The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires building standards that make it possible for those with disabilities to use public facilities safely. The ADA encompasses many different areas of building design. One important area that it covers is signage. Signage is an important part of ADA because it helps to identify areas, rooms, and paths of travel that make it possible for those with disabilities to use the building. Restroom signage is important, especially in buildings that may not have accessible restrooms. Signs help to identify those restrooms that are accessible.
Braille is an important part of ADA requirements for restroom signage. It ensures that those who are visually impaired are able to recognize restrooms in the buildings. ADA requires that any letter or number on a sign must be translated into contracted Grade 2 Braille. The Braille shall be located underneath the letters or numbers it is translating. If there are multiple lines of letters or numbers on the sign, then the Braille shall be underneath the entire phrase.
ADA restroom signs are required to have the universal symbol of accessibility in white on a contrasting background color. The letters or numbers shall have a width-to-height ratio between 3:5 and 1:1 for the characters. The height of the letters shall be a minimum of 3 inches. The letters or numbers have a non-glare finish. The text should be raised on the sign 1/32 inch.
Restroom signage shall be mounted on the latch side of the door to the restroom and shall not be mounted more then 60 inches above the finish floor. This is to ensure that the door will not cover the sign or that someone who is trying to read the Braille will not get hit by the door should it open.
All restroom signs shall also have the universal symbols on it to help designate the type of restroom it is identifying. The universal symbols for men, women, children as well as the universal symbol of accessibility must be placed on the sign in white over the contrasting background.
- Photo Credit Red Doors to the Restrooms image by steverts from Fotolia.com
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