ADA Compliance for Interior Signage

ADA Compliance is a key consideration for your interior signs.   Oftentimes, interior signage requires adherence to ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance.  ADA rules for signage help ensure accessibility for those with impaired vision or blindness.

ADA regulations are set by the government and require ADA compliant signage for all permanent rooms in a building. Fines can be rather steep for non-compliance.   While the ADA rules are extensive, we’ve provided some key takeaways below.

Is ADA Compliant Signage required for all interior areas?

Any room that is considered a permanent structure must have ADA compliant signage.  Common examples of interior rooms that must have ADA compliant signs include: elevator closets, mechanical closets, data closets, kitchens, elevator door areas, restrooms and stairways.  Many people think the ADA signs are for the “blind” people, but they are also very helpful for those with lesser vision issues.

Is there any harm to include ADA compliant signs in all areas, even if not required?

No harm at all. You can always err on the side of caution and be proactive by using ADA signs throughout your entire building, including rooms that are not required.  And even if not required, providing as much assistance as possible via ADA signage to your visitors with disabilities is always a good approach. 

Are overhead signs required to follow ADA regulations?

Overhead signs are not required to follow these regulations since (in theory)  people aren’t touching them. 

How does braille lettering fit into these regulations?

All signs that are required to have ADA compliance must have braille and a raised 5/8” letter.   All other signs can be based on what a customer would like.   

Do restroom signs have any special requirements?

Yes they do.  Restroom signs are required to also have pictograms to differentiate between restroom type and accessibility.

Are signs at the entrance to a building required to be ADA compliant?

Actually, no.  Building entrance signs are not required to be ADA complaint.  In fact, entrance signs, directional signs or any sign that would be out of the standard person’s reach do not fall under the ADA sign guidelines.

How does color or contrast fit into the ADA Color or contrast requirements?

Color and contrast are important factors for readability.  The background and letters must be heavily contrasting to each other. According to ADA regulations, any sign that is required to have braille or raised letters must have an 80% contrast in colors.   Additionally, the letters or background also must have a matte finish. 

Type of materials required?

Generally, ADA signs are made from plastic or metal, depending on the look of the building.  As long as it meets color and sizing requirements, the regulations don’t dictate specific material to be used.

How are ADA signs made?

There are several ways to make an ADA sign.  We specialize in 2-ply engraved signs, acrylic signs, photopolymer signs, or exterior metal signs for ADA.  Signs are either engraved / printed or custom formed depending on material. 

What are some specific examples of ADA sign regulations?

The regulations are quite detailed, and impossible to go into all aspects.  But one example of the details involves sign mounting height within doors and hallways.   Room signs should be mounted 2” from the right side door jamb and 60” to center.  If the building structure makes this impossible, then signs must be placed in a reasonable area.

As you can see, the ADA regulations related to signage can be a little overwhelming and confusing.  Our team is experienced in which signs require ADA compliance and which signs don’t. Each situation is unique.  Contact us to learn more!