The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) includes provisions for the design, fabrication, and installation of compliant signage. However, Caliber Signs & Imaging specialists frequently see issues and problems with ADA signage already in place that do not meet code during site surveys. Here are ten of the most common mistakes made on ADA signs by others.
1. Wrong Installation Height
Even the best sign installed at the wrong height means that you are not in compliance. For wall signs, the sign should be mounted at 48” minimum above the finished floor to the baseline of the lowest line of Braille and 60” maximum to the baseline of the highest line of raised characters. Overhead signs and exterior parking signs carry different height requirements.
2. Lower Case Tactile Letters
Did you know that the tactile letters on the ADA sign must be all in upper case? The reason is that these letters are easier to see for someone with diminished vision. Therefore, the Act specifies the use of uppercase lettering even if lower case letters are part of your brand display.
3. Erroneous Braille Positioning
Each ADA sign must feature Grade 2 Braille. However, they cannot be placed just anywhere on the sign. That said, Braille should be a minimum of 3/8” from the edges of the sign and all other elements.
4. Bathroom signs – California Code Violation
Did you know that the California code requires each Men’s and Women’s bathrooms to have bathroom signs? One must be placed on the door and the other one on the adjacent wall. Failure to do so is considered a code violation. All Gender and Unisex signs are easily available but remember to have a locked installed on the door if converting from a Man’s or a Woman’s bathroom.
5. Manufacturing Mistakes
The ADA calls for the use of raised characters that are a minimum of 1/32-of-an-inch above the sign’s background. It is a common mistake to manufacture the sign with a vinyl overlay and Braille dots but without the raised lettering.
6. Absence of Evacuation Signs at Elevators and Stairwells
In addition to manufacturing rules and installation heights, there are also rules governing the placement of the signage products. Examples include the stairwells and elevators. Evacuation signs should specify an egress path of exit to stairwells and to show if the stairwells have roof access or not.
7. Failure to Display the ISA Symbol
As noted by the United States Access Board, venues that offer accessibility must feature the International Symbol of Accessibility (ISA). Make a mistake here, and you might receive a default notice before the fire marshal even enters your building.
8. Wrong Character Size
The minimum height for a raised character is 5/8-of-an-inch. The maximum height is two inches. Bigger is not always better. Pictograms need to be placed on a space at least 6” in height and symbols must be accompanied by the verbal text shown directly below the symbol.
9. Unsuitable Font Style
In the past, many signs featured Helvetica Medium Copy (HMC); however, this is no longer the correct option. Now, fonts must feature sans serif fonts in a medium or bold weight, such as Helvetica, Futura or Verdana. Italics and script fonts are not permitted.
10. Failure to Invite the Fire Marshal to Inspect the Signage
The fire marshal must inspect your ADA-compliant signage in public facilities. Examples include hospitals, city offices, and restaurants. This is not a step you can skip otherwise your facility will not be approved to open or be forced to close.
Avoiding mistakes made on ADA signs in Irvine, CA, is as easy as contacting Caliber Signs & Imaging for a consultation. Now that you know the ten most common mistakes made on ADA signs, we gladly develop a signage suite that covers all applicable markers for your location. Conversely, we gladly catalog the signs you have and highlight what you are still missing. Call (949) 748-1070 to schedule a consultation today!