What Is ADA? And Why Those Signs Are Important For Your Business

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What Is ADA? And Why Those Signs Are Important For Your Business

ADA represents The Americans with Disabilities Act which was initially put into law in 1990. Whether you have a large or small business, ADA signage is key...

What Is ADA? And Why Those Signs Are Important For Your Business

The acronym or abbreviation for the ADA represents The Americans with Disabilities Act that was initially put into law in 1990. The law prevents discrimination against those in the workforce who are disabled. Since 1994, the Act includes both state and federal agencies that employ at least 15 workers. The Department of Labor and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces the Act.

The Act covers those with significant physical or mental impairments that affect the ability to walk, combat infection, maintain cell growth, bend customarily, breathe, speak, hear, see, execute manual tasks, learn without struggles and execute personal care duties (dressing and bathing). A medical history has to be in place for an impairment to be covered under the ADA.

Importance of Signs for the Disabled

Just what is the significance of the ADA when it involves the placing of signs in your business? Maybe you’re getting ready to start a business or you’ve been at it for a while. You want to be compliant with the law and follow the ADA’s rules and regulations of adherence. Every customer deserves the best of your attention and persons with disabilities are no exception.

Since it’s a strict requirement of the ADA, proper signage for the disabled is important. You want those who have visual, hearing, or sensory impairments to be able to easily locate your signs and either read them or have access to them through Braille or touch (raised letters). Any affordable sign company needs to be in touch with what’s happening with any federal or state laws that govern the handicapped or disabled. Those with physical limitations need to be able to approach your sign with the aid of a ramp or other devices that put them in touch with them. Signs should appear in public spaces so the disabled are able to access them.

For mobility, disabled individuals need safety and that’s covered with exits and entrances in public places order for the disabled to be mobile, safety is of concern, which means that any entrances and exits are visible, clearly marked Improving mobility of the disabled means that their safety in public places should be provided for through entrances and exits that are open, spacious and easy to access. They should not only be visible but appropriately marked and easy to recognize.

Why ADA related Signs are Important

Making your business alluring, engaging, and accessible to every customer, which includes the disabled, is important. It should be the goal of every business to achieve these goals. You want to reach out to those special customers and create an environment that welcomes customers with disabilities. Ingratiating your business with individuals, but particularly the disabled, is an opening for more business to come your way, plus you’re offering any specialized services to them and others. You’re sending a positive message by complying with all laws, plus you’re acknowledging that you value everyone. With a business that’s accessible, people with disabilities will feel confident that your business is open to them and their needs.

ADA Compliant Signs

The purpose of ADA signs is to affirm both equal rights and opportunities for individuals with disabilities. As a business person, you want to understand that your business and signs must incorporate their needs. You don’t want to commit a criminal offense by not complying with the ADA Act.

Any public or commercial business place requires ADA signs and they have to be installed in airports, parks, railway stations, bus stations, airports, bars, restaurants, movie theaters and factories, warehouses, and other places.

With visually impaired individuals the requirements include:

  • any signs should avoid glare
  • signs must have easily processed background colors
  • contrasts that are too low make any text illegible
  • dark to light contrast is recommended
  • ADA compliant fonts (helvetica, optima, futura, trebuchet, avantgarde,vag rounded,frutiger, verdana and franklin gothic)
  • Braille and raised letters required for the visually impaired

Where You Don’t Need ADA Signage

When you work remotely or away from a building or office space, you don’t have to be ADA compliant and deal with acquiring signs. Even if you interact remotely with your customers or a place of business or their homes, you won’t need ADA signage.

Some ADA sign compliance guidelines come with exemptions, such as exemptions for companies with fewer than 15 employees; so while you may still need to be ADA compliant, you need not be compliant to every rule.

Required ADA Signs

With a public business, you need ADA signs. Whether you have a large or small business, you can acquire ADA compliant signs to serve customers in your workplace. You’ll need restroom signs, Braille signs and lettering, parking signs, and signs for rooms that don’t change their function. You’ll also need easy-to-read fonts (sans serif) that conform to ADA guidelines. It’s simply common sense and good business that you’re available to every customer, which includes those with disabilities.

Other Regulations

Proper signs don’t necessarily encompass all ADA regulations. If you want to be completely ADA compliant, think about ADA parking signs, parking areas outside of your business that are accessible as well as provisions for ramps beside stairs, and sufficient space for individuals to guide wheelchairs. Think about the entrance to the interior of an area. You’ll want pathways open along with access to elevators. Bathrooms should comply too, which means any bathroom stalls will have grab bars and sufficient space for wheelchair accessibility. Also, any mirrors, sinks, appliances, and surfaces should be within reach and not too high.