The requirements that define ADA signage came about a direct result of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), an important and groundbreaking piece of legislation signed into law in July, 1990, with enforcement of the law beginning in July, 1991. In general, the law protects the rights of disabled individuals, helping to guarantee their access to goods and public services and prohibiting discrimination in the employment and hiring processes.
Even though ADA has been around for a while, there is still some confusion among business owners regarding what the law requires. Fortunately, we’re here to help.
If you own a business or facility here in Walnut Creek or elsewhere around the USA, you should be aware that any “architectural” signage in your facility must comply with certain rules. In this case, architectural signage refers to any signs that identify a permanent room in the facility, point out facility exits, or which provide information regarding the accessible features of any part of the facility. These rules include criteria such as:
- Non-glare backgrounds, images, and text to accommodate persons with vision impairments.
- Dark to light or light to dark contrast between visual characters and the sign background.
- Easy-to-read typefaces, particularly when used on directional and informational signs which may not use condensed or extended typefaces, heavy or light strokes, or overly small text.
- Sign placement must be adjacent to the door the sign identifies.
- Braille inclusion on certain signs, including restroom signage.
- The use of accessibility symbols, especially the “wheelchair” icon denoting available access for those with mobility impairments.
It’s important to note that signage used only for advertising isn’t considered architectural and doesn’t need to be ADA compliant. Nor does temporary signage used for less than seven days.
Equally important to note is the fact that violating the Americans with Disabilities Act with non-compliant signage can carry heavy fines. Fines in the area of $75,000 (maximum) with additional violations running $150,000 (maximum) each. Even if lesser amounts are fined the penalties from repeated ADA violations can be crippling to a company of any size, and therefore should be avoided at all costs.
Over time these rules have been revised, with a significant updates to the current standards in 2010, known as the 2010 Standard for Accessible Design. While complex, the regulations inside the standard are actually relatively simple to comply with, provided that companies work with experienced sign makers and compliance experts such as those here at Sequoia Signs & Graphics Inc.
Our sign making experts specialize in custom ADA signs for companies of a variety of sizes spread across various industries. If you suspect that your business is not ADA compliant, or you are in the process of opening a facility or company and want to head off problems before they can occur, then our team can help. By working with you at your location we’ll guarantee that your signage is above reproach while still giving you the freedom to decide on designs that highlight your company’s identity and creative flair.
For a free quote, or to get started with our team today, give us a call at (925) 300-1066.