Why California Requires 2 Restroom Signs
In the 1970's
Dr. Sam Genensky, founding father of the Council of Citizens with Low Vision (CCLVI),
was working for the Rand Corporation located in Santa Monica, California. Sam was partially
blinded right after birth when the wrong eye drops were put in his eyes to guard off infection.
During his two
decades at Rand and the development of many inventions, Sam is credited with
the introduction of the Triangle for men's and the Circle for women's restrooms. These symbols
were easier to see and made choosing the correct restroom less embarrassing.
At first, just
the geometric symbols were used. Later designers and sign makers added
to represent Men and Women and the Unisex sign came later. This was a good attempt to make restrooms
accessible to everyone. Eventually other states followed California. Then in 1990, the ADA came
along and created Federal standards for restrooms. Not adopting the established door symbols
already in use in California and other states, they developed a Wall sign adjacent to the door
and using raised pictograms and braille. Other standards were created as to size, mounting and
accessibility requirements. Restrooms were required to become accessible to wheelchairs
and the new International Symbol of Accessibility (ISA) was required to be posted.
considered no longer using the geometric symbol signs because two signs just
needed. However many groups that had started training the impaired complained that the symbols
were recognizable and unique to California where the move towards accessibility had started.
That's how the two sign Restroom laws were created and exist today here in California.