ADA Compliance

ADA Compliant Signs

Bell Company, Inc. has been in the sign manufacturing business for more than 75 years. During this time, we have come to be known as a leader in ADA signage and wayfinding architectural signage. We are proud of this accomplishment as we thoroughly acknowledge the importance of ADA compliant signs, and we are honored to be in the position of helping businesses create inclusive and accessible environments.

What is ADA Signage?

The terms “ADA signage” and “ADA signs” have come into common use in the architectural, construction, and signage industries with the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act into law.

In common language, these terms are often linked with Braille signs, but that is just part of the picture. While signs with Braille are the most frequently used, the sign standards in the ADA Accessibility Guidelines (or ADAAG) require much more than just Braille and raised characters on specific types of signage.

In fact, there are three main categories of requirements for signage mentioned in the ADA:

  • Firstly, whether or not a sign is required in a specific situation or for a specific building.
  • Requirements for the sign design, which include the font that is used, the letter and character spacing, and other similar details.
  • Exactly where a sign must be installed, including details such as height requirements and where signs may not be installed.
In short, ADA signs are used to help people with vision disabilities safely navigate the premises in a public or commercial building. Almost all architectural signage must comply with one or more of the ADA Accessibility Guidelines. Here are a few examples of such signage: Signs that identify a permanent room or space, signs that mark an entrance or an exit, signs that inform about functional spaces in a building (restrooms, elevators, stairs, payphones, etc.), or about the building's accessible features (such as handicap parking signs).
The ADA Accessibility Guidelines mention several requirements which need to be kept in mind when designing and creating signs to ensure they are ADA compliant. The first step is deciding whether or not a sign is actually required. If it is, certain regulations need to be followed regarding the characters, the fonts, and the type of Braille used on the sign. The ADA also contains instructions on how to correctly install new signs. Key requirements for ADA compliant signs involve: All messages on an ADA sign must include a Grade II Braille translation. Grade II Braille is a short-hand version of Grade I braille, that contains contractions as well as single characters to represent an entire word. We use Duxbury Braille Translation Software to ensure the accuracy of our Braille, and we have Braille experts on our team. When it comes to the placement of Braille characters on a sign, they need to be a minimum of 3/8” below the last line of text. Normal text on ADA signs must be in a clearly distinguishable font. This means a simple, sans serif font. A few of the fonts that fit these requirements are Avenir Lt Std Arial Frutiger Gill Sans Futura Book Optima Helvetica Swis721 BT Myriad Pro Verdana Avant Garde Tahoma Century Gothic Univers 55 Franklin Gothic Calibri

The required height for normal text characters is between 5/8″ and 2″.

To ensure it is easy-to-read, an ADA compliant sign must have a high contrast ratio between background and content, and it must have a matte / non-glare finish. You can either opt for light background and dark content or vice versa to assure high visibility. 

Another aspect of designing ADA signs that will then affect the placement of the sign in the room is positioning the sign, so that the characters are at a height of 48″ to 60″ from the ground, measured from the base of the characters. This helps people who need to read the raised characters or the Braille characters reach the sign with ease.

Can You Make Any Sign ADA Compliant?

Yes, we can! Our extensive knowledge of ADA regulations and our hands-on experience allow us to manufacture signs for any purpose that are also ADA compliant, without sacrificing the design and aesthetics of the sign. 

ADA Compliant Signs by Bell Company, Inc.

Bell Company, Inc. is your go-to partner for ADA signage. Our team of experts can help you through every step of the process—from choosing the type of sign and design creation to advising you how to correctly install your new signage. We make sure to balance your requests with ADA rules and regulations so that you can equip your building with ADA compliant signs that are also visually attractive, and will fit your budget. Request a quote today or get in touch if you have any questions; we will be happy to help!

What Happens if I Need More ADA Signs Down The Road?

Most of our clients have been working with us for years. This not only speaks to the quality of the signage we manufacture but also to the ease of reordering signs from us. We save all the information you give us when you place your first order, which means we will have the details on thickness, sizes, color palette, any logo, mounting details and more, on hand if you ever need more signs in the future.