General Specifications for ADA Signs

Olysigns has studied the Americans with Disabilities Act and developed resources to help customers respond to ADA requirements. We're your source for expert assistance in bringing your site into sign compliance with the ADA.

If you'd like more information on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), please click here.



In some cases, signs alone can bring certain aspects of a business site into compliance. More often, some modification of a facility is required, and special signage becomes a part of the new design. Some of the accommodations that require special signage under ADA include:

  • Accessible parking spaces
  • Accessible passenger loading zones
  • Accessible entrances
  • Accessible restrooms
  • Directions to the nearest accessible facility, posted at non-accessible facilities
  • Designated areas of rescue assistance
  • Volume control telephones
  • Tactile signs identifying all permanently-designated rooms and spaces
  • Directions and information regarding functional areas
  • Elevator and hoistway signage

Character Proportion
Letters and numbers on signs shall have a width-to-height ratio between 3:5 and 1:1 and a stroke-width-to-height ratio between 1:5 and 1:10.

Character Height
Characters and numbers on signs shall be sized according to the viewing distance from which they are to be read. The minimum height is measured using an upper case X. Lower case characters are permitted.

Raised / Brailled Characters / Pictorial Symbol Signs
Letters and numerals shall be raised 1/32 in, upper case, sans serif or simple serif type and shall be accompanied with Grade 2 Braille. Raised characters shall be at least 5/8 in (16 mm) high, but no higher than 2 in (50 mm). Pictograms shall be accompanied by the equivalent verbal 
description placed directly below the pictogram. The border dimension of the pictogram shall be 6 in (152 mm) minimum in height.

Finish and Contrast
The characters and background of signs shall be eggshell, matte, or other non-glare finish. Characters and symbols shall contrast with their background --either light characters on a dark background or dark characters on a light background.

Mounting Location and Height
Where permanent identification is provided for rooms and 
spaces, signs shall be installed on the wall adjacent to the latch side of the door. Where there is no wall space to the latch side of the door, including at double leaf doors, signs shall be placed on the nearest adjacent wall. Mounting height shall be 60 in (1525 mm) above the finish floor to 
the centerline of the sign. Mounting location for such signage shall be so that a person may approach within 3 in (76 mm) of signage without encountering protruding objects or standing within the swing of a door.

Symbols of Accessibility

(1) Facilities and elements required to be identified as accessible shall use the international symbol of accessibility. 

(2) Volume Control Telephones. Telephones required to have a volume control shall be identified by a sign containing a depiction of a telephone handset with radiating sound waves.

(3) Text Telephones. Text telephones required shall be identified by the international TDD symbol. In addition, if a facility has a public text telephone, directional signage indicating the location of the nearest text telephone shall be placed adjacent to all banks of telephones which do not contain a text telephone. Such directional signage shall include the international TDD symbol. If a facility has no banks of telephones, the directional signage shall be provided at the entrance (e.g., in a building directory).

(4) Assistive Listening Systems. In assembly areas where permanently installed assistive listening systems are required the availability of such systems shall be identified with signage that includes the international symbol of access for hearing loss.

Illumination Levels
Illumination levels on the sign surface shall be in the 100 to 300 lux range (10 to 30 footcandles) and shall be uniform over the sign surface. Signs shall be located such that the illumination level on the surface of the sign is not significantly exceeded by the ambient light or visible bright lighting source behind or in front of the sign.

ADA Compliant Signage Colors

Substrate Colors
Substrate Colors

Copy & Symbol Colors
Copy and Symbol Colors

ADA and codes Examples


 Visit us in Port Angeles

Member Port Angeles Chamber of Commerce

What can we make for you? 


We offer a
SERVICE, ..........

"Special packages" 
   store on e-bay.


Choose from our standard sign systems
 or from varied material options and colors 
for a custom sign 
developed to your specifications




2005. (c) All rights reserved.    │   Home   │   Privacy Policy & Terms   │   Email   │    Design:  www.OLYSIGN.COM