4 Major Compliance Issues to Keep in Mind


When setting up a single digital sign or a signage network, you should be aware of some federal and local regulations and other compliance issues. This is especially important for industries including retail, medical, transportation, government and the public sector.

Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law to prohibit discrimination and ensure equal access and opportunity for those with mental and physical disabilities in the areas of employment, public entities, public accommodations, commercial facilities, telecommunications and more. These regulations ensure that public spaces have, among other accessibility features, clear pathways and curbed ramps.

The Americans with Disabilities Act limits the distance that digital signage can protrude from a wall and other display requirements. For example, video displays that are between 27 inches and 80 inches off the floor must be less than 4 inches off the walk to allow for the visually impaired to easily walk past. If you are using touchscreens, the maximum height off the ground is 48 inches, with a max reach of 10 inches. The thickness of a display and/or depth of your mount can be an important consideration in your display selection. Check with the organization for the latest, up-to-date regulations.

TAA Compliance

Some displays are TAA compliant. TAA refers to the Trade Agreements Act (19 U.S.C. & 2501-2581) , which is intended to foster fair and open international trade. TAA requires that the U.S. government may acquire only “U.S. made or designated country end products.” This act requires that contractors must certify that each end product meets the applicable requirements. End products are those articles, materials and supplies to be acquired for public use. This includes items that have been “substantially transformed” in the USA.

Energy Star Certified

The ENERGY STAR mark is tied with the Good Housekeeping seal as the most influential consumer emblem in the nation, with 92 percent of survey respondents reporting that they use it in their decision-making. This is also true for many corporations, government agencies, and non-profits who deeply care about the environment and have policies to purchase environmentally efficient products.

Displays that have the Energy Star mark use less energy and meets strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy. Many LED displays today are Energy Star Certified.

Local Laws and Regulations

Before purchasing outdoor signage, check with your local government agencies to determine the signage codes for your local area. Most local municipalities have signage laws and codes. You may also be required to pull a permit for such signage. You will also need a licensed electrician to connect power to the display. Some municipalities may not let you use outdoor digital-display panels. If this is the case, consider placing displays in your windows as an option.

Also be aware that even if you can get a permit to put in a digital signage display outdoors, there may still be restrictions on the type of content you may use. Always check with your local municipality to determine if there are any content restrictions for outdoor digital signage.


About Author

David Bawarsky, DSCE, is the author of Digital Signage Made Simple for Retailers. He has more than 35 years of experience in helping thousands of companies use technology to effectively communicate their unique marketing messages. He is currently the CEO of mySignageNow, a leading provider of digital signage solutions. He has been a technology entrepreneur throughout his career, creating and managing successful media companies. His companies have won many awards, including an “OBIE” (outdoor advertising’s Oscar) and has been featured in more than 1,900 newspapers, magazines and TV shows worldwide, including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, CNN, BBC, NBC’s “Today Show,” and ABC’s “World News Tonight.” For more information, visit www.DigitalSignageMadeSimple.com

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