Business signs should be ADA compliant. The ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) became law in 1990. I had just entered occupational therapy school at Rush University in Chicago. It seemed like a good idea at the time; provide reasonable accommodation to people with mobility, hearing, visual and any other type of disability. At the time, I didn’t know that many people who affected by a disability.
Certainly, as an occupational therapist, many of my patients benefited from this law. It provided motivation for cities to add ramps to sidewalks at intersections. Automatic doors became commonplace. Visual aids also became present in elevators, public buildings and corporate settings.
Sign Artist Inc. partnered with Summit Construction to install 90 ADA-compliant architectural signs at a building in downtown Chicago. The 620 N. LaSalle building was a sporting goods store when I moved to the city in 1983. For the last couple of years, it has been vacant. The building is being renovated and will house a number of companies that share workspaces such as conference rooms, technical and business services and other common areas such as kitchens and dining areas.
We were fascinated by the historical building and had the opportunity to tour it from the basement to the roof! Dave, the superintendent, was really helpful in guiding us to the appropriate locations where signs needed posting. He explained how the building originated from two buildings in the late 1800s. The two buildings were connected in the center by a structure that expanded it into a much larger one. You can see where the transitions between the original buildings exist, along with the original brick walls and wide-planked wooden floors. Built to Last!
ADA signs that we installed had raised text, international symbols for stairs and restrooms and included braille for the visually-impaired. Every stairway needed to be marked and to identify the building level to meet both ADA and fire department requirements. ADA-compliant signs must meet the requirements of the regulations and be positioned in accordance with federal guidelines.