ADA Compliance and Signage: Thinking Beyond Braille

Have you ever gone down the wrong corridor in a hospital or office building? It’s frustrating, right? Imagine how it feels if your vision is impaired, if you are having trouble walking, or if you are already suffering from anxiety. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) aims not only to ensure against discrimination, but also to avoid this kind of distress in public facilities.

Braille in the elevator? Absolutely. But it’s just a start.

Design your sign system to enable and empower all visitors.

Accessibility, even according to the law, is rather loosely defined. Any physical or mental impairment that substantially limits an individual from navigating your facility is considered under the ADA. Examples include standing, walking, speaking, breathing, seeing, hearing, learning, sitting, reading.

This applies to all kinds of signs: designation, means of egress, directional, and informational.

Both visual and tactile characteristics have impact. RV, or Raised Visual signs, can be tremendously helpful to someone whose vision is impaired and who may not read braille, including the chromatically challenged. Raised lettering can also help with lighting, as cast shadows counteract glare in changing daylight. Visual Only, or VO signs, are more vulnerable to lighting anomalies, but with consideration of surface finish and contrast we can maximize visibility and enhance the visitor experience.

Restroom signThe importance of legibility is easy to see.

While illumination, color, and contrast are important, viewing distance is also essential to consider. Font weight and size, the height at which signage is mounted, and the approachability of signs should be optimized for the widest possible range of readability.

Consistency is key — placement of signs should be predictable — but unique markers help to make sure the corridors don’t all look the same. Well placed murals, infographics or decorative motifs can help differentiate one hallway or building from another.

When your signage system guides, informs and assures the visitor, navigation is efficient and stress-free.

Let our expert team guide you in making your facility more accessible. Call Signwave at (631) 761-9292 to learn more.

 

 

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