Film-Tech Cinema Systems
Film-Tech Forum


Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile | my password | register | search | faq & rules | forum home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » Visually impaired menus and signage?

   
Author Topic: Visually impaired menus and signage?
Frank Cox
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1944
From: Melville Saskatchewan Canada
Registered: Apr 2011


 - posted 05-30-2017 04:41 PM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I was just reading an article about an "activist group" that has just filed 520 complaints against 40 restaurants in Saskatoon for either the lack of wheelchair-accessible washrooms and/or no available Braille menus.

I have a wheelchair accessible washroom and wheelchair parking spaces in the auditorium because they were required by the building regulations when I set up my theatre. So far, I've never heard a peep from anyone about visual or audio impairment stuff, and really hope not to.

But I'm wondering about you folks with the larger operations, and all of this audio/visual impaired equipment that's now required in US theatres. What about Braille for the blind? I assume that most theatres are like mine, where the concession prices and sizes of popcorn and whatnot are posted on a menu board behind the counter. Are you also required to have a printed Braille copy of that board to hand to people that ask for one? What about the signs that direct you into "Auditorium One" and so on?

Has anyone had this issue come up?

 |  IP: Logged

Manny Montes
Master Film Handler

Posts: 270
From: United States
Registered: Feb 2010


 - posted 05-31-2017 04:30 AM      Profile for Manny Montes   Email Manny Montes   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Any sign that designates an entrance, exit, elevator, stairwell and any other permanent area are required to have ADA signage (including braille). All of our signs have braille however the menu boards do not, this is not required as it is a constantly changing item and in order to read it the cashiers can verbally dictate it to them. My occupancy signs and auditorium signs (near the door) are in braille as well.

 |  IP: Logged

Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10677
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 05-31-2017 11:30 AM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
ADA compliant signage is a very tricky subject with plenty of subjective gray area and potential conflicts with other laws like freedom of speech. The ADA gets into that area when their guidelines address things like sign legibility, message contrast and sign placement.

Many businesses and organizations will incorporate ADA features like Braille dots into signs that involve accessibility, like labeling bathrooms or emergency exits. Many of these mass produced signs also feature raised tactile lettering and icons along with the Braille. Large organizations like hospitals will often have all of their wall-mounted way-finding signs made with Braille and raised lettering. But they spend significantly more money on that. And damaged or worn signs aren't cheap to replace on a one-off or two-off purchase.

There are many other types of signs where incorporation of Braille is impractical. The sign may be out of reach of a blind person or its message may be too complicated to also list in Braille. Complex way-finding directional signs or directories featuring a long list of messages cannot be reasonably reproduced in Braille.

A movie theater's snack counter menu cannot obviously cannot incorporate Braille. But there are sources where a theater can order Braille print versions of their snacks menu to have ready to hand to a blind customer. The theater would not need many copies, but it would have to be updated when the menu is altered.

A lawyer can try to hit a business with a "drive-by lawsuit" looking to score on ADA violations. But the only clear cut things are violations in parking signs, parking spaces and wheelchair access. Once inside of a business, which is not a public space, enforcement of ADA sign guidelines gets more difficult. Most kinds of signs are an optional purchase for a business even though it's vital from a marketing perspective.

There is also a cost burden for the business, which is tougher for small businesses. Standard ADA compliant accessibility signs for restrooms and exits are relatively inexpensive. Forcing a business to have every sign on the premises be ADA compliant is unreasonable.

 |  IP: Logged

Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12395
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 05-31-2017 08:17 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
When it comes to ADA, the one thing I hate the most about my own theater is the rest rooms, which are not accessible in the least. We even have a sign warning about that fact, to alert wheelchair-bound tourists. I would love to fix it, and have had a couple of contractors look the situation over, but everyone (including our local building inspector) agrees it would be simply impossible to bring the restrooms into compliance without gutting the whole lobby. Everything from room size, doorway widths, sink height, you name it, all the way to the front door. We're "grandfathered in," so I'm glad for that, but I hate having to tell wheelchair people we can't accommodate their restroom needs.

 |  IP: Logged

Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10677
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 05-31-2017 09:04 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Let's not forget about OSHA and how their regulations affect things like exit signs and emergency lighting. My work place doesn't have much ADA style signs, but it sure does have OSHA compliant signs! OSHA and EPA inspect a bunch of other things too at my work place from time to time.

OSHA has rules on how bright various kinds of illuminated or glowing exit must be. IIRC the brightness level is not very high. But I can't find any rules against installing a very shallow hood or some other type of barrier nearby to keep its glow from affecting a movie screen. The sign does have to be clearly visible along the path to the emergency exit and that exit cannot be blocked by anything and must be wheelchair accessible.

 |  IP: Logged

Martin McCaffery
Film God

Posts: 2319
From: Montgomery, AL
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 05-31-2017 09:09 PM      Profile for Martin McCaffery   Author's Homepage   Email Martin McCaffery   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
When it comes to ADA, the one thing I hate the most about my own theater is the rest rooms,
We were the same way until last year. did a major remodel of the building and built new bathrooms under the balcony. We're a non-profit, so we could raise the money. I doubt there is anyway you could pay for something like that in your situation. However, the bathrooms are everybody's favorite part of the renovation. It's a strange world.

 |  IP: Logged

Frank Cox
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1944
From: Melville Saskatchewan Canada
Registered: Apr 2011


 - posted 05-31-2017 11:49 PM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I get a surprisingly large number of people who compliment me on the bathrooms here. "I really love that you have such clean bathrooms" is said a lot by people on their way out after the show. Weird, but I'll take it!

 |  IP: Logged

Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12395
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 06-01-2017 12:00 AM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Martin McCaffery
However, the bathrooms are everybody's favorite part of the renovation.
I can see that.... a lot of places, they'll remodel the heck out of it but not touch the bathrooms, so if people find a sparkling one it's a nice surprise.

Ordinarily I'd have no problem with gutting the lobby and redoing it, but we're a historic building from 1930, and almost all of the foyer and lobby is "original," plus there's not a lot of space to use anyway even if we wanted to...so we're pretty much stuck with what we have. It's the one and only part of my theater that I don't like.

 |  IP: Logged

Dave Bird
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 737
From: Perth, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Jun 2000


 - posted 06-01-2017 10:45 AM      Profile for Dave Bird   Author's Homepage   Email Dave Bird   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We're "grandfathered" out here at the drive-in (1953) as well, however luckily we actually had room when we renovated our bathrooms a few years back to include a full-sized accessible stall in each. The original hand-sinks were moved years ago by another owner to fit a couple extra stalls. We just needed to tighten things up slightly in the "regular" stalls, add handrails and the higher toilets, and we were there. Technically, our original door frames are something like 3/4 of an inch narrow and we didn't install any kind of lower sink, but did make sure the chairs could pass under to allow handwashing with no problem. We were lucky, and could probably fully comply easily enough if required.

 |  IP: Logged

Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10677
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 06-01-2017 11:51 AM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Depending on the local building codes a big enough renovation could remove existing grandfathered ADA violations and force everything to be brought up to current code. In many cases it's cheaper to demolish and build brand new than renovate everything up to code.

Here in Lawton our city hall is now in what was Lawton's first big high school. The historic building has a bronze capitol dome (see here in Google Street View). As Lawton grew over the years other high schools were built and this building eventually became Central Junior High. Because the building was so old it had little to nothing in terms of accessibility for disabled people. A new Central Middle School was built in 2003. Many locals had great sentimental attachment to the building, but it looked like it might have a date with the wrecking ball. This was one of the last buildings left from Lawton's old downtown. In the 1970's Central Mall effectively gutted much of the original downtown in an effort to reduce crime (which was at all time highs back then). A lot of support grew to save that old school building.

The city government came up with a plan to relocate city hall to the old school building. Their digs at the time was a boring single floor, 60's era design a few blocks East. Renovation cost was around $13 million. That included a new atrium on the West elevation to house an elevator, new stairs and ramps for the different, split levels of the building. $13 million is a lot in tax dollars, but renovating the building to modern school demands and regulations would have cost significantly more. Of course there's no pleasing everybody, so some locals are pissed any money was spent on any of this stuff at all.

 |  IP: Logged

Jason McMillan
Film Handler

Posts: 68
From: Houston, TX, USA
Registered: Dec 2009


 - posted 06-01-2017 03:42 PM      Profile for Jason McMillan   Email Jason McMillan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Back in the 90s I worked at the Landmark Saks Cinema here in Houston... it was a twin theatre built in the early 1970s by Loews Theatres. The box office was on ground level, but everything else was underground and there was only stairs and an escalator - no elevator of any kind. I still sometimes have nightmares to this day from the guilt of having to turn away ADA customers.

 |  IP: Logged

James Wyrembelski
Film Handler

Posts: 71
From: Beaverton, MI, USA
Registered: Sep 2015


 - posted 06-01-2017 06:28 PM      Profile for James Wyrembelski   Email James Wyrembelski   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Mike Blakesley
When it comes to ADA, the one thing I hate the most about my own theater is the rest rooms
This....

Our theater is 76 years old this October. Due to renovations we've had to do this very thing. Gutted the entire lobby and entrance area. I suppose the good thing however is that once it's done it will no longer be an issue and this place will finally be rid of it's "legendary" bathroom status. They've been terrible for years.

 |  IP: Logged

Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12395
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 06-01-2017 08:28 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We use quite a few "workarounds" so that wheelchair people can get inside...but the entryway is a ramp that's borderline too steep, so doing an ADA remodel would involve literally tearing out the concrete floor and the boxoffice (window too high), changing the inner lobby doors (double doors too narrow), and tearing out the existing restrooms completely -- and even then we'd only have room for one "unisex" room. So, we endure.

-

 |  IP: Logged



All times are Central (GMT -6:00)  
Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic    Move Topic    Delete Topic    next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:



Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.3.1.2

The Film-Tech Forums are designed for various members related to the cinema industry to express their opinions, viewpoints and testimonials on various products, services and events based upon speculation, personal knowledge and factual information through use, therefore all views represented here allow no liability upon the publishers of this web site and the owners of said views assume no liability for any ill will resulting from these postings. The posts made here are for educational as well as entertainment purposes and as such anyone viewing this portion of the website must accept these views as statements of the author of that opinion and agrees to release the authors from any and all liability.

© 1999-2018 Film-Tech Cinema Systems, LLC. All rights reserved.