How to Correctly Install ADA Compliant Signs

It's important to understand how to install and place ADA compliant signs at your business. There's also the aesthetic quality to be considered for ADA compliant signage installation. The American Disability Act (or ADA) has been in place since 2011. Be sure to familiarize yourself with these rules to avoid fines and other issues, such as lawsuits.

Let's start with the basic rules.

ADA-Restroom-Sign-1ADA Compliant Signage Installation in Parking Lots

In order to install ADA compliant signs in your parking area, there are a few rules to follow, including:

First, make sure that accessible parking is located along the most accessible route to your business entrance. One out of every six accessible spaces should accommodate vans, and these parking spaces should be 8 feet wide.

Second, access aisle parking should have a permanent no parking sign at the head of the aisle space except where it would obstruct a curb ramp. In this case, the no parking sign should be painted on the access aisle.

Braille Signage Height

ADA tactile signs must be placed at least 4 feet above the finished floor as measured from the lowest set of characters. The maximum height is 5 feet above the finished floor to the highest character. This allows for signs that are different sizes to be mounted along the same plane. One thing to note, elevator signs do not have to adhere to this rule.

Tactile signs must be mounted on the latch side of the door for consistency. if there's no room, you can mount the sign on the nearest adjoining wall. If you have double doors with one sheaf that opens, mount the sign on the right-handed door. If both doors are left open, the sign should be placed on the right of the right sheaf.

Raised Copy

Use both Braille and raised copy to comply with interior signage for the vision impaired. And ensure that raised copy is from 5/8" and 2" in height. The signs must be uppercase and use a sans serif font like Arial or Helvetica. This makes the characters easy to identify since serifs may be difficult to read when feeling the characters.

The contrast in ADA Compliant Signage Installation

Contrast is always an issue when it comes to signage. However, ADA compliant signs require specific contrast parameters. Use a light background accompanied by dark copy, or vice versa, to remain compliant.

For example, pink text would be difficult to read on dark pink background for any signage, not only for ADA compliant signs.

To achieve maximum contrast, ensure that your signs are made from nonglare material. If your sign reflects too much light is very hard to read.

ADA Compliant Signs: Overhead Signs

Overhead signs are not tactile. However, they still fall under ADA rules. To remain in compliance, the bottom of a projecting or hanging sign should be at least 80 inches from the floor. This prevents them from posing a danger to anyone walking under the sign.

Importance of Position and Attachment ADA Compliant Signage Installation

Spectrum Signs has a survey and consultation service to assist businesses in determining the best placement for visibility and to remain in compliance with ADA regulations. Let our team merge city codes, the site survey information, branding and engineering considerations into a comprehensive signage strategy that keeps your business up to code and utilizes signs to attract customers effectively.
For example, allowable wall sign anchoring is determined by building construction rules in your municipality and in compliance with ADA laws. We have a variety of ways to securely affix signs to any background.

If you utilize freestanding signs, a structural footing is required. Our engineering team figures out how deep the footing and steelwork must be to comply with International Building Code standards.

ADA compliant signage installation may require aerial trucks, cranes and heavy equipment to complete. At Spectrum Signs, we follow through each stage of the installation to make sure the installation and finished signs are secure and effective. Contact our team at Spectrum Signs to get started with your ADA compliant sign consultation!

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Patrick Woller

Patrick Woller [fa icon="linkedin-square"]

Patrick is a Graphic Designer at Spectrum Signs, a custom business sign maker in Blaine, MN. After a call from his college placement office, Patrick joined the Spectrum Signs team in 2010. Patrick finds enjoyment in the unique challenges his job gives him through the use of out of the ordinary materials. When Patrick isn’t designing signs, he enjoys playing with his dog Willis, learning the guitar, and working on welding projects.