Where Will You Find ADA Compliant Signage?
When it comes to compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), one of the most important things an organization needs to look at is its signage. With more than 2 million legally blind individuals residing in the United States, and many more experiencing varying degrees of impaired vision, the need for accessibility is critical.
As a general rule, you’re likely to find ADA compliant signage just about everywhere, because ADA regulations state that permanent rooms and spaces—those whose functions are not liable to change any time soon—must have signs that are accessible to those with impaired vision. Here are some of the places you’re most likely to encounter ADA-compliant signage:
- Hospitals: Given the nature of the services they provide and the populations they work with, it makes sense that hospitals and other medical facilities would prioritize making their signage—and by extension the buildings themselves—accessible to those with vision problems. But ADA-compliant signage also helps ensure everyone can identify restricted and potentially dangerous areas, which is a unique concern for hospitals.
- Schools: Regardless of the age of the students, schools and other educational settings should provide signage that makes it possible for students to easily locate their classrooms, restrooms and support services. ADA-compliant signage will also serve to prevent students from accessing various spaces that should be off limits, such as teachers’ offices, janitorial closets, kitchens and more.
- Office buildings: Businesses and corporations need to account not just for their own personnel, but also for those who might be visiting for meetings or to conduct business transactions. Making conference rooms and offices easy to locate and identify will lead to a more pleasant experience for visitors and create a more welcoming environment for everyone.
- Hotels: Because they have no way of predicting who might require lodging, hotels and motels should invest in ADA-compliant signage. In addition to guestrooms and restrooms, dining, exercise and retail areas should be clearly marked, as should areas that are generally considered off limits, such as utility and storage rooms. ADA-compliant signage helps to ensure safety as well as comfort during guests’ stays.
- Government facilities: Naturally, governmental regulations will also apply to government buildings. Surprisingly, though, the push for ADA-compliant signage has sometimes come into conflict with a desire to preserve historic signage and aesthetics. Nevertheless, because government is supposed to be accessible to the people, it needs to make an effort to be accessible to all people.
ADA compliance is not limited to the inclusion of Braille on a sign. There are additional requirements related to font, color, character size and other factors that must be taken into account. After all, blindness is not the only form of vision impairment, and not all blind individuals read Braille.
At the end of the day, businesses and organizations need to ensure that their signage is ADA-compliant in order to better serve their employees, customers and other visitors. Placing ADA-compliant signage in your space because it’s technically required should be less of a priority than doing so because it’s courteous and thoughtful and allows everyone to feel welcome and comfortable. To learn more about your options when it comes to ADA-compliant signage, contact Erie Custom Signs today.