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Printed ADA Room Signs - Connecting Signs

The Purpose of ADA Signs

“ADA” stands for the Americans with Disabilities Act, which is a regulatory government protocol that sets the rules and regulations for signage that designates accessible areas of public spaces. The purpose of ADA signs is to give those with visual impairments the ability to read verbiage on signs that designate restrooms, changing rooms, stairwells, elevators, and many other functional rooms. ADA signs are intended to be easily read visually and through tactile touch with the use of Braille. ADA signs are usually made from acrylic and manufactured using special software and a router engraver machine.

ada conference room sign

More Than Braille Signs

ADA signs are sometimes interpreted as being signs with braille, when in fact, they’re much more than just braille signs. The sign standards in the ADA Accessibility Guideline require that signs that identify a permanent room or signs that direct the audience to functional rooms must adhere to rules about the sign materials, finishing, text, braille, and installation standards. Braille signs might seem like they’re only made to benefit the blind and visually impaired, but the simplicity and specificity of these types of signs also benefit the deaf and people with cognitive disabilities.

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Rules for ADA Signs

The following are general rules for ADA signs. The full list of rules and regulations can be found on the ADA website. Keep in mind, different municipalities could have different guidelines to follow so be sure to double-check with your local government and building inspector for the full list of rules that you must follow for your ADA signs!

  • Sign background must have a non-glare finish
  • Sign lettering and sign background must be highly contrasting in color tone
  • Lettering must be in a sans-serif font and all uppercase characters for ease of use
  • Lettering characters must be 5/8” – 2” tall with 1/8” spacing between characters
  • Pictograms must be in their own 6” tall space
  • Braille must be grade II, clear, domed-shaped, and all characters in lowercase
  • Room signs must be mounted on the latch side of the door, centered horizontally in an 18” space, and between 48” – 60” from character baseline to the floor

Keep in mind that this list above is just a general overview of some of the rules for ADA compliant signage. A full list of requirements for ADA compliant signs can be found here.

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Custom braille room signs

ADA Signs and Environmental Design

Most signs have a functional and useful purpose. Signs give people the ability to navigate an unfamiliar space without having to bother someone to ask for directions. ADA signs are so useful, that they’re a requirement for new buildings to have to comply with the ADA. Environmental design is similar to interior design in that it is the design of the surrounding interior layout, furniture, lighting fixtures, and carpet. But the one thing that environmental design takes into consideration is signage. ADA signs may have a lot of limitations in terms of the complexity of their design, but they can still compliment the design of the environment with the use of natural materials, recycled materials, and contrasting finishes.

 

Are you looking for a sign company to design, manufacture, and install your ADA signs? Connecting Signs will work with you to help you reach your goals when it comes to ADA signs. Give us a call today at 970-493-0133 or request a quote here to get started!

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ADA Signs, Symbols, and Communication

Acrylic ADA Restroom Signs - Connecting Signs

Acrylic ADA Restroom Signs

What are Pictograms?

Symbols have been used for many, many years to provide a communication short-cut that allows for instant understanding between people who may not speak the same language or who communicate in a different way. Symbols have been an integral component of universal signage for many years as well. In these modern times, the symbols that appear on signs are called: pictograms. Pictograms specifically appear on ADA signs which allows for important room identification communication (i.e., restroom signs, stairwell signs, elevator signs, etc.).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ADA Restroom Signage - Connecting Signs

ADA Restroom Signage

ADA signs and Pictograms

Since pictograms are representations of objects or rather of a desired action, there needs to be cohesive symbols that are utilized for all specific signs. For example, an ADA compliant accessible women’s restroom sign is required to show the universal symbol for women as well as the universal symbol for accessibility. When someone visits a public space and they need to use the restroom, they can just look for the corresponding pictogram and locate the restroom they need to use. So, if they visit another public area on another day, they will know to look for the sign that has the pictogram that designates their restroom.

 

 

 

Required and Recommended Pictograms

Anytime a sign exists to assist the disabled, there needs to be a corresponding pictogram that appears on the sign. These signs provide direction and designation of accessible spaces, and certain pictograms are required to appear on them. The international symbol of accessibility, the international symbol of TTY, the symbol for a volume control telephone, and assistive listening systems symbols are all required pictograms for ADA signs. The symbols that are featured on restroom signs are mostly recommended to feature the pictogram for men or women. All gender restrooms do not need to feature either symbol, but a pictogram of a toilet can be used as it is a universal symbol that designates a restroom.

 

 

 

all gender ada restroom sign

All gender ADA changing room sign

Pictogram Options

There are other symbols that can be featured on ADA signs, but they are not required by ADA standards. These symbols include:

  • No entry
  • Fire extinguisher
  • First aid
  • Defibrillator
  • Hand wash station
  • No smoking
  • Biohazard
  • Baby changing station
  • Exit stairs
  • Radiation area

 

 

 

Although these symbols are not required for ADA sign standards, they can be useful to certain industries and may even be required for certain regulatory industries, buildings, or states. Double-check with your local government to ensure that you’re compliant under their guidelines.

 

 

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Understanding Compliant ADA Signs

college ada signs

Signage and the Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was first signed into law on July 26, 1990. However, people with disabilities were fighting for inclusive and accessible spaces long before ADA became law. ADA signs are an integral part of compliant public and commercial spaces. There are specific rules to follow when creating your ADA sign plan. Rules like sign installation height and location, lettering height, braille, and color combinations are in place to create unity and continuity throughout public areas.

wood ADA sign

Rules for Compliant ADA Signs

Firstly, the lettering on ADA signs needs to be in a sans serif font and all the lettering needs to be uppercase. The width of ADA signs is dependent on the letting height. The minimum letter height for ADA signs is 5/8 of an inch while the maximum letter height is two inches. Lettering also needs to be featured in acrylic tactile that is at least 1/32 inch deep. Pictograms require an area six inches in height to be ADA compliant. Braille needs to be clear, domed, and grade II. Lastly, all the lettering and pictogram features need to be in a non-glare finish and must contrast with the backer of the sign.

Acrylic ADA signs

 

When Braille is Required for ADA Signs

Not every interior sign requires grade II braille. Only signs that designate permanent rooms and spaces like restroom signs, exit signs, room number signs, and elevator signs need compliant braille and uppercase lettering. Directional signs, wayfinding signs, and overhead signs do not require braille and are not required to have uppercase lettering. However, all of these types of signs must have materials with a non-glare finish and contrasting characters and symbols.

restroom ADA signs

How to Create Unique ADA signs

While there are a lot of rules and regulations attached to ADA compliant signage, there are still ways to incorporate creativity and uniqueness within an ADA sign project. Firstly, mixing contrasting colors and materials is a great way to make a statement. Utilizing a flatbed printer allows for acrylic to be printed with a unique design or a logo can also make a lasting impact. Keeping the different sign-types similar in design allows unifies the space and keeps confusion to a minimum.

custom ADA signs

Get Your ADA Signs Ordered Today

Don’t wait to order your required ADA signs! There’s a lot of time required to organize the sign schedule, design, manufacture, and install ADA signs. Request a quote from Connecting Signs today or give us a call at 970-493-0133 to speak with a member of our experienced staff to get your questions answered and your ADA sign project started!