Do you know what public restrooms have a lot of? Signs! (What were you thinking?) All jokes aside, one of the most important things you can do when creating spaces within your business is to add the appropriate signage–places like restrooms have a variety of sign needs that must be met in order for your clients to confidently navigate your business. Positive experiences getting their needs met will ensure they want to continue to bring their business to you. Read on to learn some of the most commonly asked questions about bathroom signs!
Are public restrooms required to have ADA compliant signage?
The short answer? Yes. ADA restroom signs are put into place to ensure that individuals with disabilities are able to access the services in a building just as their peers are. If a customer visits your business and feels that their legally protected needs were not adequately accommodated, you could be up against a lawsuit.
It is important to prevent that, and Starfish Signs is here to help! We can create ADA-compliant bathroom signs that meet all of the legal criteria, including raised and braille characters with pictorial symbols, accessibility symbols, and the proper finish and contrast. Best of all, we can come to install your signs for you, which means you are sure to meet the placement and installation requirements as well!
Why do public restrooms each have two signs?
Public restrooms contain a door sign, typically with a pictogram, and a wall sign with the appropriate Braille and tactile elements needed to assist those with visual impairments. The state of California actually requires at least two signs to identify a restroom to the public.
According to the ADA, all restrooms must be identified with a tactile wall sign. Each sign can include an appropriate pictogram to accompany titles such as “Girls,” “Women,” Family Restroom,” or “Other.” In such cases, the pictogram must be placed within six inches immediately above the tactile text. If the restroom in question is accessible, that should be included in the diagram as well.
On the other hand, public restrooms in California have a geometric symbol sign that is required to contrast in color with the door, so either light on dark or dark on light coloring. For a male facility, a triangle must be used. For a female facility, a circle must be used. For a family or unisex facility, a triangle is superimposed upon a circle.
Why does an ADA-compatible restroom sign have Braille and tactile elements?
Braille is used for building occupants who are blind and know how to read Braille. However, because many people who identify as visually-impaired have not learned to read Braille, tactile elements are included for those who have difficulty seeing and need an alternative way to understand the space in which they find themselves.
Why am I required to have ADA-compatible signs?
ADA signs are required by law to ensure that all people who enter your business are able to have a safe and equitable experience. Additionally, the fines and legal ramifications of choosing not to comply with the ADA regulations can be steep, as these are rules set by the federal government.
However, the law is not the only reason to decide to work within ADA-compliance. Any successful business owner knows that the first thing, and perhaps one of the most important things, they can do to ensure the overall success of their business, is to create a warm and welcoming user experience for all guests and employees. When you comply graciously with ADA standards, you are ensuring a friendly and inclusive environment for all employees and visitors regardless of their abilities and needs.
In what situation does the State of California require a gender-neutral designation?
California’s “Equal Restroom Access Act,” requires that establishments with single-occupancy restrooms display signage indicating that the restroom is gender-neutral. This request is broadly applicable to “all single-user toilet facilities in any business establishment, place of public accommodation, or state or local government agency.” Such signs must include the same two elements as mentioned previously: a sign with the proper geometric symbol and a designation tactile.
Must my restroom signs be the same generic, boring blue color that I see everywhere?
No, and thank goodness for that! The law definitely allows custom signs, which means that you can select signs that reflect the design aesthetic of your facility. There are specific requirements regarding the size of the tactile lettering, the degree of contrast between the color of the letters and the color of the background, as well as the non-glare surface of the sign. However, the sign designers at Starfish Signs have significant expertise in these areas and we can design signs that are compliant, yet stylish!
Trust Starfish for Your Custom Signage Needs
Regardless of the type of bathroom you are looking to furnish, signs should be one of the most important considerations you make when designing your new business location. Don’t hesitate to reach out to Starfish Signs for exquisite designs that will render your business fully compliant–our experienced Design Team can’t wait to hear from you!