Uncertainty is a common factor with organizations/businesses when it comes to their understanding about ADA compliance guidelines, especially ADA/Braille signage. They never seem to know if they fall into the “must comply” area or the “do as you wish” area. That is why I’ve put together the following list to help you understand whether or not your signs need to meet ADA guidelines.
Before we go any further, I should address what ADA is. ADA stands for Americans with Disabilities Act, which was put in place to provide comprehensive civil rights protections for individuals with disabilities. This act helps ensure that an individual with a disability is not discriminated against and is provided with accessibility and accommodations – for example curb cuts at sidewalks and entrances to accommodate someone with a physical impairment and braille signage or literature for someone who has a visual impairment.
You fall into the “Must Comply” area if you offer the following:
- Public Accommodations (i.e., private entities that own, operate, lease or lease to places of public accommodation) including restaurants, hotels, theaters, convention centers, retail stores, shopping centers, dry cleaners, laundromats, pharmacies, doctor’s offices, hospitals, museums, libraries, parks, zoos, amusement parks, private schools, day care centers, health spas, bowling alleys, etc.
- Commercial Facilities including office buildings, factories and warehouses, whose operations affect commerce.
- Private Entities that offer certain examinations and courses related to educational and occupational certification.
You fall into the “Do As You Wish” area if you are one of the following:
- An entity controlled by a religious organization, including a place of worship.
- A private club.
- Any other type of organization that is not listed above in the “must comply” list.
Even if you are not required to meet ADA compliances we highly recommend taking the few extra steps to be compliant because the more people that have access to you and your facility, the better.
Hopefully this helps you understand if you are required to be ADA compliant. Remember that you don’t need to know everything – there are professionals, like ourselves, who are there to help and guide you along the way (and believe me all of the standards on signage alone would give you a head ache). If you would like recommendations for ADA/braille signs for your facility or have any question feel free to contact us at 989.695.6770 or firstname.lastname@example.org.