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3 Reasons Why ADA Compliant Signage Is a Must for Businesses

Updated on February 1, 2015
Indoor and Outdoor Signs
Indoor and Outdoor Signs

If you’ve heard of the term ADA compliant signage, then there is a possibility that you already know why these are needed by establishments. For the benefit of those who do not know however, let us tackle first what these signs are, and what these do. We will also talk about why these signs should always be present in your business, and what repercussions emerge when you don’t use these.

For those who do not know, ADA signs are signs that are crafted with a set of guidelines that make these compliant. For these to be compliant, certain features need to be present and the features that are required of each sign will vary according to the use of these signs. For instance, if a sign is to be used to mark a room that is considered a permanent room (which is essentially a room that does not or will not change usage anytime soon, like bathrooms and kitchens), then these need to follow guidelines set for permanent room signs.

There are quite a few variants of ADA signs, and these include signs that are used to show people direction (directional signs), to tell them where certain offices or people can be found in a building (directories), to mark rooms with the use of numbers (room number signs), and many more. There are also signs that are used to tell people where accessibility options can be found, and these are marked with the use of a pictogram that is called the ISA or International Symbol of Access. You may recognize this easily since this is a stick figure of a person in a wheelchair, and these are used to mark special parking spaces and ramps, among other things.

ADA Compliant Signage
ADA Compliant Signage

Why Following Sign Compliance Rules is Needed

So, let’s tackle the reasons why these signs need to follow set rules by the government, and why non-compliance is something you should avoid. Here are three of the biggest reasons why:

  • These signs are required by law and may come with penalties if not followed – since these rules were put forth by the government, then not adhering to these rules will mean that you are not abiding by the law. Not abiding by the law means you are being unlawful, and that often comes with a price. Those who choose to not follow the rules set by the ADA may find themselves facing penalties and fines set by the Department of Justice, and these can be rather steep. Aside from these fines and penalties, you may also need to redo your signs, which means added costs on your part.
  • These signs are made to promote equality – one thing that people in the US are proud of is the effort and emphasis that the government places on equality. Whether it is equality among races, among genders, or even ages, it is stressed that the US strives to give people that equality. The use of these signs is one such move that promotes equality. Signs that have special features as mandated by the ADA are used to help everyone find their way easily, whether the person is visually impaired, is in a wheelchair, or has other disabilities. The placement of these signs, the addition of braille and tactile features, and even the colors used help people easily read and understand these. These ADA signs also carry pictograms when needed to help those who cannot read as well.
  • These signs bring in revenues from a large market – let’s face it. A lot of people do not realize that people with disabilities is a demographic that actually brings in revenues from 51.2 million people. This is a market with a $220 billion spending capacity. Giving people with disabilities easy access to your establishment, not just with the use of signs that are compliant, but also with accessibility options like ramps and proper layout, will open you up to a market that you might not have thought of before. Aside from this, it has been noted that around 50% of families in the US have at least one family member with a disability. This means that if you do not have ADA compliant features in your facility, be it signs or other accessibility options, you are closing your doors to these people and their families.

ADA Signs
ADA Signs

More Than Just Revenues

You should also be aware that while these compliant custom signs do help you open your doors to another demographic in terms of your market, these do more than just that. These also help you avoid the possibility of litigation from scammers and people who take advantage of the ADA for their own gains. There are a few people who do use the lack of ADA features on some signs, and in certain establishments, to make a quick buck. And they do this by employing a person with a disability and having them sue your company or place of business for discrimination due to lack of accessibility options and ADA compliant signage, among other things.

You can avoid all these, and increase possible revenues by following the rules set by the government for signage and accessibility. You can find out more about this by reading up on accessibility laws and guidelines at the ADA site, or you can ask compliance experts about these requirements so you can become compliant.


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