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On Clearance

On Clearance

ADA Guidelines Spur Ingenuity Of Integrators And Video Wall Manufacturers more

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COMPANY: Planar Systems
HEADQUARTERS: Beaverton, OR
SLIM DOWN: The Clarity Matrix LCD Video Wall System from Planar Systems is the first to break the fourinch ADA requirement, measuring 3.6 inches in total depth.

Since its introduction in 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has eliminated barriers and created new opportunities for millions of people across the country. But as with all significant social changes, the ADA has required many organizations to change the way they do business. Though disruptive at first, these changes have often led to innovations that improve products and services for everyone, not just those with disabilities, and generate new business opportunities for contractors and other service providers.

ADA accessibility guidelines for the use of large LCD video walls in airports, government buildings, and other public venues are a great example. The ADA requires objects projecting from walls including digital displays panels to protrude no more than four inches from the finished wall to make it easier for the sight-impaired and those with other disabilities to navigate in hightraffic concourses and other crowded areas. Most large digital displays and mounting brackets exceed this fourinch depth requirement by several inches.

In buildings with open-wall construction, the displays are routinely recessed into the wall. Cabinets are also built around the screens to comply with the ADA guidelines when putting them in these public spaces. But these solutions don’t work in buildings with concrete walls, leaving facilities owners to make do in eye-level locations with traditional, printed signage, rather than more engaging LCD digital video walls.


The ADA requires objects projecting from walls including digital displays panels to protrude no more than four inches from the finished wall to make it easier for the sightimpaired and those with other disabilities to navigate in high-traffic concourses.

In addition to adding extra fans and vents to dissipate the heat, integrators must be careful when using glass panels in front of displays. These panels help protect the screens, but can also add heat. The better option is bonded-glass display screens, such as Extended Ruggedness and Optics (ERO) screens from Planar Systems, which protect the monitor and improve picture quality without increasing heat.

The ultimate solution to the ADA guidelines will need to come from digital display manufacturers. Although large commercial displays keep getting slimmer, most LCD video walls have a depth of five inches with the LCD display alone—not including the mounting system.

The Clarity Matrix LCD Video Wall System from Planar Systems is the first to break the four-inch barrier, measuring a mere 3.6 inches in total depth. The Clarity Matrix LCD panel comes with an integrated EasyAxis Mounting System that provides an ultra-slim profile, along with built-in fine positioning adjustments for perfect panel-to-panel alignment.

These design innovations are long overdue for owners and managers of public facilities where recessing and cabinets haven’t been possible or affordable. A systems integration partner that Planar works with closely, Mtek Kiosk, based in Portland, OR, anticipates gaining significant new business opportunities in 2011 now that the four-inch depth barrier has been overcome.

John Dixon, product marketing manager for Planar Systems, has been in the AV industry for more than a decade.