ADA Requirements for Signage


The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) required changes in the design and construction of buildings to help ensure access and safe use of buildings by everyone regardless of physical limitations. Signage is an important part of the Americans with Disabilities Act because it helps to direct those with disabilities where and how to use the building safely.


  • ADA signs must meet specifications set by the law. All ADA signs must have the symbol of accessibility displayed in white. This is a universal symbol that is recognized by everyone. The character proportions should have a ratio between 3:5 and 1:1 for the width and height. The characters must also be of a non-glare finish on a contrasting background color. This makes them easier to read. The total size of the sign depends on the lettering inside the sign and from how far away the sign needs to be read.


  • Tactile Braille signage is an important requirement of ADA. A sign with letters or numbers on it is required to have the same letters and numbers in Braille. The Braille must be located underneath the letter or numbers it is translating in contracted Grade 2 Braille. The Braille cannot be more then 1/2 inch below the letters or numbers it is translating. Braille that is translating multiple lines of letters or numbers must be put together underneath the entire phrase.


  • When a sign is permanently mounted to identify a room or space, the sign mustl be mounted on the latch side of the door no more then 60 inches above the finish floor. The sign should not be in the way of the door swinging open or covered by the door when it is fully open. Signage that is to help direct the path of travel must not be less then 80 inches high and must next to the path of travel. The signs must have the proper arrows pointing in the right direction for the path of travel.

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  • Photo Credit Handicapped Parking sign image by Jim Mills from
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