Business Signs for Columbus Ohio | Car Wraps | Color Banners | Trade Show Displays | Signarama - ADA GUIDELINES




The Americans With Disabilities Act of 1991

The Department of Justice on the celebration of the sixth signing of the American with Disabilities
Act activated issued an "ADA Guide for Small Business" and activated a site. The ADA outlawed
discrimination against 49 million disabled Americans in employment in public accommodations and public services.

The Department of Justice was receiving over 75.000 calls a year to their ADA holine concerning
how to comply with current ADA laws and regulations the web site provides helpful information.
To use the site type in The toll free number for help isstill 1.800.514.0301 if you don't have web access. The web site will find it has useful information aboutongoing enforcement efforts, technical information, what the law requires and local, state and federal
laws require.

You can order a 15 page pamplet called "ADA Guide for Small Business". Call the US Federal Governments
Printing Office at 202.512.1800 and request document 1996-405-033-814-54282.

For a full listing of the ADA regulations and pamphlets, write to: Disability Rights
Section; Civil Rights Division; U.S. Department of Justice; PO Box 66738; Washington,
DC 20035-6738.

Levels of Compliance

What is ADA?
On July 26, 1991 the U.S. Congress passed Public Law 101-336, the American Disabilities Act, commonly referred to as ADA. The purpose of the law is to eliminate discrimination against individuals with disabilities. The plan establishes standards addressing discrimination and methods to vigorously enforce these standards.
Title III of the ADA requires public accommodations to be accessible to people with disabilities through affirmative efforts to remove physical barriers to the full and equal enjoyment of goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages and accommodations by all. This is the part that applies to signage; the ADA affects not only the facility, but also the policies, procedures and practices of the organization, including the employees themselves.
The ADA changes everything since the new regulation will be enforced by the U.S. Attorney General. The new law is covered under regulation by the Department of Justice and permits private parties to file complaints with the Attorney General to stop discrimination.

In suits brought by the Attorney General, monetary damages and civil penalties may be awarded. Civil penalties may not exceed $50,000 for the first violation or $100,000 for any subsequent violations. It has been reported that organizations for the disabled will send “testers” into buildings to determine if a facility complies with the ADA rules. Should the property not be in compliance, the organization will file complaints with the Attorney General and will bring lawsuits. Hospitals most likely will be at the top of the compliance list.
Therefore, compliance with ADA signage requirements should be a priority.
Who is required to have ADA signs?
New Construction:
Any facility where the completed application for a building permit or permit extension is filed after Jan. 26, 1992 and the facility will be occupied after Jan. 26, 1993 must comply with all aspects of the law.
Alterations to facilities:
Any alteration undertaken after Jan. 26, 1992 shall be made to comply with the maximum extent feasible to make the facility readily accessible and usable by individuals with disabilities.
Existing facilities:
The removal of architectural barriers and communication barriers that are structural in nature should be done where such removal is “READILY ACHIEVABLE,” i.e. easily accomplishable and able to be carried out without much difficulty or expense. Establishment of a “good faith effort” program is crucial.
Who is not required to have ADA?
  1. Private clubs (except to the extent that the facility of the private club are made available to customers or patrons of a place of public accommodations). * (see below for further definition)
  2. Any religious entity – a religious organization, including a place of worship.
  3. A public entity – (1) Any state or local government (2) Any department, agency, special purpose district of state or local government. They are covered under their own set of regulations.
  4. Commercial facilities – Those facilities that are intended for non-residential use by a private entity and whose operations affect commerce are not required to comply.

* Public Accommodation – A facility that is operated by a private entity and whose operation affects commerce and falls in one of the following categories which are required to comply with ADA signage regulations:

  1. Place of lodging
  2. Establishment serving food or drink
  3. Places of exhibition or entertainment
  4. Places of public gathering
  5. Sales or rental establishments
  6. Service establishments
  7. Stations used for specified public transportation
  8. Places of public display of collections
  9. Places of recreation
  10. Places of education
  11. Social service center establishments
  12. Places of exercise or recreation
What are the ADA specs related to signage? 
  1. All letters and numbers must be raised 1/32”. Engraved and vinyl lettering are no longer acceptable for compliance purposes.
  2. Letters must be uppercase only.
  3. Signs must include Grade 2 Braille messages in addition to tactile visual messages. (Pictograms)
  4. The minimum copy height for wall mounted signs will be 5/8” and no higher than 2”.
  5. Typefaces will be “sans serif or simple serif”. This would be typestyles such as Helvetica Medium and Optima.
  6. The width-to-height ratio for letters and numbers will be between 3:55 and 1:1. Stroke width-to-height ratio will be between 1:55 and 1:10.
  7. Mounting shall be 60” above the finished floor to the centerline of the sign on the latch side of the door.
  8. The characters and background shall be eggshell, matte or other non-glare finish.
  9. The color of characters and symbols shall contrast with their backgrounds, either light characters on a dark background or dark characters on a light background. (70% minimum contrast) * This is detailed under section XI “What colors meet ADA contrast requirements?
  10. The border dimension of the pictogram shall be 6” minimum in height.
  11. Overhead or projected signage shall have 80" minimum clear headroom and the character height must be a mimimum of 3".  
What signs do not have to have ADA? (Raised letters and Braille) 
  1. Informational signs
  2. Directories
  3. Overheads
  4. Temporary signage
VI. What types of signs comply with ADA regulations at this time?
  1. Engraved ADAtypes of Braille can be used on ADA signs?
1)   Engraved Braille
Engraved into the front surface of the material leaving only the Braille dots raised in a rectangular border.
(See example below)
2)   Raster Braille
Drilled into the front surface of the material with a 1.44mm drill and placing molded acrylic beads into the surface.
(See example below)
Both types of Braille are grade II which is the preferred manner for the visually impaired to read.    
Where do we mount ADA signs?
Permanent rooms and spaces shall have signs installed on the wall adjacent to the latch side of the door at 60” above the finished floor to the centerline of the sign.
  1. If no wall space on the latch side of the door exist, signs shall be mounted on the nearest adjacent wall.
  2. Mounting location shall be so that a person may approach within 3” of the sign without encountering protruding objects or standing within the swing of a door.
  3. All overhead and projected signs shall have a clearance of 80” between the lowest edge and the finished floor.
Call me about my ADA signage needs.
Need help with ADA compliant signage for a building or project I'm working on.

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 Signarama Worthington
6185 M Huntley Road
Columbus OH 43229

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ange Twp., Lewis Center,
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