How ADA Solutions Ensures Safety for All

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Millions of Americans have some sort of visual impairment ranging from poor eyesight to complete blindness. Being visually disabled can present challenges when venturing outside of the home and accessing public walkways, transportation, rail platforms, and work environments.

Some of the more common obstacles found outside the home are unexpected objects, traffic, sudden drops, and uneven surfaces. Detectable warning surfaces help visually impaired people to address these and other types of obstacles.

There are different styles of detectable warning surfaces which can be used to help those with visual impairments. One style has raised, round truncated domes which indicate an upcoming hazard like entering a busy intersection at a street crossing.

Another style has elevated bar-like sections to help direct people in a safe direction while walking. This style is commonly referred to as way-finding detectable warning surfaces. They are often used in conjunction with truncated dome warning surfaces.

The use of detectable warning surfaces benefits everyone, not just those people with visual impairments. They help improve mobility, increase safety, make it easier to access work environments, and more.

To learn more about how ADA Solutions ensures safety for all with detectable warning surfaces and the benefits they provide, we invite you to continue reviewing the following infographic.

Afterward, if you have further questions or would like to find out how detectable warning surfaces could benefit your business, municipality, or other public spaces, please feel free to contact ADA Solutions directly to speak with a representative today!  

How ADA Solutions Ensures Safety for All

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Wrapping Your Head Around the ADA Standards for Accessible Design

People on a Crosswalk

Living with Disabilities: Accessories for the Handicapped

Woman on Wheelchair

There are different types of disabilities that can affect how well one is able to get through his or her day. To ease one’s day to day activities, various accessories are available that can make life a little less challenging. These accessories are designed to address challenges such as:

  • Cooking
  • Lifting
  • Grabbing
  • Walking
  • Climbing
  • Sitting
  • Standing
  • Cleaning
  • Bathing

In addition, accessories for people with disabilities help improve safety and comfort when at home or work or on the go. For example, the use of a walker, cane, or wheelchair can make it easier to get around and address mobility disabilities. When selecting accessories for yourself, make sure to identify what challenges you face and which accessories could make things safer, easier, and more comfortable for you.

To learn more about accessories for the handicapped, statistics about the most common disabilities, and which accessories might be right for you, we invite you to continue reading and reviewing the following infographic.

If you are responsible for ensuring safe walkways, entrances, and other accessible areas exist at your business, apartment complex, or other public locations, please feel free to contact ADA Solutions to learn more about our detectable warning surfaces and solutions today!

Living with Disabilities: Accessories for the Handicapped - ADA SOLUTIONS

What Is a Photoluminescent Detectable Warning Surface System?

Empty Road at Night Lit by Neon Light

A photoluminescent detectable warning surface system is a walking surface that essentially glows in the dark. This type of system can be found used in buildings; on airplanes, rail, and subway stations; and in other areas where there can be a high volume of pedestrian traffic.

During the day or under normal lighting, the photoluminescent system will blend into its surroundings. When the lights are turned off, then the photoluminescence will start to glow and light up. The length of time the system will glow does depend on the type of technology being used to illuminate the system.

What Makes a Photoluminescent Detectable Warning Surface System Glow?

There are a few different technologies that can “power” a photoluminescent detectable warning surface system. The first one is the use of copper-activated zinc sulfide, which is the traditional standard first used when photoluminescence was initially developed.

The second method, which is used with a wide range of photoluminescent products and systems today, is using strontium aluminate, a patented phosphorescent chemical. The chemical is applied to specific areas where it needs to glow. The chemical lasts much longer than the traditional standard and glows as much as ten times brighter.

The chemical can be charged from either artificial or natural light sources. It stores light photons within the chemical. Once fully charged, the chemical gradually releases the light charge, which appears to glow in the dark in reduced light levels for many hours. One benefit of the patented phosphorescent chemical is it can be recharged numerous times without any noticeable decline in performance or illumination levels.

The third method is to use a rechargeable LED light system. If this method is used, there will be small solar panels attached to the system so it can absorb light and recharge the LED lights. The LED lights will illuminate when it is dark and remain light until the battery powering the lights is drained.

How Can a Photoluminescent System Benefit Pedestrians at Night?

A photoluminescent system benefits pedestrians at night because it makes it easier to see specific walkways and paths. Even if there is sufficient overhead lighting, there can still be areas on the ground that can be difficult to see clearly.

For example, many retail stores now have long walkways down the center of their parking lots. These walkways could be illuminated at night to make it easier to see with a photoluminescent system.

glow dome photoluminescent systems

How Is a Photoluminescent System Beneficial During a Power Outage?

A photoluminescent system is beneficial during a power outage since it does not rely upon a direct power source to illuminate. It can be used to help direct people to the nearest exits or other safe locations within a building, in a rail or subway station, and so on. A photoluminescent system provides an economical way for businesses and municipalities to enhance safety for people while, at the same time, improves their emergency preparedness.

To learn more about Glow-Dome™ photoluminescent systems, please feel free to contact ADA Solutions at 1-800-372-0519 today! Glow-Dome™ can be easily incorporated into ADA detectable warning surface systems so you can provide both visual and non-visual safety for everyone.

How Do Detectable Warning Surfaces Increase Safety for All Pedestrians?

Yellow Tactile Paving For The Blind Handicap

If you do any type of walking or use public transportation to commute to and from work, you have probably noticed those raised truncated domes on the ground at intersections, rail platforms, and even near bus stops. While we might not give them much thought, they do serve a valuable purpose for everyone.

These tiles with raised round circles are commonly referred to as detectable warning surfaces. They  come in different colors so they contrast with the surrounding surfaces where they are installed. They could be red, white, blue, or yellow. Some states like California require that a specific color is used, while other states allow any color to be used, as long as it contrasts with the color of the surrounding surfaces..

The raised circular sections on the warning surfaces alert people that they are approaching a dangerous or hazardous area and need to take precautions. For people who are blind or have reduced vision, they alert them to this change so they can be better prepared when crossing a busy intersection, for instance.

full frame of detectable warning surface

For people without visual impairments, the raised circles on the warning surfaces help regain their attention when they are distracted. How many times have you been on your smartphone texting or checking on social media updates while walking down the sidewalk? You get distracted by what you are reading or typing. Before you know it, you could be walking out into a busy intersection that is without detectable warning surfaces.

Instead,  your feet detect the detectable warning surface’s raised circular domes of the warning tile. This regains your focus to look up and see if it is safe to cross the street. This is just one example of how these warning surfaces benefit everyone.

A Brief History of Detectable Warning Surfaces

The contrasting color requirement for warning surfaces comes from the Federal ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). The act was signed into law in 1990 by President George H. W. Bush. The ADA covers a wide range of topics and requirements, from accessibility to discrimination against people with disabilities. Within the act, there is one section which discusses ADA detectable warning surfaces.

ADA - Americans With Disabilities Act

This section has been updated several times since becoming law in 1990. It was updated in 2001 to specify where the ADA required colored warning surfaces to be installed, as on curb ramps or on rail and public transit platforms. It was updated again in 2010, which modified the 2001 guidelines. As of 2010, colored warning surfaces with raised domes are required on rail and transit platforms and curb ramps in the public right-of-way.

In addition, cities, counties, and states can all have their own requirements and laws regarding the use of warning surfaces. It is the responsibility of each person to verify the requirements for their business, commercial property, or public use operation.

To learn more about warning surfaces and help selecting the right ones for your location, please feel free to contact ADA Solutions at (800) 372-0519 today! We would be happy to discuss your needs and provide you with a free quote!

How Do Detectable Warning Surfaces Help Visually Impaired Pedestrians?

detectable warning device

Detectable warning surfaces act as a stop sign for visually impaired perdestrians at intersections and other busy pedestrian foot traffic areas. There are different types and colors of these warning surfaces one can encounter in their city.

The ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) does not specify a specific color when using tactile warning surfaces, although the most commonly used color is yellow. The only stipulation is that it must be of a contrasting color compared to the surrounding surface. For instance, if the sidewalk is your normal cement gray, then any color—blue, red, black, and so on—could be used except for gray and possibly white if the cement is a light color.

Raised domes are easily detectable with  a cane both in feel and sound or by the change in the surface as felt under foot. The contrasting color of the surface further helps people who have poor vision. They are often able to distinguish between changes in colors, even though they may not be able to see clearly.

Types of Detectable Warning Surfaces

The type and placement of the tactile warning surfaces do mean different things for the visually impaired as follows:

  • Truncated domes—the round raised circles—indicate that a visually impaired person is entering an area where there is a crossing. The crossing could be a busy intersection, bike path, jogging trail, or another heavy foot traffic area. The domes mean the person should stop before proceeding, to determine whether it is safe to cross.
  • The use of way finding tactile surfaces with elongated raised lines and ridges in between are starting to be used in various cities to create safe visually impaired walking lanes. The ridges make it easy for a visually impaired person with a cane to “feel” the ground and know they are walking in a safe area.
  • Photoluminescent warning surfaces with illuminated dots are also becoming more common in various cities. The use of these types of tiles help all people because in low light conditions they illuminate  and provide a pathway to safety in the event of a power failure.

glow dome photoluminescent systems

Places Where Detectable Warning Surfaces Should Be Used

The ADA has specific guidelines about the placement, size, and type of ADA detectable warning surfaces used in public areas. In 2010, the ADA relaxed its location requirements, but this does not mean businesses and communities cannot still be proactive in creating safe walking areas for visually impaired people. As of 2010, the warning surfaces are only required on the edges of transit platforms and wheelchair ramps in the public rights-of-way like intersections.

The previous requirements also required warning surfaces around the edges of reflecting pools and in front of doors leading to hazardous vehicular areas like parking lots. This is why you might notice tactile warning surfaces still being installed in these locations.

For municipalities and businesses which are not sure whether they should install tactile warning surfaces, it is highly recommended to speak to a supplier of detectable warning surfaces like those of us at ADA Solutions. We can help you determine what would be best for your city or business, as well as for the visually impaired people who deserve safer walking areas.

For further information, to request a free sample, or to learn more about our tactile warning surface products, please feel free to call us at (800) 372-0519 today!

When Is ADA Compliance Legally Required?

ADA americans with disabilities act image

The ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) provides certain protections for those with disabilities to provide an equal opportunity to access, like for people without disabilities. For business owners, it is important to understand when you are legally required to be ADA-compliant.

The ADA applies to organizations and businesses that fit one or more of the following criteria:

  • All local, county, state, and federal government agencies.
  • Any business that relies on the general public or for their benefit.
  • Privately run companies that currently have 15 or more employees.
  • Non-profit and charitable organizations which either have 15 or more employees or which operate for the benefit of the general public.

A good general guideline you can use to determine if your business should be ADA-compliant is to answer this question: “Does your business or organization have places or areas that are designed for public accommodation?”
equality for those with disabilities image
Public accommodation is defined broadly and could include one or more of the following types of businesses or locations:

  • Retail Stores
  • Restaurants
  • Public Parks
  • Public Restrooms
  • Airports
  • Train/Rail/Subway Stations and Terminals
  • Bus Stations and Terminals
  • Healthcare Facilities and Hospitals
  • Resorts, Hotels, and Motels
  • Apartment and Rental Properties
  • Public Sidewalks
  • Parking Garages
  • Sports Stadiums/Arenas
  • Schools/Colleges/Universities

Essentially, any areas where people have access without any restrictions should follow the ADA requirements. It is equally important to remember that privately run businesses that do not rely on the general public or function for their benefit can still be bound by the ADA, so long as they have 15 or more people in their employ.

How Can a Business Verify ADA Compliance?

The Department of Justice (DOJ) oversees the ADA requirements. The DOJ highly recommends businesses and organizations perform their own self-evaluations to determine whether their operations meet current ADA standards of compliance.1

To help get you started, let’s look at a general overview of what you can do:

  • Step 1: Create a floor plan for your business and its layout.
    You can sketch this or make one on the computer—whatever is easier for you. On the floor plan, make sure to include the location of furniture, doorways, entryways, elevators, stairways, and so on. Be as detailed as possible to include every aspect.

  • Step 2: Review the floorplan layout.
    The next step requires gathering a tape measure and taking measurements. You need to measure the width of doors, aisles, and other areas people walk through. These areas should be wide enough to accommodate people in wheelchairs, without any obstructions.
    In addition, in bathrooms, there should be at least one stall with a door wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair. The toilet in this stall also needs to be installed at the correct ADA-required height and include handrails. You will also need at least one sink installed that is accessible from a wheelchair.

  • Step 3: Make a list of action items that need to be addressed.
    As you are walking around your business and taking measurements, make a note of anything that does not meet current ADA measurement requirements. These items will need to be corrected in order to ensure ADA compliance.

  • Step 4: Put yourself in the place of a person with disabilities.
    A great way to tell how disabled-friendly is your business would be to get a wheelchair and use this to get around. Can you open doors easily and get in and out without any obstructions or problems? Are there specific areas where corners seem tight? You could also put on a blindfold and use a cane to walk around to see whether there are concerns or issues you need to address for people with visual impairments.

  • Step 5: Don’t forget to do an assessment outside of your building.
    ADA requirements extend to the exterior of your business, as well. You need to make sure accessing your building is possible. Two areas of importance are parking lots and sidewalks. Parking lots should have a certain percentage of handicap-accessible parking spaces that are clearly marked and fairly close to the main entrance.

    These spaces have to be wide enough to accommodate a van with a wheelchair lift. Additionally, there should be a clearly defined ADA walkway or crossing for people to use to cross traffic and gain access to your building.

    For a sidewalk, there needs to be a ramp for access to your building. The ramp should be near the main entrance and not hidden on the side or back where getting to it can be difficult. Ramps have to be at a specific incline and should include some type of ADA-detectable warning surface, like truncated domes.

    There are different types of ramps allowed under the ADA. As such, each one has its own specific requirements regarding width, placement, and so on, which you will need to review. In some settings, you may also be required to install handrails on the exterior of ramps.

Please keep in mind, this is just a general overview and does not include every specific requirement you may need to consider for your business.

The ADA offers different checklists that can be used for existing structures as well as new construction. In some cases, an existing structure may fall under previous ADA requirements, depending on when it was built. However, if any renovations or updates are made to the facility, then the business could be required to bring all ADA standards up to date using the current requirements.

What Areas Should Be Given Priority for ADA Compliance?

The ADA recommends breaking down your facility into four different priority areas when creating your checklist.2 The top priority is accessibility to approaching and entering the building. If people cannot access your building, then it will not matter what areas of your building are ADA-compliant.
The second priority is in regards to what type of access people with disabilities have to services, goods, and products your business offers. Basically, is it easy for them to get around and obtain the things they need? Or are there obstacles in their way that you need to resolve?
Your third priority is the accessibility of restrooms. You only need to worry about bathrooms if you offer the general public access to them or have 15 or more people in your employ.

The fourth priority applies to other areas of your building and business, such as:

  • Elevator Call Buttons and Control Panels
  • Public Telephones
  • Self-Help Building Directories
  • Self-Service Kiosks
  • Drinking Fountains
  • Vending Machines
  • Employee Break Areas

Don’t forget, the ADA covers more than just accessibility for people with disabilities. It also applies to employment opportunities, internet websites, and more. This is why you will want to obtain a copy of the current standards and review these in detail to see which ones apply to your business.
gray warning safety surface

Where Can I Obtain ADA Flooring and Warning Surface Products?

Detectible warning surface must be installed in areas where there is a public right-of-way, like store entrances, crosswalks, walkways in parking lots, and so on. When looking for ADA flooring with raised tactile domes and warning surfaces, you need to make sure the supplier’s products meet all current ADA regulations and specifications.

At ADA Solutions, all of our products satisfy all current ADA requirements and specifications. We even offer a wide range of colors of tactile warning surfaces. While the ADA does not have any requirements regarding colors, except that they contrast with light and dark, some cities and states do have specific ordinances and laws that require businesses to use a specific color.
We offer ADA detectable warning surface products for existing sidewalks and walkways that can be installed over the surface. We also offer cast-in-place solutions for newly poured sidewalks and walkways, as well as replaceable panel options.

To learn more about our ADA-compliant surface products or assistance in selecting the right ones for your business, please feel free to contact ADA Solutions at (800) 372-0519 today!


Accidents Involving the Disabled: Common Causes and Prevention

For those who are not disabled, the relative ease of daily tasks is often taken for granted. The non-disabled have few problems getting to work, running errands, or crossing a busy street; the world has largely been designed for this majority. For a disabled person, however, the experience is very different. A visually impaired person, for example, may be unable to drive to work, have trouble using crosswalks, or be injured by a hazard he or she cannot see.

According to the World Health Organization, more than one billion individuals in the world are disabled in some way. Of those, approximately 285 million are visually impaired (having significantly low vision that cannot be helped with corrective lenses alone).¹ In the United States, the National Federation of the blind reports that more than seven million people have some form of visual impairment.²

Unfortunately, even with millions of disabled individuals worldwide, there are still many spaces that aren’t as accessible or safe for the disabled as they are for others. Because of this, the disabled tend to be at greater risk of an accident.

Common Accidents and Their Causes

The following are a few common types of accidents involving disabled persons, as well as their typical causes:

  • Falling
  • Common causes: Slippery surfaces that could not be avoided or foreseen due to their disability; tripping over hazards (e.g., uneven sidewalks); attempting to go upstairs when a ramp is unavailable.
  • Getting Hit by a Motor Vehicle
  • Common causes: Failure by drivers to acknowledge pedestrians in wheelchairs; inability to distinguish between the sidewalk and the road (if visually impaired).
  • Injury from Objects or Other People
  • Common causes: ADA non-compliance and unrecognized hazards (e.g., narrow store aisles), disregard for disabled individuals in a crowded space; lack of appropriate safety measures.

Using ADA Tiles to Prevent Accidents and Support Accessibility

One way to create safe, accessible spaces is to use ADA tiles to alert the visually impaired to areas bordering roadways, parking lots, and other areas of potential danger. ADA-detectable warning tiles feature a unique textured surface that can be felt through most types of footwear, providing a tactile alert to the person that he or she is approaching a curb or crosswalk. This type of warning is especially important now that curb design has become more sloped, making it more difficult to feel for the edges.

The use of ADA warning tiles for accident prevention and accessibility has numerous benefits for those installing them, as well. Using modular tiles to create tactile warning surfaces makes the application simple, flexible, and easy to replace. Focusing on accessibility and safety for the visually impaired also ensures that businesses aren’t alienating an entire group of potential customers.

The Unique Design of Detectable Warning Surface Tiles

Perhaps the most important aspect of tactile surface tiles is their carefully planned texture. While the bumps on the surface of the tiles may seem arbitrary, they’re manufactured to specifications provided in the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG). The shape, known as the “truncated dome,” has been determined to be ideal for detectability and overall surface safety. To be compliant with the ADAAG, each dome must be within the defined height, diameter, and spacing ranges.

It’s not just about the truncated dome, however; every aspect of an ADA-detectable warning tile’s design is intended to support safety for everyone who might come in contact with it. The texture, for example, is important not just for being easily detected by visually impaired persons; it’s also perfect for providing grip in otherwise slippery conditions.

ADA tiles can also be manufactured in a variety of colors, the most popular being a bright, easily visible shade of yellow. These different color options make it possible for development planners to create high contrast between the tiles and their surrounding surfaces, making the tiles ideal as visual cues for the sighted.

The Americans With Disabilities Act

Your Obligations as a Business Owner or Public Servant

If you own a business or are responsible for planning a public space, you’ll need to make sure that your plans meet certain safety and accessibility standards. In addition to obeying all relevant building codes in your area, you have an obligation to meet ADA accessibility guidelines so that disabled individuals can easily access the space and be protected from accidents.

The ADAAG cover a variety of topics, including (but not limited to) the following:

  • Minimum accessibility requirements
  • Accessible room design
  • Bathroom stalls
  • Object heights (sinks, mirrors, hand dryers, soap dispensers, light switches, etc.)
  • Building entrance ramps
  • Detectable warnings (ADA flooring, ADA walkway requirements)
  • Detectable through footwear by the visually impaired
  • Sizing (minimum 6-8 inches from back of curb)
  • Truncated dome texture design
  • Signage
  • Curb Ramps
  • Usable by those with walkers, wheelchairs, scooters, etc.
  • Sloped transition from the street up to the walkway
  • Design of accessible routes
  • Doorways, elevators, hallways, etc.
  • Appropriate slope and width measurements
  • Alternatives to stairs
  • Sufficient turning space (for wheelchairs, scooters, etc.)

While following all of these different regulations might seem like unnecessary red tape, remember that they exist to protect and support the needs and safety of everyone, regardless of their abilities. It’s also not as difficult or time-consuming as you might think; ADA Solutions’ detectable warning surfaces, for example, are easy to order, install, and replace as needed.

Handicap Symbol on a Ramp

Before you solidify your plans or do any installations, make sure that you look into all of the relevant construction, safety, and accessibility laws in your state and community. Depending on where you live, you may have other legal requirements in addition to the federal ADA guidelines.

ADA Solutions Is an Industry Leader in Detectable Warnings

Whether you need ADA tiles for new construction, to correct compliance issues, or to replace old worn-out surfaces, you can trust the superior warning tile products at ADA Solutions. Our fully ADA-compliant tiles are made from heavy-duty materials like cast iron and fiberglass polymer composites, giving you years of reliable function without wear. Our tiles are also UV stable, which means that even years in direct sunlight won’t change their color or contrast.

ADA Solutions offers a range of detectable warning surface products for various applications:

  • Cast-in-place tiles (standard or replaceable)
  • Delivered ready for installation in freshly poured concrete.
  • Made from durable composite materials, ideal for long-term use.
  • Replaceable version has a surface piece that is anchored into panel body for easy replacement after years of wear.
  • Surface applied tiles
  • Ideal for retrofitting and quick installation (5-10 minutes, in some cases).
  • Thin, bevel-edged tiles provide a safe transition when installed on the surface of existing concrete.
  • Radius systems
  • Designed to support accessibility and ADAAG compliance along curved areas (radius conditions).
  • Easy, fast cutting with pre-scored radius measurements at 10, 15 and 20 feet.
  • No cutting needed for radiuses of 11-13 feet.
  • Cast iron “Irondome” tactile systems
  • Exterior grade tactile warning surface tiles cast from solid, extremely durable iron.
  • Natural finish of cast iron meets ADA color requirements.
  • Eligible for LEED® points (ideal for businesses seeking LEED® certification).
  • Replaceable graphic tile systems
  • Custom-designed tiles featuring full four-color graphics, messaging, and/or advertisements.
  • Artwork can be displayed across one or more tiles.
  • Replaceable for easy updating of graphics and messaging.
  • Other products
  • Photoluminescent “Glow-Dome” systems.
  • Wayfinding surfaces.
  • All of our tactile warning surface products are designed to meet ADAAG standards. With appropriate installation, our tiles provide full compliance and maximum accessibility.

    To learn more about how you can prevent accidents involving the disabled and meet your obligations to safety and accessibility, explore our products online or call ADA Solutions at (800) 372-0519.

    Sources

    1. http://www.who.int/blindness/GLOBALDATAFINALforweb.pdf
    2. https://nfb.org/blindness-statistics

What Does It Mean? Public Safety Signage in the U.S.

all-way stop sign

In the United States, both corporations and public safety organizations alike do their best to improve public safety by making the public aware of various hazards. The most common way to communicate this information is through the use of bright, clear messaging on easy-to-read signs, but it isn’t always easy to figure out what these signs mean. Furthermore, some people can’t see signs at all—including those with vision problems.

In today’s post, we’ll talk about what some of these signs really mean, as well as how you can best respond to them. We’ll also tell you how your organization can make it easier to recognize hazard zones even when individuals aren’t able to use visual cues.

Sign Colors and Their Meanings

  • The first thing you need to understand about signage in the United States is that color is extremely important. Not only does it make signs visually recognizable from a distance, but it also directly correlates to what the sign means.
  • Red is one of the most common sign colors. This bright, bold color is normally used to show the need to stop, either at intersections or other road hazards. You’ll find this color used on stop signs, yield signs, prohibition signs, and more.
  • White, on the other hand, is bright and bold in a different way. It stands out against the road and is easier to see at night. This color is only really used in regulatory signs, such as speed limit signage.
  • As you might guess, signs with green coloring indicate permission to go; the direction of traffic; and guidance for turnoffs, intersections, or overpasses. They are also sometimes used to identify the name of places, highways, or turnoffs.
  • Signs that are bright neon yellow or bright neon green, on the other hand, are mostly used to identify crossings where the risk of injuries is extremely high. This includes crosswalks near schools, hospitals, and, sometimes, shopping malls.
  • Orange is normally used for warning or hazard signs, such as bumps, uneven roads, sharp turns, or construction. This color grabs attention because it is used far less often than other road signs.
  • Coral signs are rare; they typically indicate an incident management event or emergency response is unfolding. This may include accidents on the road.
  • Blue signs provide guidance on local services, information on exits or turn-offs to “civilization” after long stretches of highway, or information detailing how to get assistance from road services.
  • Last, brown signs are governmental and/or state-based indicators for areas of special interest. Most Americans see this type of sign when they visit state or national parks.

The Problem with Visual Signs

road construction sign

Visual signs are a fantastic way to communicate safety or other information as citizens move around—but only if the citizens in question can see. Some Americans can’t visually confirm signage. These individuals may struggle to get around or stay safe if cities and towns don’t find alternative ways to communicate this vital information to them.

The good news is that there are ways to achieve this goal. ADA detectable warning surfaces take signs to the ground, putting a slightly textured surface underfoot. They’re most often used in doorways, entrances, intersections, and crosswalks. When visually impaired people walk over one of these surfaces, they feel the change in texture and know to use caution. This is a far more ideal and accessible choice compared to bright road signs, which are useless for those who are visually impaired.

At ADA Solutions, we provide access to a broad range of Detectable Warning and Wayfinding Products . You can help to make the environment in your local area safer and more amenable for visually impaired people with each tile you install. We are all responsible for making our world more accessible—won’t you help?

Can Businesses Be Sued for Not Having ADA-Compliant Surfaces?

Woman on Wheelchair

One of the areas the ADA oversees is the protection of customers with disabilities who enter public spaces. They provide safety codes for businesses to adhere to in order to ensure the safety of anyone who visits the premises—but what happens when a company doesn’t follow the ADA flooring specifications and a person is injured on-site? Can businesses be sued for not having ADA-compliant surfaces?

Is Suing Even an Option?

The short answer to this question is yes. Property owners are responsible for doing whatever they can to prevent others from being injured on their premises. So, companies must adhere to ADA flooring standards at all times. Your business can potentially be sued by individuals who suffer injuries on your property.

What Does the ADA Cover?

ADA legislation exists to make publicly available spaces more accessible and safe for patients who have mobility issues. This includes sidewalks, entry ramps, hospitals, retail outlets, housing units, public facilities, grocery stores, and banks. The ADA provides clear outlines of what is required of property owners to ensure ADA flooring and ADA walkways are accessible at all times.

What Can Happen in a Non-ADA Compliant Space?

Someone who is injured in a non-ADA-compliant public space has the option of filing a complaint with the government. They may also file a premises liability claim against the business where the individual was hurt. A premises liability case looks at injuries sustained on private and public property and whether they were influenced by negligence—such as refusing to meet ADA-compliance standards.

Examples of ADA Specifications

ADA regulations are very extensive, especially when it comes to public spaces. Many business owners implement these regulations because they’re common knowledge. However, they may not be fully aware of other implementations that are just as important.

Here are some of the most important highlights:

  1. Wheelchair ramps at main entryways and potentially side entrances
  2. Ensuring curb entrances to sidewalks are accessible to everyone
  3. Proper positioning of merchandise shelving to be reachable
  4. Installing specialized doorway hinges or installing wider doors
  5. Leaving space between obstacles for easier wheelchair movement
  6. Replacing high-pile carpets to reduce or totally remove tripping hazards
  7. Installing grab bars and raised toilet seats in bathrooms to improve safety

If you haven’t sought out ADA-compliant renovations, this list is the best place to start. Even the most simple changes can help you assist people with disabilities to become happier and comfortable when they visit your business.

How Premise Liability Cases Work

sidewalk curb anti slip pad

In premise liability cases, the property owner is the defendant. Slip and fall claims are the most common injury case for public spaces, though they’re not the only type a company without ADA flooring may face. The absence of grab bars in bathrooms is another common example.

In each case, the complainant’s lawyer will look for previous injury cases, investigate the premises, and reach out to the property owner’s insurance company to receive compensation. If they can prove that you purposefully avoided ADA compliance, you may be held liable.

ADA compliance protects your business from liability cases in the event of injuries or accidents, especially if you can prove you made attempts to install ADA-compliant elements. Protect your company today by contacting ADA Solutions for guidance and compliance products.