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Why ADA Compliant Signage Is So Important

The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that all public areas display ADA compliant signage.  There are many reasons for this.  Many people have different types of disabilities that make it difficult for them to read or use placards that do not include special symbols and lettering.  This Act makes it a mandatory compliance issue for all buildings and businesses that serve the public to use these types of placards.  There are specific guidelines that must be followed, or the result could be fines and other penalties for the owner of the business or building.

One of the first things that are noticeable on all ADA compliant signage is the use of pictograms.  These are pictures that are universally understood.  This helps those who may not speak the country’s language, and it also helps those that have limited reading skills. A great example of this is the pictograms that are seen on restroom doors.  A pictogram that resembles a stick figure with a skirt is used to denote the women’s restroom, while a pictogram of man is used to denote the men’s restroom.  Family restrooms are often represented by showing a man, woman, and children on the placard.  A public telephone that is available for those who are hearing impaired would have a pictogram of a phone with wavy lines to indicate that this service is available.

Another thing that is required on many placards so that it is ADA compliant signage is braille lettering.  This is to aid those who are sight impaired and can only read the special raised lettering that is provided by braille.  This helps individuals navigate an area with limited or no assistance. 

Making sure that all ADA compliant signage is placed correctly at the right height is another mandate of the Act.  There are rules that dictate exactly how high a placard is to be placed on doors and over doorways.  This is to make sure that they are easily readable by individuals who may be in a wheelchair, or who may have limited near sightedness or the limited ability to see at a distance. 

There are many other types of mandates that are imparted in the guidelines of this Act.  The size of the font, as well as which fonts can be used is an example of one of those mandates.  Other items such as the contrast color of the background in comparison to the contrast color of the font are also mandated to be a specific way in the guidelines set forth in the Act.
Another type of ADA compliant signage would be a placard that tells a wheelchair bound person that an aisle or hall is wider for ease of traversing.  Entrances and exits, as well as wheelchair ramps all must be clearly labeled according the guidelines of the Act. 

All of the things that are required by the Act are done in an effort to make the world safer and easier for those with disabilities, vision or hearing impairment, and those that assist them in their daily lives.

Related Topics:
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