View Full Version : ada enforcement

bob pfohler
12-23-2008, 7:53 PM
So, what do you think I should do?

I've never had to deal with a building inspector when installing ADA signs. Probably because we're fairly new to making ADA signs and we've never had to deal with new construction.

I've tried make myself familiar with ADA sign requirements so we can do the job properly and not look like idiots.

Recently our mall expanded and attracted several new big box stores. We spent last weekend Christmas shopping and noticed NONE of the new stores had braille signs that met the ADA requirements (as I understand them).

Some of the signs had recess engraving for the text, some had no pictogram and most didn't contain grade II braille. They were also installed on the wrong side of the door and some were even installed on the hall leading to the bathroom but not near the entrance to the bathroom.

If I'm required to follow these regulations, shouldn't these stores also be accountable. What should or can I do?

Darren Null
12-23-2008, 8:16 PM
Big stores may have an "arrangement" with inspectors and other local authorities, so may not have the same fears and problems that businesses with less firepower face.

Might be worth dropping a line to the stores in question and their head offices though in a "Hey, did you know..." fashion, and offering them a solution.

Ken Becker
12-23-2008, 9:54 PM
I was a facilities director for a hospital before I retired. I bought a dymo label maker type of tape embossing handheld embosser that had regular alphabetic letters on the wheel and embossed in braille. Do a google search for a braille embosser. It was cheap and it met all requirements.

Keith Outten
12-24-2008, 4:32 AM

You could talk to the Mall Management office if multiple stores are not in compliance with the ADA regulations. Explain to them that if someone places a call to the state building comission office and they schedule an inspection every store in the mall may be inspected and fined if they aren't in compliance with the federal law.

It is my understanding that California is issuing fines to beat the band right now to the tune of almost one billion dollers in Southern California alone. The adjustment period was over last April, the entire country is supposed to be in compliance now, so I am told.

This is great news for sign makers, it means lots of business in the near term I hope :)

Joe Pelonio
12-24-2008, 8:53 AM
Having just been through a mess of ADA jobs I looked into this thoroughly. While state, county, and city inspectors may enforce ADA, it's normally only done with building permit inspections. Their rules may go farther than Federal ADA requirements but may not alter things like sign specifications and placement. Enforcement is the responsibility of the U.S. Department of Justice, who doesn't send people all over to inspect, but rather wait for a complaint to be filed with them.


Scott Shepherd
12-24-2008, 9:50 AM
I see it all the time as well. Around my business territory, I don't think anyone cares at all. I've gone into brand new buildings, commercial buildings for franchise restaurants like Wendy's, only to see the signs were not compliant. I see it ALL the time, not to even get into the placement. I see ADA signs placed on doors all the time, even though that's not installed per the regulation.

All I can do is install the one's I do correctly, and try and educate the people I do come in contact with. In this case, I'd follow Keith's advice. I'd contact the company that owns/manages the mall and let them know their signs are way out of compliance and you'd like to help them comply with the FEDERAL law. If done correctly, you may not get that mall, but you will gain credibility with them and they may use you in the future, because obviously the people they used in the past didn't take the time to educate them.