Since the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1992 took effect, changes have occurred. Following is an example of some of the signage regulations discussed in the Title III section of ADA, from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Web site (www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/, as of September). At the DOJ’s ADA home page, you can locate all of the specifics of the ADA.
Different requirements apply to various types of signs:
1) Signs designating permanent rooms and spaces (e.g., men’s and women’s rooms, room numbers, exit signs) must have raised and Brailled letters; must comply with finish and contrast standards; and must be mounted at a certain height and location.
2) Signs that provide direction to or information about functional spaces of a building (e.g., “cafeteria this way;” “copy room”) need not comply with requirements for raised and Brailled letters, but they must comply with requirements for character proportion, finish, and contrast. If suspended or projected overhead, they must also comply with character height requirements.
3) Building directories and other signs providing temporary information (such as current occupant’s name) do not have to comply with any ADAAG requirements.
4) New symbols of accessibility identifying volume control telephones, text telephones, and assistive listening systems are required.
5) When pictograms (pictorial symbols) are used as a sign to designate a permanent room or space (e.g., a men’s or women’s restroom), they must be accompanied by an equivalent verbal description placed directly below the pictogram. The field used for the pictogram must be at least six inches in height (not counting the space used for the verbal description), and the verbal description must employ Braille and raised characters.