As you’ll learn from our ADA Sign Services page, most interior architectural signage must comply with certain guidelines outlined by the Americans With Disabilities Act, or ADA. These guidelines help those with visual disabilities navigate buildings and identify rooms within a building. So if you own property for your business and are installing interior architectural signage for permanent rooms and spaces, then it’s important to ensure that your signage is ADA compliant. Because maintaining ADA compliance involves much more than simply including braille on your signage, it’s important to be aware of what some key ADA specifications are. Here is a look at the main things that architectural sign experts consider when it comes to ADA compliance.
Here’s something you may not have noticed—the ADA specifies that the tactile on interior signage should be in a sans serif typeface (or font). This means that the letters are free of the small brackets at the ends of the strokes. In addition, tactile text should be uppercase—and not italicized, decorative, or anything else of that nature.
ADA regulations specify a text height between ⅝ inches and 2 inches for tactile lettering on permanent interior signage. Moreover, there must be enough room on the sign for accompanying braille.
Kerning, or the individual spacing between characters in text, gets a little tricky with ADA guidelines. In short, there must be a minimum of ⅛ inch between the two closest points of any tactile characters. The maximum spacing between adjacent character points is “4 times the raised character stroke width maximum.”
Signs that fall under compliance standards must include Grade II Braille. There are very specific requirements regarding dot base diameter, distance between two dots in the same cell, dot height, etc. These requirements are too detailed to be included here, but suffice it to say that you should definitely read up on these requirements when you must include braille on your signage (which is often).
It also matters a great deal where interior signage is installed. The baseline of tactile text should be mounted between 48” and 60” up from the floor. Signs should also be mounted on the side of the door where the latch is. (These rules change slightly when you’re dealing with double doors and doors with an inactive leaf.) There are further regulations to consider, of course, when you’re dealing with overhead signage or projecting wall mounted signage, so be sure to consult an expert before installing you ADA compliant signage.
Keeping up with all of these regulations can be difficult, but when you order your signage with a company that is highly familiar with ADA regulations, things become a lot easier.