New ADA(Americans with Disabilities Act) regulations regarding signs went into effect March 15, 2012. The 2010 Standards set minimum requirements – both scoping and technical – for newly designed and constructed or altered State and local government facilities, public accommodations, and commercial facilities to be readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities.
Are you compliant? Do you have to be? Here, some quick answers to some of the questions we’re most often asked.
Q: Do I have to worry about ADA regulations?
A: Just about every business that provides goods or services to the public must comply. There are 12 categories of public accommodations, including stores, restaurants, bars, service establishments, theaters, hotels,recreational facilities, private museums and schools, doctors’ and dentists’ offices, shopping malls, and other businesses. Nearly all types of businesses that serve the public, regardless of the size of the business or the age of their buildings, are covered by the ADA and may be required to modify their business policies and procedures when necessary to serve customers with disabilities and take steps to communicate effectively with customers with disabilities.
This includes signage.
Q: What are the major changes for signs in 2012?
A: Doming (rounding) of letters for Braille signs may make appliqué signs more common in some buildings. Effective in spring 2012, the ADA dropped the “70% color contrast” requirement, although signs must still be easy to read. Visual letter height requirements also changed, and many sign industry professionals feel those changes make sense, and make things easier for everyone.
You probably still have questions. Call us or brush up on your ADA knowledge with the business primer, here: http://www.ada.gov/regs2010/smallbusiness/smallbusprimer2010.htm
or see the full ADA regulations here: www.ada.gov/regs2010/2010ADAStandards/2010ADAStandards.pdf. See in particular chapter 7 and section 216, both of which deals with signs