Your Guide to ADA-compliant Safety Signage

ADA signage

You want to ensure your building is welcoming and comfortable for everyone who walks—or rolls—in. You also need to make sure your building is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. But there may, understandably, be some confusion around what you need to do both of those things. Fortunately, ComplianceSigns is your partner in all things safety signage and we want to help you create the safest and most inclusive environment possible.

So here is everything you need to know about accessibility signage requirements and recommendations for signs you need to purchase.

What is ADA?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was published by the United States Department of Justice to prohibit discrimination against those with disabilities. It essentially requires that every permanent room or space in U.S. public buildings be marked with an identifying sign that meets ADA regulations.

According to chapter §216 of the ADA Standards, compliant signs serve three primary purposes:

  • To identify permanent interior office rooms and spaces
  • To provide direction to, or information about, permanent interior building spaces
  • To identify, direct to, or inform about accessible features via the International Symbol of Accessibility (ISA) and other required accessibility symbols

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is responsible for enforcing ADA sign requirements, and as of 2021, initial fines can range from $55,000 up to $75,000 with subsequent fines rising up to $150,000.

History of ADA

The Americans with Disability Act was initially signed into law in 1990 by President George H.W. Bush. It is one of America’s most comprehensive pieces of civil rights legislation that prohibits discrimination to this day. In 2010, the rules were updated as part of the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design (SAD). While the 2010 design standards are still used on a national level today, New York adopted new legislation in 2014 that outlaws the use of the word “handicapped” on signage in favor of “accessible” and introduces a new dynamic accessibility symbol to maintain a people-first perspective.

ADA and Your Building

So, do the ADA Standards for Accessible Design apply to your building? If your building is open to the public and located in the United States, then yes. Though the standards are fairly lengthy, we’ve compiled a few categories of signs that many businesses will need in order to meet them. It’s also worth noting that Section §703.4 of the Standards for Accessible Design state that ADA signs must be mounted on the wall directly to the handle side of a door. Signs should also be hung at a height of 48 inches to 60 inches, so they can be read by everyone.

Browse through the ADA-compliant sign categories below and don’t hesitate to reach out with questions.

Accessible Parking Signs

Through the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Department of Justice established a minimum number of accessible parking spaces required by facilities with parking lots or garages. The ADA also establishes rules about where those parking spots must be located and the signs that must be posted near the accessible parking spots. Compliance signs offers a wide variety of ADA-compliant reserved parking and handicapped parking signs as well as accessible parking signs that were designed to meet certain state-level criteria. Make sure you understand the ADA parking lot rules and have the signage to make it easy for those with disabilities find convenient parking.

Meeting ADA Requirements

The ADA sets the minimum number of accessible parking spaces required for public buildings, as well as the location of those spaces and required signs to identify them.

Compliance signs offers a wide variety of ADA-compliant parking and other signs.

Braille Bathroom Signs

People with visual impairments and those who are blind are also protected by the ADA. Braille signs are required in all public buildings and there are eight key requirements for ADA braille signs, including depth, case, height and character spacing. The ADA also explains where braille signs should be mounted. To ensure that your facility is inclusive and meets ADA requirements, pick up our ADA-compliant braille women’s/girls’ restroom signs, braille men’s/boys’ restroom signs and braille all gender/unisex restroom signs for your facility.

Pool and Spa Accessibility Signs

Title III of the ADA requires that newly constructed or altered swimming pools, wading pools and spas have an accessible way for people with disabilities to enter and exit. The standards also provide technical specifications for the location, size of the seat, lifting capacity and clear floor space surrounding the pool lift, when applicable. Make sure visitors and guests understand how to use—and not use—the pool lift safely with these spa and pool lift safety signs from ComplianceSigns.

Accessibility Assistance Signs

In an effort to be inclusive, many businesses choose to offer certain accommodations to people with disabilities. That may include reserved wheelchair seating in theaters or stadiums or accessible counters and tables in restaurants and coffee shops. ComplianceSigns offers accessibility assistance signage for all of these scenarios as well as signage encouraging those with disabilities to ask for assistance, which can be hung anywhere in your building.

Service Animal Signs and Labels

According to the ADA, entities that have a “no pets” policy generally must modify the policy to allow service animals into their facilities. Outside of this stipulation, each facility is entitled to have a unique policy regarding animals in the building. Whether you have an open-door policy for all pets, allow all trained animals in or allow only service animals not emotional support pets, we have the sign that helps you clearly and concisely communicate your policy to avoid an unwanted confrontation.

General Accessibility Signs

Beyond the specifics of bathroom, pool and parking accessibility signs, there are a number of other accessibility signs you might want to include in your facility to make it a more welcoming and inclusive place. We offer a wide variety of accessibility signs to make sure you’re covered from the entrance to the back gate. Browse through accessible wellness room signs, accessible entrance signs, accessible shower signs and more.

State-specific Accessibility Signs

While the ADA applies to all public areas in the United States, specific states may have additional regulations that apply to businesses within their jurisdiction. For instance, restroom signs hung in California must comply with the ADA and CA Title 24. And though the ADA lays out strict guidelines on the International Symbol of Accessibility (ISA), Connecticut and New York as well as some cities, schools, businesses and other organizations have embraced the Dynamic Accessibility Symbol that shows an active, engaged person with a wheelchair. ComplianceSigns does offer dynamic accessibility signs, but be sure to check with local and state regulations to make sure these signs are allowed in your area.

Ready to start shopping? Browse through our ADA and accessibility signs to find everything you need to ensure your building is safe, welcoming, inclusive and compliant. And if you have any questions or need guidance on which signs you need, contact the safety experts at ComplianceSigns.