Guest Post: What you need to know about ADA signs – A Complete Guide

Guest Post by: Renu Sharma


Author Bio: Renu Sharma is an Inbound Consultant and a content writer by profession. Along with small business, she is also a health and fitness lover who loves to share her ideas on health, fitness and beauty. You can check her out on Twitter and LinkedIn.


ADA Signs and Their Significance

ADA signs make an integral part of three industries- architectural, construction and signage. These signs are strictly recommended by Americans With Disabilities Act, established in 1990, which requires all the buildings and organizations to install ADA compliant signage. These are used to communicate a message to blind and visually impaired people by making use of signs. Many people confuse braille signs with ADA signs, but sign standards vary in both types. Unlike braille signs, ADA signs are much more than just raised characters.

While installing ADA signage, there are six rules that need to be considered in order to pass the ADA compliances.

  1. Location
  • In case of a single door, the sign must be placed right next to the on the latch side
  • In double doors having single door opening, place the signs on the inactive leaf. And, in case of double doors with both leaves active, place the signage on the right side of right-handed door
  1.     Height
  • When placing overhead sign, it must be at least 80 inches above the ground
  • When working with wall mounted signs, make sure to fix them 27 inches from the floor and not exceeding above 80 inches from the floor
  1.    Color
  • To ensure easy readability, background and characters should be in contrast so they don’t merge in each other. Use a light color on a dark background or a dark color on a light background to make for a good contrast
  1.    Finishing
  • Signs should have characters and background with a non-glare finish so that they don’t cause hindrance to visually challenged people while reading.
  1.    Implementation of Raised Characters
  • Letters must be in uppercase. They should range from 5/8 inch to 2 inches in height and raised by 1/32 inch from the background
  • Braille dots and character should have rounded edges as sharp corners will hurt disabled people
  1. Pictograms
  • Pictorial representations to help handicapped people also involve using of accessibility symbols in their standard style not in a stylized manner. First symbol which is widely seen at most of the places is International Symbol of Access, i.e., wheelchair symbol to indicate access to restrooms, entrances, etc. for people with mobility impairments. Another one is ear symbol which indicates the accessibility of assistive listening system, Keyboard symbol indicates availability of text phone and phone symbol stands for availability of volume controlled phone.

Types Of ADA Signs

There are four main types of ADA signs covered by the ADA laws. They are:

  1. Identification Signs– These signs help to identify a particular space or a room.


  1. Informational Signs– These signs provide necessary information about a place or area. Like, eatables not allowed, park your car here, etc.


  1. Directional Signs– Signs that help you get into the right direction.


  1. Overhead Signs– Signs mounted on an overhead support, like wall signs and ceiling signs.


Other signs that need to be ADA complaint are:

  • Life safety signs that identify discharge, way to exit passage and stairwells. They should have braille and raised characters
  • Wall-mounted and flag-mounted signage

What Is the Need of Implementing ADA Signs?

The law of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was formed with an aim to ensure, there is no discrimination against people with disabilities and they enjoy all the rights and benefits like everyone else. It also ensures equal rights to handicapped people while they are in schools, jobs, travelling or when in public and private places accessible to general public.

As far as the signage is concerned, the law of ADA covers that handicapped individuals are able to access goods and services by easily identifying them through ADA signs.

Why Your Business Needs to Install ADA Signs?

If you are going to start your own business or have set up an office lately, you will soon start planning about everything from recruiting employees to making budgets and marketing and advertising strategies. But have you thought of the most important thing? About making your building compliant to ADA rules? It includes getting ADA signage done to acquire a permit of tenancy of your building.

No matter what type of business you are into and how many buildings you own, you need to ensure you are meeting the requirements of ADA compliancy.

But Why Does Your Business Need ADA Signs?

  • The first reason why your business needs ADA signs is because it is a mandatory thing required by the federal law
  • It gives a great experience to your visitors and employees which is one of your primary business goals. This will earn you a good brand value and healthy reputation
  • To stay safe from government penalties, you must install ADA-compliant signage in your building