In 1990, the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law. This law prohibits discrimination against the disabled in public facilities. It outlines a set of regulations that public facilities and commercial buildings have to follow during the design and construction of the buildings. One of the requirements is to have ADA compliant signs for elevators. Signage is an important aspect of the ADA law because it helps tell people with disabilities where the accessible areas are in the building. ADA compliant signs for elevators have to follow specific guidelines for the call buttons, hall lanterns, Braille requirements, control buttons and control button height requirements. Does this Spark an idea?
The ADA signs required for elevators are very similar to the other types of ADA signs required for rooms in a building. One sign that is unique to elevators is the call button sign. Call buttons are required to be centered between the elevator doors at a height of 42 inches above the finished floor. They usually have visual signs to show when a call is registered and when it is answered, typically with a sound and a light. The call button indicating “up” is always located on top. The buttons can be flushed or raised, but they are not allowed to extend more then 4 inches into the elevator lobby space. The buttons shall have Braille indicating the “up” and “down” call buttons.
Hall lantern signage is required to have both visual and audible signals at each entrance of the elevators. The signs help tell people when the elevator car is answering a call. The audible requirements are designed to help tell if the elevator is going “up” or “down,” with one sound signal indicating the elevator is going “up” and two signals to indicate the elevator is going “down.” The visual signs for the hall lanterns are required to be at least 72 inches from the finished floor of the elevator lobby. They can not be smaller then 2 1/2 inches in the smallest direction and they need to be visible from the location of the call buttons.
All elevator entrances on every floor are required to have Braille signage on both of the jambs. The raised Braille signage must indicate the floor designation. The Braille characters are required to be 60 inches above the finished floor to the center of the signage. The characters of the signage need to be 2-inches-high, Grade 2 Braille.
The signage requirements for control buttons are similar to those for call buttons. All control buttons must have Braille and raised characters. The main entry floor is required to have a raised star next to the floor number. All the floor designations are required to be to the left of the button they control. All control buttons are required to have visual indications they have been pressed, and the visual indications shall go away once the elevator has reached that particular floor designation.
Control Button Heights
All floor buttons are required to be no more than 54 inches above the finished floor if a person in a wheel chair can approach from the side of it. If a person in a wheel chair can only approach from the front, then the buttons can not be more then 48 inches above the finished floor. All emergency controls for the alarm and stopping the elevator are grouped together at the bottom of the panel no more then 35 inches above the finished floor.