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Heidi Tillmanns

Inclusion Through North American Sign Accessibility Standards

Whether the US or Canada, inclusion through design and training is paramount.





IN THE EVER-EVOLVING world of signage, where creativity meets compliance, navigating through trends and accessibility standards has become both a serious pursuit and an adventure filled with opportunities for innovation and inclusivity. As businesses seek to guide their customers with clarity and charm, training staff on the latest trends and North American accessibility standards has become a cornerstone of success in the sign industry.

Accessibility and Inclusivity in Design

Accessibility and inclusivity in signage design are not just checkboxes to tick; they’re the compass guiding businesses towards creating spaces that welcome everyone, regardless of abilities or backgrounds. From the bustling streets of Toronto to the vibrant neighborhoods of New York City, adhering to accessibility standards is not only a legal obligation but also a reflection of a company’s commitment to diversity and equity.

In Canada, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) serves as a beacon, illuminating the path towards inclusive signage design. Meanwhile, south of the border, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) sets the stage for accessibility standards, ensuring that signs are not just informative but also accessible to individuals with diverse needs and abilities. In Canada, there is also the Rick Hansen Foundation that provides training and has a directory of independent contractors to help. Also check in with your local accessibility activists, since they often know of qualified assessors that can review projects.

Key Trends Shaping the Industry

In the evolving landscape of the sign industry, trends ebb and flow like the tides of creativity. From the rise of digital sign-age to the embrace of sustainable materials, businesses are charting new territories to captivate audiences and leave a lasting impression. Whether it’s integrating augmented reality into signage experiences or crafting touchless solutions in response to the times, the sign industry is a canvas for innovation and imagination.


Training Staff for Success

Behind every eye-catching sign is a team of trained professionals, armed with knowledge, navigating the twists and turns of the sign industry. Staff training on accessibility standards, be it AODA or ADA, is the first step towards creating signage solutions that resonate with diverse audiences. But it doesn’t stop there — training initiatives should also dive into the latest trends, encouraging staff to think outside the box and infuse their creations with personality and panache.

Promoting Accessibility and Inclusivity

Promoting accessibility and inclusivity in the sign industry is not a solo expedition — it’s a collaborative journey that requires everyone to come on board. From designers and manufacturers to policymakers and regulatory agencies, each player adds their own brushstroke to the canvas of inclusivity. By embracing the principles of accessibility and inclusivity, businesses can create signage solutions that not only inform but also inspire, transforming spaces into welcoming havens for all.

In conclusion, as we navigate the currents of change in the sign industry, let us chart a course towards inclusivity and innovation. By training staff on the latest trends and accessibility standards, businesses can create signage experiences that not only guide but also delight, leaving a lasting impression on customers from coast to coast. So, let’s set sail on this adventure together, one sign at a time, and let our creativity illuminate the way forward!




Introducing the Sign Industry Podcast

The Sign Industry Podcast is a platform for every sign person out there — from the old-timers who bent neon and hand-lettered boats to those venturing into new technologies — we want to get their stories out for everyone to hear. Come join us and listen to stories, learn tricks or techniques, and get insights of what’s to come. We are the world’s second oldest profession. The folks who started the world’s oldest profession needed a sign.

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