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The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on a person’s disability. Among many other things, ADA requires “ADA signs” to be installed in public facilities. All public facilities need ADA compliant signs, and if an existing building that doesn’t have ADA signs is renovating or having an addition put on, that building will need to update their signs to make sure that they are up to code. If your new building is not up to code, you may not get approved for your certificate of occupancy which will prevent you from being able to open your business or school.

ADA signs are commonly considered as just Braille signs, but aside from helping those who are visually impaired, different ADA signs can also help people who are hard of hearing, people who have problems speaking, those with cognitive disabilities, or people with psychiatric conditions so they can navigate easily without having to ask someone for help.

Here are just a few of the requirements that ADA signs need to meet.

  • Braille – California grade II Braille translation to be applied under lettering or numbers
  • Tactile lettering – the characters themselves need to be raised by 1/32″ so those who do not read Braille can still feel the characters to read them.
  • Non-glare backgrounds and characters – Signs with a glare or reflection can be a problem for anyone trying to read a sign, especially people who are vision impaired.
  • Contrasting characters – Much like the signs pictured here that we made for Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television, the letters need to contrast well with the background so they can be read easily. The black signs have white characters, and the white signs have black characters
  • Easy to read typefaces – Only sans serif¬†fonts can be used for ADA signs for easy readability, and so those who are feeling the tactile lettering can feel the shapes of the numbers and letters easily.

In order to know exactly what signs your business needs, you will need a professional sign company to tell you what signs you will need in order to be ADA compliant. Give us a call today to speak with our consultant regarding your custom ADA signs.