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Paying the Price: Why You Might Get Hit with ADA Fines

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) fine can range up to $75,000! Learn how contractors and architects can design proper facilities, install signs and avoid penalties.

A single Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) fine can range almost up to six digits – $75,000! We’re no mathematicians, but most businesses, contractors and architects can’t afford regular fines that significant. Ensuring your ADA compliance in each of your facilities is key to avoiding large regulatory penalties and of course, providing hospitality to your guests and customers.

Our team of experienced sign makers broke down the reasons for excessive ADA fines and ways to avoid them.

Who’s Responsible for ADA Compliance?

Well unfortunately, it’s more complicated than a single answer. In rented work spaces, both the landlord and tenant share equal responsibility of ADA compliance (ADA National Network). Typically, the agreed-upon lease actually contains a clause about who shall accept responsibility (monetary and otherwise) for any ADA disputes.

If you own a building that predates the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, you aren’t required to have the same structures and signs in place that newer buildings do. But it’s never a bad idea to update your space to modern times and help those with disabilities navigate your store, school, office or building.

Below, contractors and architects will learn more about their specific needs when it comes to the Americans with Disabilities Act and its relation to your projects. However, always consult a local expert or code to ensure your role.


The original Americans with Disabilities Act outlined structural adjustments the following organizations and buildings had to take:

  • State and local government agencies
  • Congress
  • Commercial facilities
  • Housing providers
  • Public accommodations
  • Telecommunication providers
  • Modes of transportation
  • And more

But since 1990 when the bill was signed, Congress added all employers under the bill’s scope. Meaning if your next project is a school, arena or hardware store, you must consult on ADA compliant structures. Same goes for butcher shops, restaurants and gas stations. And any other business you can think of.

The full text of the Act (here) outlines specific requirements for signage, doorways, bathroom stalls, ramps, fountains and many more.

Of course, we can help with the signage! Whether you project already began and you need an emergency fix to stay on timeline or you’re preparing for your next construction, our team of professionals can help. Reach out to us here.


Architects too must design ADA-compliant structures before handing their project over to construction teams. It’s a good idea to include elements of the ADA as part of your all-encompassing project.

Have a trusty sign partner in your backpocket when you start a new project and need ADA-compliant designs. To reach our team of professionals, contact us here. Or, see some of our latest, greatest work.

Potential Fines for ADA Signs & Noncompliance

ADA noncompliance fines are no joke. In addition to a single fine for up to $75,000, the second instance can cost you up to $150,000. And so on and so on. Apart from federal regulations like the ADA, many individual states also have even stricter policies that could put your organization in a world of hurt if noncompliant. And don’t forget how bad word-of-mouth can affect your client’s business if they don’t have the proper, modern structures in place for people of all walks of life.

It’s high time businesses, contractors and architects learn how to avoid ADA fines and in turn, provide a safe facility for their guests.

ADA Sign-Specific Fines

As a result of Chapter 7, Section 703 of the Americans with Disabilities Act, specific requirements for signage came into law in 2016. Down to the very mounting of signs in your building. 

ADA signs aren’t just Braille. Ace Sign also makes dimensional letters and logos, placards and plaques, traffic and directional signs, site identification signs, wayfinding and informational signs, and more to help those with disabilities safely and confidently navigate your clients’ buildings.

And, regulators and officials from your local government may visit your buildings at any time to inspect whether you have taken into account ADA compliance.

No need to be an expert in the Americans with Disabilities Act or start studying the Congressional bill: That’s our job! 

Get your free quote and design now. Ensure your latest project is ADA compliant with the experts at Ace Sign. With more than a century of experience on our small but nimble team, we can help you assess and plan for any signage needs. 

In some states organizations are eligible for a tax credit to ensure their building or space is up to ADA standards. Bonus!

Paying the Price: Why You Might Get Hit with ADA Fines