signs you design are installed according to ADA standards. These requirements can vary depending on the type of sign, but generally, identification signs should be placed next to the doors they refer to and mounted so that the tactile letters are no less than 48 inches and no more than 60 inches from the ground.
If you’re having a hard time designing ADA-compliant business signs that still speak to your company’s brand, contact Adaptive Signage today. We can help you create and develop everything from informational signs to custom outdoor signs in Westchester County, NY.