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The Purpose of ADA Compliant Signs

June 26, 2019

The American Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 protects disabled individuals from discrimination in public places. It applies to any public facility whether it’s used by handicapped people or not. Signs play a major role in this legislation since they need to be posted at a level read by individuals in wheelchairs. Here are key takeaways you should know about ADA compliant signs.

ADA Sign Standards

One of the obvious features of an ADA compliant sign is that it includes the raised lettering of Braille for legally blind and visually-impaired individuals. But these standards go far beyond Braille and include the following for the mounting process:

  • Signs must be a minimum of 48 inches off the floor or ground
  • Maximum height is 60 inches above the floor or ground
  • Flexibility is allowed for sign placement within the proper range
  • Mounted signs should be placed on the latch side of the door or on the closest adjacent wall
  • Overhead signs need to be hung at least 80 inches off the floor
  • Signs need to be mounted next to doors that swing outward
  • Signs can be placed on doors that swing inward
  • Lettering and backgrounds of signs should be in contrast with each other (such as black on white) and free of glare

Additionally, the lettering of Braille signs must all be uppercase in a simple, sans-serif font. The size of this text should range from 0.125 inches to two inches. Only signs that can be touched by people from the ground need to follow these guidelines, which means overhead signs do not need Braille.

Any sign that can be defined as “architectural” must meet the requirements of ADA guidelines. This broad category includes signs for exits, rooms, or spaces in the facility that are available for disabled people. Essentially, signs that direct or inform individuals about the facility must comply with the guidelines. Logos, advertisements, and temporary signs, however, do not fall into this group.

Social Inclusion

One of the primary reasons the ADA was passed was to recognize disabled people as having the same access to rights as people without disabilities. Acknowledging disabled people can help them feel more included in society and sends out a message that the community cares. ADA compliant signs also let your market know that you care about all your customers and want them to feel welcome.

By posting these crucial signs you will be helping disabled individuals navigate their way around your facility perhaps entirely on their own. Make sure all exits and access points for handicapped people are clearly visible. Most important, the language on signs should be easy to read and understand.


Any public place must provide ADA compliant signs under federal civil rights legislation or face heavy fines. Contact Zumar at our Arizona, California or Washington location to learn more about ADA compliant signs.

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