Podcast | Accessibility: 2012 SEGD ADA Update

Podcast Chris Calori + Teresa Cox + Ken Ethridge


What you will learn

Since its genesis in 1990, the American with Disabilities Act has proved to be an extremely important piece of legislation in promoting accessibility, and it has had a significant impact in the environmental and experiential graphic design fields. The ADA affects professionals across several industry verticals, which is why it is a good idea to become familiar with the updates. This podcast aims to help the EGD community understand the spirit and intent of the new guidelines. Chris Calori,Teresa Cox,and Ken Ethridgediscuss the updates and the common questions concerns surrounding the ADA.

This course focuses on the 2012 SEGD ADA White Paper Update and will help you get up to speed on the latest ADA requirements for signage and information in public environments. Download this course to understand the latest changes and what is developing for the next cycle of ANSI code revisions.


  • Interior signs
  • Sign categories
  • Standards for Accessible Design (SAD) exemptions
  • Typography specification updates
  • Distinction between treatment of visual and raised characters     
  • Pictogram requirements
  • Special sign situations
  • Exterior signs
  • Calculations
  • Contrast recommendations
  • Measuring raised and visual characters: proportions, stroke weight, and spacing
  • FAQs
  • When to use which standards
  • Appendix
  • Acceptable typefaces for raised and visual characters
  • Code evolution/next steps
  • Signs with multiple languages


Questions Answered

  • When is a project required to follow the new Standards for Accessible Design?
  • Where in the SAD does it say which standards apply to which sign types?
  • What is the definition of a permanent room? What’s “permanent”?
  • In cases where room numbers make sense, do you think that using the number as the raised and Braille component of the sign where the name is non-raised is a valid strategy?
  • Why are requirements in the SAD referred to as “guidelines” and not “regulations” even though I have to follow them anyway?
  • What guidelines are in place for interactive digital signage or cash machines?
  • Is 70% contrast still required between characters or pictograms and their backgrounds?
  • Are there any requirements in SAD for signs at transportation facilities?
  • For doors that open inward, should (or shall) room identification signs be installed where the tactile characters are centered within an 18” square clear floor space?
  • If a room number is raised and has corresponding Braille, does the room name need to adhere to the visual requirements?
  • If there is a room that has two doors in it and one of the doors that leads into the corridor has a LED exit sign above it, is a tactile exit sign required as well?
  • Are signs that read “in case of fire do not use elevator, use stairs” required to be tactile?
  • If we use a second or third language on a wayfinding sign, does it have to conform to the visual characters standards established by the ADA?
  • How do we measure credentials for ADA in a building project? Is there a checklist or criteria, etc.?
  • Are there exclusions of certain facilities in ADA?
  • What are the major components that the ADA would like us to focus on when designing an accessible signage system?
  • Is it necessary to place accessible and non-accessible signs at differing heights?
  • How can we add directional signs for blind people?
  • Has SEGD published anything specific about the California ADA requirements?
  • Are “visual symbols” and “pictograms” interchangeable terms?
  • The ADA requires signs to have non-glare backgrounds and characters, what is the protocol for illuminated signs?
  • Is there a revised version of the ADA signage guidelines? How frequently are the ADA rules and regulations updated?
  • What is considered a “highly decorative” typeface?
  • Ate there any specific ADA requirements for airports?
  • What kind of building requires compliance with the ADA? 


Course Materials

  • This course contains 1 podcast with 1 accompanying PDF presentation.



  • Approximately 150 minutes




Presented January 10, 2013 

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