Signed into law in 1990, The Americans with Disabilities Act was a major stepping-stone in ensuring equal rights for all Americans with disabilities. The act details guidelines for providing ease of access in public spaces to people with disabilities. Every aspect has been taken into consideration, from parking space sizes to accessibility routes to the design of handicap parking signs.
In 2008, the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) made a number of significant changes to the definition of “disability.” The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued new regulations under the ADA in 2010 that affect state and local governments as well as public accommodations and commercial facilities. Changes included the size, location and number of accessible parking spaces required in parking lots.
ADA Access Sign Regulations
All businesses and privately held facilities are obligated to follow ADA guidelines. The law requires commercial parking lots and pedestrian paths to be accessible to everyone. This includes providing the disabled with parking spaces that offer ample access for vehicles as well as other mobility aids such as wheelchairs and power chairs.
It is important that these spaces be reserved for those who truly need them, and that they be clearly marked. Using access signs to identifying handicap parking spaces is required by the ADA, which states the following rules must be adhered to when posting the signs in designated areas:
- Accessible parking spaces must be identified by signs that include the International Symbol of Accessibility.
- Signs at van-accessible spaces must include the additional phrase “van-accessible.”
- Signs should be mounted so that the lower edge of the sign is at least 5 feet above the ground. This helps ensure visibility both for motorists and local enforcement officials.
There are two exceptions to the signage rules:
- Parking lots with four or fewer spaces must have accessible spaces, but those spaces do not need a sign and anyone, with or without a disability, can park in the accessible space.
- Residential facilities where parking spaces are assigned to specific dwelling units are also not required to post signs at accessible spaces.
Businesses Must Know Federal and State Standards
Many state and local governments have their own requirements, which may be more specific or more stringent than federal standards. For example, in 2014 New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill mandating the replacement of the iconic handicap symbol. It amended existing law to require new or replaced state signage to adopt a modernized handicapped symbol and remove the word handicapped.
In neighboring New Jersey, signs continue to feature the well-known graphic that was designated an international symbol of disability by the United Nations in 1974. All businesses must know exactly which standards they are required to adhere to.
Traffic Safety Direct Signs Help Maintain ADA Compliance
Our handicap parking signs help businesses maintain ADA compliance and alert drivers where they may and may not park. To help you meet federal and state regulations, we sell:
- Federal R7-8 Reserved Parking Signs
- Federal R7-8VA Van Accessible Signs
- New Jersey R7-8P Handicap Parking Penalty Signs
- New York State R7-8NY Reserved Parking Handicap Signs
All of our signs meet MUTCD specifications and are made from .080 rust resistant aluminum to withstand the elements. They are fade and UV resistant for long outdoor life, and are available in three types of reflective sheeting: Engineer, Hi-Intensity and Diamond grade.
Pre-drilled holes make installation easy using our U-channel sign posts. U-channel posts are one of the most durable and economical choices for mounting various types of signs, and we stock galvanized steel and green posts in sizes ranging from 3 to 12 feet.
Contact Traffic Safety Direct for expert advice and great prices on handicap parking signs and all of your traffic safety needs.