Cincinnati Chapter

Cincinnati, OH Blog

CCAD Grand Opening

Thank you to everyone who came out on May 10th to witness the ribbon cutting and celebrate with us!

In case you missed it, here's a recap of the event:

Members of the tristate design community recently gathered to celebrate the grand opening of the Cincinnati Center for Architecture and Design (CCAD). CCAD promotes inter-disciplinary collaboration by providing a space for professional design organizations to use for meetings, lectures, social events, and educational programs. The ribbon cutting took place on May 10th and was preceded by networking and an address by the president of the AIA Cincinnati chapter, which recognized the various design organizations involved in the CCAD’s creation (SEGD included). Attendees included design and architecture students, as well as local members of each represented design organization – International Interior Design Association (IIDA), American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), American Institute of Architects (AIA), and SEGD.

SEGD chapter chairs created the design and implementation of the logo for the CCAD and worked with leaders of AIA to create the final mark. The brand lends itself to playful movement and overlap, hinting at the anticipated collaboration amongst the groups. The brand has started to come to life through exterior signage and the creation of some preliminary promotional materials.



Join us for the Grand Opening of the Cincinnati Center for Architecture + Design! This event is free and all are welcome, but please let us know you'll be attending by checking in on Eventbrite

Thursday, May 10
1114 Race St.
Cincinnati, OH 45202

5:30pm Networking, Drinks + Appetizers
6:00pm Welcome + Center Vision
6:30pm Ribbon Cutting

The newly renovated space in Over-the-Rhine is home for five local professional design organizations to meet and have the opportunity to collaborate: AIA Cincinnati, IIDA Ohio Kentucky Chapter, ASID Ohio South/Kentucky Chapter, ASLA Ohio Chapter, and SEGD Cincinnati Chapter.

Many thanks to John Venglarcik and Allen Industries Harmon Sign Division for helping sponsor this event, and Mark Stinson with Photo Lab Inc. for donating materials and printing for CCA+D's storefront branding.

April Write About It

Stephen Harroun
Regional Manager, APCO Signs
[email protected]

Many architects and designers have been asking for a resource on the "new" ADA guidelines for signage, the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design, enforceable as of March 15, 2012 for new construction and renovations. There are a few great outlines and whitepapers available (SEGD!) that highlight the changes and updates. Before we get specific, let’s discuss the goal of the ADA: intent.

The intent of the ADA is to remove barriers for disabled people so that they have an equal opportunity to function in our society. Specifically, "…for newly designed and constructed or altered State and local government facilities, public accommodations, and commercial facilities to be readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities." (

Code vs. Law

There is some confusion on what is code and what is law. ADA Standards are not building codes; they are requirements of design and construction covered by civil rights law. States can determine which codes they follow; for example, Pennsylvania still uses the 2009 Building Code except for accessibility standards. Additionally, codes are up for interpretation by local inspectors.

A number of federal, state and independent regulatory bodies have published guidelines that dictate several factors of sign design, construction, content and installation. Together, they regulate what we know as sign codes. Please note that, although these agencies have published regulations, your local municipality may require more stringent guidelines or may interpret those standards differently.


There are a few instances where compliant signs are required, but not often specified.

  1. Cubicles. Since fixed furniture systems are often in place for longer than the “temporary” time limit of 5 days or less, they are considered permanent spaces. If a sign is located on a cubicle, it should fulfill all of the requirements of ADA, including tactile copy and Braille. This can be achieved inexpensively with a tactile cubicle number (A01, for example) and a paper insert for the occupant name.
  2. Stairwells. In a structure with 4+ levels / floors, there are 3 signs required at each stairwell (2012 IFC).
    • Corridor-side Stair ID: This sign should identify the stairwell and whether it is an exit with tactile copy and Braille.
    • Stairwell-side Floor ID: This sign should identify the floor level with tactile copy and Braille.
    • Stairwell-side informational sign: This sign should identify the stair ID, roof access, the current level, levels the stair serves and the level of discharge.
    • Please note that many inspectors believe the stairwell-side informational sign is required to have tactile copy and Braille, per 2009 IFC. 2012 IFC clearly dictates that these are two separate signs.
  3. Private companies and offices. If a sign is located at offices inside a standard office space, it is required to comply with the ADA Standards, including tactile copy and Braille. Not only is the ADA involved with this to reduce barriers, but also equal opportunity employment laws.


Standardized regulations have been instituted for the safety of the general public and to reduce barriers for those with disabilities. These standards were put in place to help first responders navigate a facility to quickly respond to emergencies (logical room numbering), to help building occupants navigate and exit in case of an emergency (life safety signs, directional signs along egress pathways), to help those with visual impairments find their way throughout a facility (tactile characters, Braille, and adequate contrast), to help drivers read information quicker and easier to avoid accidents (exterior sign placement, character height, font, and color contrast), to remove barriers for those in wheelchairs (mounting height of signs) and to better communicate in our multi-lingual society (standard symbols and icons). There are many more, but these examples should help to illustrate the importance of instituting code compliant signage in your facility. Additionally, I am often asked if only public spaces are required to follow code. Reference Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and you will learn that those with disabilities cannot be discriminated against in the workplace due to their disability, in private or government sectors.


While a Fire Marshal or inspector may not require compliant signs for occupancy permits or other inspections, an organization may be liable for a lawsuit from an individual who feels that they are being discriminated against. Also, considering the safety implications, it is in everyone’s best interest to do what we can to provide safe and accessible environments for employees, patients, customers and visitors.


Ultimately, if an organization does not have complaint signage, they become liable for discrimination. As of March 28, 2014, an organization can be liable for a maximum civil penalty of $75,000 for the first ADA violation and $150,000 for each subsequent violation.

Thank you to everyone who attended our first event of 2018 and helped welcome our new co-chairs! We enjoyed lots of great conversation (and, of course, wine) in the high-ceilinged warehouse of The Skeleton Root. And congratulations to Jessie Kaising and Lucy Cossentino-Sinard, our raffle winners!

Cheers to those who have volunteered to contribute to our Write About It series in the coming months. If you have an inspiring or informative topic to share for Write About It, drop us a line at [email protected] and we'll get in touch with the details.

Also, just prior to last week's event, we launched our chapter Facebook page, as another way to stay connected to all of you.

Check out Soapbox Media's article on the Cincinnati Center for Architecture + Design (CCAD), a new home space in Over-the-Rhine for five creative organizations. SEGD Cincy worked over the winter to develop the Center's brand and visual identity. The Center will be a shareable space for local chapters of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), SEGD, the International Interior Design Association (IIDA), The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), and The American Society for Landscape Architects (ASLA). We're excited about the possibilities that the space will offer our creative community. Keep an eye on your e-mail for the official open house this spring.

Join us to meet the new SEGD Chapter Chairs and learn about the upcoming events planned for 2018! Blake and Grania are thrilled to be part of the team and are ready to hit the ground running. We will also be raffling off a door prize!

The Skeleton Root
38 W McMicken Ave
Cincinnati, OH 45202
(North OTR neighborhood. Street parking available.)

Skeleton Root is an urban winery and event space in Over-the-Rhine. Their wines are inspired by the deep heritage of the region, paying homage to the roots that were once here. SEGD Cincy found this to be a perfect location for our first event of the year – their beautiful tasting room and cozy furniture are sure to help combat the winter blues!

Have a project, insight, or experience to share? There will be a sign-up at the event for those interested in guest writing for the SEGD Cincinnati Blog and/or hosting a project tour this year.


See you there!

Blake, Grania, Hannah, and Margaret



SEGD is the smallest, friendliest, most open design association. Join and find out what community really means!.