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ADA Tax Deductions

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Here is an excellent fact sheet that explains the tax advantages available for both small and large businesses, and the great thing is, it renews each year. Do just one $10,000 project per year, for instance, and claim up to $5000 of it each time.

ADA Tax Deductions fact sheet.pdf

It's that time again! Tax time, that is. Did you know that every year, the federal govenment gives you a brand new chance to save some money when you remove barriers for people with disabilities?

What is a Sign Schedule?

If you are a business that needs barrier removal, check into the tax advantages. If you are a business that provides barrier removal, be sure to use it as a selling point.

We would have thought that, at the least, architects and project

managers could understand the term "sign schedule," since they deal

with door schedules, window schedules, and sometimes paint schedules

as routine. However, we are running into more and more people who don't

understand that term at all.

We think a very detailed sign schedule is especially important for  the

programming of ADA sign and wayfinding systems. Here's what we mean by a sign schedule.

Our sign schedules list every single sign needed for a particular project. Sometimes, for a large project, we may have a separate schedule not just for each building, and for the exterior site, but for each floor in multi-floored buildings.

We generally list something to enable you to find the location of the sign on the plans, as "Location." Then we provide a drop down list of "Sign Types" such as Restroom Signs, Door Signs, Directional Signs, etc. After that comes an indication what text on the sign, if any, requires braille, and then what text is visual only. We have a column for a required pictogram, and then a column for notes or comments. Obviously, it would be possible to get even more specific, adding columns for details like mounting type, background and text color, size, etc.

Another important function of an ADA sign schedule is to ask questions of the client. For instance, you may need to know the color of each restroom door, because, in California, the door requires a geometric shape sign that has to contrast, dark on light or light on dark, with the door. You can't assume that all restroom doors are the same color. You may need to know if a specific restroom in an older facility is ADA compliant. What if the building plans call out "custodian" for some rooms and "janitor" for others? That's ususally because two different draftspeople worked on different floors or buildings. The client needs to decide on standard terms to use throughout the facilitiy.

Our program of choice is FileMaker Pro, because we can do different versions of the sign schedule for different users. We can add costs, wholesale and retail. We can provide columns for our crew to check and comment on, and then finalize is one of the most exacting and time consuming parts of our sign programming. The final schedule can be published in Excel or as a PDF, so it's convenient for our clients to read and mark up.

It also provides a convenient platform to explain to your client some of the basic ADA rules. They may be able to begin to understand, for instance, the difference between signs that require braille and raised characters, and those that do not. The fact is, although many sign companies may forget to charge for sign schedules, they are a major part of your work.

January 4, 2016