One question our AV Mounts & Structures team is frequently asked is about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA was enacted in 1992 for the purpose of eliminating discrimination against people with disabilities. Designers ask us how the ADA applies to the placement of LED videowalls and what options are available.
First things first.
Before we address ADA requirements for LED video wall placement, there is an important question you should ask yourself one simple question: Why is a display is being placed in an area that requires ADA compliance? An LED display that is located close to foot traffic could easily be damaged by contact with passersby.
What the ADA says.
The ADA requires any display attached to walls in hallways, corridors, and other walkways to protrude no more than 4 inches from the wall and into the space. There are a couple of exceptions. Displays with leading edges that are within the sweep of a cane (27 inches high maximum) or that are at least 80 inches above the finished floor can protrude any amount.
Tips for compliance.
One way to bring a display into compliance in such locations is to fill in below the display with cladding. Another option is to build out the wall below and above the LED so that the face of the display is even with the wall.
A third option is for the architect to design the wall to allow embedding the structure and LEDs within a cavity. In such instances particular attention should be paid to ventilation and cooling for the LEDs.
Another fix often seen in airports is to install kick rails beneath the displays.
A key strategy.
LED videowalls are actually helpful in complying with the ADA. Wayfinding is one of the most commonly addressed requirements. LED videowalls are perfect for delivering wayfinding and other critical information. If there are touchscreens it’s even better; one touchscreen can be used for both wayfinding and directories, two separate ADA requirements
Back to the beginning.
Despite tips above to make an LED videowall close to foot traffic ADA compliant, again, you should ask yourself if LED is the best technology for a high traffic walkway. LEDs can be easily damaged, and damage can occur when passersby run into the screen or children place their hands on them.
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