ADA-Compliant Signage in Schools: How to Make the Most Out of Required School Signage
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As the end of spring draws near, many school officials begin brainstorming improvements they can make to their building while the students are out on summer break.
Depending on a school’s budget and needs, there are a number of possible changes that could be put in place to enhance the structure’s overall look and feel. However, before green-lighting any cosmetic adjustments, school officials are strongly encouraged to perform an accessibility audit and prioritize ADA-compliant school signage if necessary.
Given the time of year—and the fact that ADA-compliant signage in schools is a feature many people overlook—we wanted to take this opportunity to address a few key points, including…
- Why ADA-compliant signage in schools is necessary
- How to use ADA-compliant school signage
- When to update ADA-compliant signage in schools
- Ways to customize required school signage
Armed with such helpful information, school officials (and the sign shops they turn to for school signage) can devise a plan to update their building with the proper displays.
Why ADA-Compliant Signage in Schools Is Necessary
It’s a message that bears repeating: All buildings made for public use are required to have signage that meets all of the compliance standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This includes schools, which not only have hundreds (or thousands) of children roaming their halls every day but also have a responsibility to consider compliance issues for teachers, staff, parents, and community visitors.
It’s important to remember that, in many locations, schools act as a community hub—a location that brings in outside visitors for a wide variety of events. Schools aren’t just places of education—they host entertainment and athletic events for whole communities. They are even used as polling places; therefore, they must have easy access for people (including non-English speakers) who are looking to exercise their civic duty.
Failing to use ADA-compliant signage in schools means that institutions put themselves at risk of incurring fines and being served with lawsuits.
Further, the absence of ADA-compliant school signage can have a negative impact on students, preventing full access to those with disabilities and causing them to feel alienated from their peers.
How to Use ADA-Compliant School Signage
Some school officials are under the impression that ADA-compliant school signage can and should be used only in certain applications. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
All displays that provide valuable information to students, staff, and visitors should possess elements that adhere to ADA guidelines.
Here are just a few ways you can use ADA-compliant signage in schools:
ADA-compliant room number signs make it easy for all students and visitors to find where a specific teacher’s room is. This is helpful for everyday use for students, as well as for parents attempting to find rooms during parent-teacher conferences.
School officials should consider installing ADA-compliant signage in schools that provides directions to important, central locations in the building, such as the auditorium, music wing, cafeteria, or gymnasium.
A directory with a full list of room numbers near the school’s office or another central location is especially helpful in navigating an unfamiliar building.
Clearly denoting the boys’, girls’, and handicap restrooms ensures that students and visitors are able to locate the correct facilities.
Schools should also have signs that specifically designate wheelchair-accessible entrances, ramps, and elevators.
When to Update ADA-Compliant Signage in Schools
For starters, if ADA school signage is nonexistent, it’s vital that those in charge of building maintenance and renovation make it a top priority. As previously mentioned, a lack of compliant signage in schools can lead to a number of consequences for an institution, so ensuring that it is installed and meets all ADA guidelines is strongly recommended.
But schools can also run into issues when school signage is outdated and in poor condition. If students, staff, and visitors are unable to read a display, the signage isn’t fulfilling its intended purpose. Those trying to navigate the building can get lost, turned around, and confused, prompting them to form a negative opinion of the school.
If any of the following apply to the school signage in one’s building, it’s time to order new displays.
- The Braille lettering has worn down with time.
- The paint on the text is chipping.
- The sign has faded after being in direct sunlight.
- The sign was not fabricated by a shop that specializes in ADA displays.
Ways to Customize Required School Signage
At Erie Custom Signs, we make ADA-compliant signage for a variety of applications in schools to make them safer, more accessible, and more professional. We work with all educational institutions, ranging from elementary schools to major universities, to ensure they are fully outfitted with ADA signage that fits within their branding.
With our help, you could…
- Add a school’s logo, mascot, or coat of arms
- Make sure all signs are made to match a school’s colors
- Request a custom design that fits with a school’s particular brand
It’s a common misconception that compliant signage in schools has to be lacking in personality just to adhere to ADA rules. In fact, such school signage can be made in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors.
Now is the time to take a close look at what features in one’s school could use an upgrade—especially school signage. There’s a good chance the current displays could be improved for greater readability, aesthetic appeal, and more.
For more information about how to make the most out of ADA-compliant signage in schools, contact us today at Erie Custom Signs.