Triumphant Win: Sign Professionals Secure Major Victory in ICC A117.1 Committee

Triumphant Win: Sign Professionals Secure Major Victory in ICC A117.1 Committee缩略图

ISA staff and volunteers, serving on ISA’s ADA and Building Codes Subcommittee, collaborated within the International Code Council’s A117.1 committee to successfully oppose several proposed changes to the Standard for Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities. These changes, if implemented, would have presented challenges in terms of measurement, enforcement, and demonstrating compliance.

In particular, ISA and its SEGD partners vehemently opposed five significant proposals released in February 2022, which could have had adverse effects on how sign professionals design, fabricate, and install accessible signs for permanent rooms and spaces. Despite industry opposition, these proposals were ultimately “recommended for disapproval” by wide margins on February 2, 2023:

  1. Proposal 07-06 (Visual character height increase from 5/8-inch to 1-inch) – Disapproved 23-0-2
  2. Proposal 07-08 (Contrast formula for signs) – Disapproved 26-0-2
  3. Proposal 01-05 (Definitions of contrast terms) – Disapproved 26-1-1
  4. Proposal 05-13 (Contrast formula for stair striping) – Disapproved 25-0-1
  5. Proposal 07-19 (Contrast formula for detectable warning surfaces) – Disapproved 25-0-1

On a positive note, other changes were approved by the full A117.1 committee, with ISA and SEGD generally voting in favor of these successful proposals. Notable approved changes include:

  • Clarifications about when visual characters are required below pictograms.
  • Horizontal orientation for both raised characters and Braille characters.
  • Increased minimum separation for Braille characters from raised characters (now 3/8-inch) and a new maximum separation (1/2-inch).
  • Revised symbols and locations for assistive listening systems, sign language interpretation, and visual relay service booths.
  • Amendments to variable message sign rules addressing messages with multiple screens.
  • Deletion of rules related to the outdated Remote Infrared Audible Sign system technology.

The first draft of the next edition of the manual will be released for public review this summer without the language that ISA & SEGD opposed. ISA’s ADA and Building Codes Subcommittee remains committed to monitoring the situation and guiding the ICC toward effective codes and regulations for the sign, graphics, and visual communications industry. Representation on the ICC A117.1 Committee includes Glenn Dea AIA (Collaborative Access Studio/Cypress, CA), Lucy Pereira (APCO Signs/Atlanta, GA), and Kenny Peskin (ISA/Alexandria, VA).