“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.
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.
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.
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!