Is Your Business ADA Accessible? A Checklist for Business Owners
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that businesses be fully accessible to individuals with disabilities, including the visually impaired. That means removing barriers, allowing for service animals, and most important, installing ADA compliant signs in all applicable areas of your facility. Ensuring your signage is in line with ADA guidelines can be complicated, but partnering with an ADA sign expert can eliminate your stress and worry!
Did you know, ten million Americans have a visual impairment? As the Baby Boomer generation continues to age, that number is expected to double over the next 30 years, due to the effects of glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy.
These individuals are your customers, employees, business partners, and tenants. Making your facility accessible to them is not only required by law, it’s just good business. People are more likely to frequent companies that meet their needs, respect them as individuals and create the ultimate customer experience.
What Are ADA Signs, and How Can Your Business ADA Accessible?
As a federal law that prohibits the exclusion of people with disabilities, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) must be followed by all public facilities, including schools and city-run buildings, as well as privately-owned businesses, such as gyms, hotels, retail stores, and restaurants. They must have ADA signage that provides high-contrast, easy-to-read print, and in many cases, tactile (or Braille) lettering.
Is Your Business Compliant?
As you proceed with your ADA signage plan, here are seven things to double check to ensure you are compliant with federal regulations:
- Is your signage using the correct font? Fonts should be in a sans serif typefaces, such as Helvetica or Verdana, in a medium or bold weight with 1/8-inch between adjoining characters. Italics and script fonts can be very difficult for the visually impaired to delineate and read.
- Does your signage include Braille? Identifying signage must have Braille or tactile, lettering for individuals who are blind. Braille must use uppercase letters only.
- Does your ADA signage offer the appropriate amount of contrast? All characters and symbols must contrast with the background, whether you go with light on dark or dark on light.
- Is your sign free from glare? Look at your signage in overhead and natural light throughout the day. If there is a glare, switch to an eggshell or matte finish to eliminate the problem.
- Are all permanent rooms in your facility identified? Areas like kitchens and restrooms should have ADA signs designating them as such. Rooms that frequently change, such as classrooms, can be marked with room numbers.
- Have you marked your stairwells and exits? All stairwells should have tactile ADA signage that lists the floor level, stair level, and exit level. Exit doors should be marked with signs as well.
- Is your directional signage easy to read? Overhead or wall signage that designates a certain room or area, such as “Home Goods” in a department store or “Reading Room” in a library, should be easy to identify and read. Promotional signs or signs that will be up for less than one week are exempt from ADA regulations.
- Is your signage properly mounted? Placement and mounting of your ADA signage vary by application or the number of doors. Researching how and where to hang each sign is critical for compliance.
We Make ADA Compliance Easier
If your business is not ADA accessible, you can set your company up for government fines or even lawsuits from angry customers. Lower your risk by working with an ADA signage expert like Infinite Signs & Graphics in St. Louis. By understanding the ins and outs of the regulations and knowing how to properly install any sign we design, we’ve helped businesses across the city become and stay compliant. For more information and to get your free on-site quote, contact our ADA signage team today.