To protect the civil rights of the disabled, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed by Congress and implemented in the early ‘90s. As it pertains to signs, the goal of the law is to guarantee access to services and goods by requiring identification standards for readability, such as sign location, character size and font, tactile copy, color contrast, and more. There is a lot of confusion surrounding the ADA. To help clear things up for you, we have put together this ADA sign FAQs for Los Angeles businesses.
Do I need to make all of my signs ADA markers?
There are several signs that are excluded from the ADA regulations. These include
- Signs in parking facilities that are not for accessible parking spaces
- Occupant names
- Company logos and names
- Building addresses
- Signs that are used for less than a week
- Row and seat designations in assembly areas
- Building directories
Which signs do have to be ADA compliant?
You must have ADA compliant signs providing identification for all permanent spaces and rooms. Safety signs identifying doors at stairwells and passageways are required to have ADA signs that include Braille copy and raised characters. ADA guidelines should also be followed with flag mounted, wall mounted, and overhead signs that identify or direct, but these do not require tactile copy.
Are numbers or names needed to identify spaces?
Restrooms, kitchens, and other rooms that have equipment that cannot be moved easily must be identified by name. Alphanumerical labels are acceptable for cubicles, offices, and other spaces that may change.
What exactly are raised characters according to the ADA?
Characters must not have abrasive or sharp edges. The guidelines also specify that raised letters should be a sans serif copy style, uppercase, 1/32” minimum above their background, and characters can’t be highly decorative, oblique, extended, of unusual form, script, italic, or expanded. Raised characters must be between 5/8” and 2” high.
What are the visual character requirements?
Guidelines for visual characters must be followed for signs that offer safety or direction. The guidelines for visual characters and their backgrounds are they must have lower case or upper case or a combination of both, non-glare finish, a conventional copy style, high contrast with their background, and characters that are not highly decorative, oblique, extended, unusual in form, script, italic, or expanded.
Are evacuation maps required in my building?
In California, evacuation maps are a must. In this map, be sure to include a floor plan with outside meeting locations, an evacuation route, emergency protocols, locations of areas of refuge, and locations of safety items. You are not required to have Braille or raised characters for evacuation maps.
If you have other ADA sign FAQs for Los Angeles businesses that are not listed here, please do not hesitate to contact The Sign Studio. We are the experts when it comes to ADA signage. We can even help you determine what ADA signs you need for your specific venue.
For a free consultation, contact us today!