ADA Compliant Signs
The primary purpose of signs is to communicate information to as many people as possible. This is particularly important for signs that direct and orient people inside and around a building. With signs that are difficult to understand or see it can be much harder to get around and accomplish what you want to get done.
Recognizing the need to make public places accessible to people with visual disabilities, the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) put in place a number of requirements for signage in public buildings. Everyone who is responsible for most buildings – like an office or apartment complex – needs to install certain kinds of signs in certain places to make sure they’re navigable for people who have visual disabilities.
Blue Dot Signs can help you with the design, fabrication, installation of these ADA compliant signs in NJ, and we’re available to consult with any time you need help. Give us a call today to learn more, or to get a quote for our NJ ADA sign services.
Where to Use ADA Signs?
You’ve probably seen an ADA sign before. Examples include braille signs, as they have a simple design to avoid clutter and confusion and have a more textural element than other types of signs that allows people to decipher them with their sense of touch.
If a sign identifies a room that is permanently used for a specific purpose, it must be ADA compliant. Some examples of rooms that must have ADA compliant signs include:
- Vending Areas
Directory signs, parking signs, and temporary signs that will be displayed for seven days or fewer aren’t generally required to be ADA compliant.
If you’re not sure whether ADA compliant elements are needed for a particular room’s sign, it’s usually best to err on the side of caution. Adding braille and raised lettering doesn’t cost that much more and failing to include them on a sign that requires them can result in significant fines.
ADA signs can be customized in many ways so that they’re both code compliant and fitting for your business’s brand. However, in order to make things faster and easier, businesses often use sign templates that are already known to be compliant. When following regulations, you often find that a specific simple design is the result.
Some features that ADA signs must incorporate depending on what type of sign they are include:
- Raised Lettering and Graphics
- High Contrast Colors
- Matte or Other Non-Glare Finish
Some ADA signs, like restroom signs with male and female figures on them, usually require pictograms to further diminish any confusion.
Frequently Asked Questions About ADA Signs
Yes. In general, they should be installed 54” off the floor, on the side of the door that’s closest to the door handle. However, there may be other detailed installation requirements specific to the type of sign you’re ordering that you’ll need to consider. They ensure that the signs are accessible to those with handicaps.
Yes. Our sign fabrication technology is more than capable of adding customized graphics like business logos to signage and as long as they don’t decrease the visibility of the sign’s message, it is possible to add them to ADA compliant signs.
If the room will only ever be used for one purpose, like the kitchen or restroom, ADA compliant signs should include its name. If the purpose changes, like an office or multipurpose room, just a room number is sufficient.
No. If your signs were compliant in 1991, for example, you don’t have to order and install entirely new signs since the standards were updated in 2012. However, you will need to install the most up-to-date ADA standard compliant signage if you alter your building. A construction project would be an example of an alteration.
It doesn’t take long to make simple office signage ADA compliant, especially if there aren’t many customized details. Usually it only takes a few business days to fabricate and ship an order for this type of sign.
Yes. We know ADA signage regulations and how they apply to different types of buildings, and can help keep your building up to code with the right signs. If you want to customize your signs in some way, we will make sure those custom details won’t violate ADA regulations.
No. Many different kinds of signs including (but not limited to) temporary signs that are posted for seven days or less, directories, and parking signs are not required to have Braille or tactile letters.
ADA rules don’t require specific fonts by name, but they do require that the letters and numbers you use for compliant signage be sans serif and not italic, script, or highly decorative. Your main goal is easy readability. Some commonly used fonts are Arial, Helvetica, Calibri, Verdana, and Tahoma.
Local code inspectors carry out regular inspections of public buildings to ensure that safety codes like ADA compliant signs are being properly carried out. If you don’t install the appropriate signage to make sure that your building is easily accessible for everyone regardless of their visual abilities, you can face serious fines.
This is dependent on the size of the overall sign and where it’s installed. Raised lettering and graphics on wall mounted signs should be 5/8”-2” tall. Signs that are installed at greater heights than regular door signs should have letters and graphics that are at least 2” tall, maybe 3” or above if they’re meant to be seen from longer distances.