Below is a condensed version of the newest version of the ADA Accessibility Guidelines.  Please be aware that this is our interpretation of the rules, and for further clarification you may consult the full list of regulations here. (http://www.access-board.gov/guidelines-and-standards/buildings-and-sites/about-the-ada-standards/ada-standards)

Tactile Signs
Character requirements:

  • Have a 1/32” minimum depth
  • Be uppercase, sans serif letters; NOT be italic, script, highly decorative, or have sharp edges
  • Lie within a height range of 5/8” minimum to 2” maximum
  • Have a minimum 1/8” space between horizontal characters
  • Be at least 3/8” minimum away from all raised borders and decorative elements

Character styling:

  • Width of the capital ‘O’ must be 55% minimum to 110% maximum of the height of the capital ‘I’ (width of ‘O’ = .55*(height of ‘I’) minimum to 1.1*(height of ‘I’) maximum)
  • Stroke thickness of the capital ‘I’ must be a maximum of 15% of its height
  • Spacing between the baselines of separate text must be 135% minimum to 170% maximum of the height of the ‘I’
  • Spacing between top of Braille letters and bottom of raised text must be a minimum of 3/8”
  • Braille must be at least 3/8” away from all raised borders and decorative elements

Sign Placement:

  • Signs with tactile text must be placed at a minimum of 48” from the floor (measured from the baseline of the lowest text line)
  • Signs with tactile text shall be placed at a maximum of 60” from the floor (measured from the baseline of the highest text line)
  • Door Placement:
    • In general, there must be an 18” square of open floor space in front of the center of the sign
    • At a single door, the sign shall be located on the wall along the latch side of the door
    • At double doors, the sign shall be located on the inactive door; if both doors are active, the sign shall be to the right of the right hand door
    • At doors with no wall space, the sign shall be located on the nearest adjacent wall
    • Exception: Signs can be on the push side of doors with closers and without stoppers

Visual Signs 
Character requirements:

  • Have a non-glare finish; characters must contrast with their background
  • Be uppercase or lowercase or both; NOT be italic, script, highly decorative
  • Have a minimum space of 10% of the height of the ‘I’ between characters, and a maximum space of 35% of the height of the ‘I’ between characters
  • Have a minimum height of 6 inches for all pictograms (Braille and text are not allowed in pictogram’s space)
  • Must follow the chart below with regards to the height of the sign from the floor

Height From Floor

Horizontal Viewing Distance

Minimum Text Height

40” to 70”

Less than 72” (6’)

5/8”

72”+

5/8” + 1/8” per foot over 72”

70” to 120”

Less than 180” (15’)

2”

180”+

2” + 1/8” per foot over 180”

120”+

Less than 21’

3”

21’+

3” + 1/8” per foot over 21’

Character styling:

  • Stroke thickness of the capital ‘I’ must be a maximum of 30% of its height, and a minimum of 10% of its height
  • Spacing between the baselines of separate text must be 135% minimum to 170% maximum of the height of the ‘I’

Sign Placement:

    • Visual signs shall be a minimum of 40” from the floor (measured from the baseline of the text)