Accessibility Signs Begin to Change at the End of this Month

The familiar accessibility signs posted on restroom doors, in parking lots, and near doorways will look different later this month.

Governor Whitmer recently signed House Bill 4076 into law which amends the Persons with Disabilities Civil Rights Act to require the Civil Rights Commission to adopt and put into use a standardized design that is a variation of the International System of Access (ISA).

The law goes into effect on Oct. 23, 2022, but municipalities and business owners are not required to immediately replace all signs. Signs with the new ISA graphic should be installed when existing signs need replacement or when new signs are installed.

The design will have all of the following:

  • Depict a dynamic character leaning forward in a wheelchair with a sense of movement;
  • Provide a contrasting background, with either a light symbol on a dark background or a dark symbol on a light background;
  • Facilitate accessibility to a degree equivalent to the existing ISA; and
  • Be simple and avoid any secondary meaning.

In October of 2023, each new placement or replacement of ISA signs required by law, ordinance, or administrative rule of the state or a local unit of government would have to use the design adopted.

In addition, the new law requires the Michigan Department of Civil Rights and the Commission to take the necessary steps to remove the word “handicapped” from the signs or other means of communication.

The governor also signed House Bill 4075 into law, which provides that signs designating a parking space for persons with disabilities that are erected or placed after the bill takes effect must use the design adopted in House Bill 4076.

The sign has to have the same dimension as existing signs – 12 inches by 18 inches or larger – and should not include a word describing persons with disabilities, such as “handicapped,” but should include the word “reserved.”

Help is available

The attorneys at O’Reilly Rancilio are available to answer your questions regarding the new law. To speak with an attorney, please call 586-726-1000 or visit our website.

Categories: Municipal