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Decoded: California Restroom Signs

On March 1, 2017, California Assembly Bill 1732 went into effect requiring all business, government buildings and locations otherwise dedicated for public use to be gender-neutral. The bill only affected single-occupancy restrooms. Assembly Bill 1732 states, “All single-user toilet facilities in any business establishment, place of public accommodation, or state or local government agency shall be identified as all-gender toilet facilities by signage that complies with Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations, and designated for use by no more than one occupancy at a time or for family or assisted use.”

Many of us have seen the changes over the past 2 years as we use public restrooms where any single-user restroom is now designated as gender-neutral (or unisex). A single-user toilet facility is a room with a toilet and/or urinal and sink that has a locking mechanism controlled by the user. The law doesn’t specifically state what the neutral restroom signs must look like, so all signs will still need to follow ADA and Title 24 regulations.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements for all states:

  • The International Symbol for Accessibility (ISA) pictogram to show whether there are or aren’t facilities to accommodate for people in wheelchairs.
  • Tactile copy stating the function of the room. Our recommendation is to simply use Restroom or Gender-Neutral Restroom with no pictogram unless it is an accessible restroom, which in that case using the International Symbol of Access.
  • A 70% color contrast between the color of the sign and the text.
  • Grade 2 Braille translation of the word(s) on the sign.

Gender-neutral restroom sign must meet California Title 24 requirements:

  • Unisex restroom identified by the 12-inch circle with the designated 12 inch triangle superimposed on it. The color of the triangle must contrast with that of the circle which must contrast with the color of the door.
  • There are no requirements for pictograms or text but the most popular pictogram is a simple male and a simple female. Motivational Systems recommends no pictogram for gender-neutral restrooms or if the restroom is accessible, then the ISA pictogram.

Check out some examples of gender-neutral restroom signs we have done as well as other code and compliance signs.

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