How to sell ADA signage to universities and colleges
Unlike elementary and high schools, which typically have a much easier workflow, universities and colleges usually have a more complicated process in regard to ordering and approving signage. Due to the number of people involved in such decisions, sign shop owners should be prepared to attend several meetings with clients in this sphere before sign production can begin.
Additionally, sign shop owners working with administrators in the higher education arena should highlight the benefits of installing ADA-compliant signage on campus:
- Help with wayfinding– College campuses are notoriously difficult for first-time visitors to navigate, especially when buildings are vast. Interior ADA signage can help students, new faculty members, and visitors locate the specific room or department they’re looking for.
- Create a cohesive look to all campus signage– Those in higher education take great pride in creating a cohesive look to their campus, which they fear may be ruined with ADA signage. In reality, ADA signs can be customized just like any other display, so they’ll complement the university’s existing aesthetics.
- Reinforce the values of inclusiveness– Universities and colleges are melting pots of diversity, and so it’s even more important for students with special needs to feel included. ADA signs that have Braille lettering and/or direct individuals to wheelchair-accessible areas can help higher education institutions achieve this goal.
- Enable a positive college experience for all– By installing ADA signage that can be easily read and understood, institutions can help make sure that those who visit their campus will have a positive experience.
- Fulfill responsibility as a public institution– All public facilities are required to have ADA signage in place, including schools. By having ADA signs installed throughout campus, universities and colleges can ensure they’re being compliant and fulfilling their responsibility as a public institution.
Who should you reach out to when selling signage to universities and colleges?
For sign shops looking to expand into this market, it should be noted that you’ll likely be working with a number of individuals.
As for the initial contact, it’s best to research the facilities management department first. In other cases, it may be necessary to go directly to the board of trustees.
Why is ADA signage important for universities and colleges?
Universities and colleges have a diverse group of individuals working and learning on their grounds. Therefore, accommodations must be made for students and faculty with certain health conditions. Some may have neurological conditions, which makes easy-to-understand wayfinding signs crucial. Some may use wheelchairs, which is why ADA signs that direct to wheelchair-accessible ramps and elevators are necessary. And some may possess visual impairments, which is why signage with Braille lettering and/or large text is required. To ensure that everyone has equal access to what the institution offers, it’s important to have the appropriate features in place, including ADA signage.
In creating ADA accommodations for college students and connecting university and college campus wayfinding with ADA-compliant design, it is important to understand that with some creative input, ADA regulations can only help to improve, and not restrain, the user-friendliness of the signage for students, visitors, and faculty. By installing ADA signs throughout campus, higher education institutions can create a welcoming atmosphere for all. It can also help strengthen their image of being a caring institution to current and future staff and students.