The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ensures access to components within a building are equal for people with disabilities. The ADA Standards establish design requirements for the construction and alteration of facilities subject to the law.
Of course, these laws also have an impact on how digital signage can be installed in public spaces. Installations may include touchscreen kiosks, screen enclosures, and video walls, just to name a few. These types of digital signs must adhere to the proposed guidelines for ADA compliance.
It also makes good business sense that a digital signage message is accessible to all potential audiences it may reach so that your messages are received clearly and effectively.
To help you determine if your signs are ADA compliant, check out these simple tips:
According to ADA compliance standards, any screen enclosure or wall mounted digital signs must not stick out more than 4 inches from a wall. Additionally, enclosures and displays must be installed at a minimum of 27-inches off the ground and a maximum of 80-inches.
This rule specifically serves people who require wheelchairs or other devices to assist movement. By adhering to these standards, your displays with not interfere with people’s movements around the display and you can ensure maximum safety.
Enclosures housing touchscreen digital signage must maintain a maximum height off the ground of 48-inches within 10-inches of an arm’s reach. Kiosks that are built sloped upwards are generally recommended for wheelchair accessibility and are easier to use. A 15° to 20° slope allows the content to be within reach of most users, regardless of physical ability.
Content is also an essential part of this equation. Don’t spread out touch content too widely on a display–instead, keep things simple and within reach so everyone can enjoy and make use of it.
Considerations for Users who are Hearing or Visually Impaired
Although we typically consider just the visual aspects of digital signage, voice-responsive technology can be integrated for people who are blind or visually impaired. Because ADA guidelines mandate that raised character information has to be displayed at a certain height, it is easy to place a simple push button that would activate a voice-response system. The voice-response system would function in the same manner as an interactive touch screen digital sign for sighted people.
If your digital signs feature videos or audio content, make sure the displays you use have built-in speakers so your audience can still receive the message you want them to hear.
The US Census Bureau tells us that nearly 40 million Americans have some sort of physical disability or handicap. Too often, spaces are not designed with this significant portion of the population in mind.
When designing spaces and digital signage content, please be sure to carefully consider people with disabilities, how they will receive your messages and how they can be equally included in the environment you build.
Taking a few simple steps towards inclusion can mean a world of difference to someone.
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