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Tactile Lettering Guidelines in ADA Compliant Signage

May 3, 2013

Tactile Sign

ADA (American Disabilities Act) standards are mandatory for signage in the US. Canada does not as yet have overarching standards governing signage, though several provinces have created their own standards. Ontario’s standards (mentioned here) are mandatory on all new build projects.
Here are some simple rules to follow when designing your signage. For more detail you can read the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design from the US Department of Justice.

  1. The signage must have a non-glare finish.
  2. Proper contrast between characters and their backgrounds must be achieved. More in our earlier post on Colour Contrast here.)
  3. Raised characters must be at least 1/32” above the background material.
  4. All characters must be upper case only when designating permanent rooms and spaces.
  5. Characters on permanent room signage must also be between 5/8” and 2” in height. Regulations regarding size are mentioned in the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design.
  6. Any pictograms should be placed within a minimum 6” field. Braille characters must also be used, and should fully describe all pictograms and text within the sign. (More here.)

Be sure to find us on Twitter and “Like Us” on Facebook for more ADA related links and interesting facts about signage and engraving.

Some of the information for this article was found here: ADA Rules & Regulations. This article is a guideline and starting point only – research should be carefully made using the links included within the article to ensure compliance.

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