If you have a public space open to the public, then you are required by law to have ADA-compliant signage. This includes businesses, hotels, restaurants, stores, and more. Failure to do so can result in hefty fines.
So what do you need to do to ensure your business complies? The first step is to install braille signs that feature raised tactile letters. These signs must be placed in all public areas, such as entrances, exits, restrooms, and parking areas. You must also ensure the characters are large enough to be seen and read easily.
ADA compliance is substantial not only for your customers’ safety but also for your business’s reputation. By taking the necessary steps to make your business accessible to all, you can show your commitment to equality and inclusion.. It can also help attract more customers, as people with disabilities and their families are more likely to frequent businesses that are accessible to them.
In addition to braille signs, other types of ADA-compliant signage may be required, such as directional, room identification, and ADA parking signs. You may also need to consider the color contrast of your signage to ensure it is visible and easy to read for those with visual impairments.
In this article, we will discuss the overall requirements for ADA signage along with specific ADA sign requirements of various types you will need in each of your locations.
Overall ADA sign Requirements
In general, the ADA has certain requirements for signage that businesses must comply with in a store. These rules apply to restaurants as well but it is fairly easy to meet the requirements!
Here are some common ADA requirements for restaurant signage that you need to know:
- Signs must have a font typeface and lettering size that can easily be read by all
- Signage must have a high level of contrast to improve their readability
- Braille will need to be included on specific signage
- The signs must be securely mounted at the business
- There are additional requirements regarding the spacing of letters, specific design elements, non-glare surface, and the inclusion of a high contrast on the signs
Keep in mind these are global ADA sign requirements you will need to address. However, not all signs need to contain each of the listed requirements.
ADA Bathroom Signs for Retail Stores and Restaurants
You can ensure your retail store or restaurant has ADA compliant signs by including ADA signage in your restrooms. For example, the inclusion of braille on your restroom signs is an ideal way to ensure they are ADA compliant. You will have a good amount of freedom when it comes to the design of your restroom signs but including braille makes it compliant with ADA regulations.
ADA Parking Signs
You should make sure your parking lot accommodates customers who require handicap parking spaces and this includes appropriate signage to highlight those parking spaces. ADA parking signs need a required font style that is clear and easy to read. Ideal font choices for this task are Verdna, Helvetica, and Futura. Even though these fonts are easy to read, they should not be italicized, oblique or scripted.
Table Signs for Restaurants Designating ADA Compliance
A person with impaired vision would benefit from table signs having a non-glare finish on them. By including this design element in signs on your designated ADA tables, you will help those with impaired vision more clearly view tables designated for someone with disabilities.
Other Items to Consider
If there are public indoor or outdoor wheelchair ramps, make sure you have the proper signage to show someone with a disability these ramps are available at your facility. The best way to do this is the use of proper signage that includes a high level of contrast. Avoid having your text and lettering blend into the background color of the sign as this makes it difficult for people to read the signage.
While the requirements themselves are straightforward they are very minimal as well, based on this it’s more important to think about the ways you can best incorporate these signs to make them more appealing or integrated into your brand identity & theme. Technically you can find even more ADA sign requirements for restaurants and other types of businesses on the ADA site, but the ones we’ve shared here are common and should be something you have top of mind when updating your location or opening a new one. If you need assistance in creating custom ADA signs or are in the planning stage, let us know and we can help answer any questions you may have regarding the signage.