Webinar: Making Signs Accessible


audio version (opens in a new tab)




I attended a webinar recently on a disability subject which I chose to learn more about. The webinar occurred on February 3, 2022 and was presented by the

U.S. Access Board.

The topic was

“Accessible Signage”.

Presentation materials and recording are available at the webinar archive link above. My summary does not discuss everything covered in the presentation. I suggest that readers of my blog access the event archive for additional information. In this blog post, I will summarize what I learned.


The three presenters are presently all associated with the U.S. Access Board. The event began by making clear that accessible signage guidance from the U.S. Access Board is forthcoming. Accessibility standards for signs were then discussed in detail.

Required Compliance under ADA Standards

Signs are not required if they will be up for 7 days or less. Permanent exterior and interior signs must be tactile. Braille stations must be available at entrances and platforms. Tactile signs can include labels, numbers and/or room names.

Technical Braille Requirements for Signs

Signs must be in Grade 2 (contracted) Braille. Only the first word of a sentence must be capitalized. Braille must be located below the print text. If there is a large amount of material, braille can be located between blocks of text. Braille must always be located below printed text and at least three-eighths of an inch below print.

Pictograms on Signs

Pictograms must have text descriptions and color contrast.

Location of Signs with Tactile Content

Tactile signs must be located a minimum of 4 feed (48 inches) above the floor and maximum of 60 inches (5 feet). There are no specific requirements for doorways without doors. However, the signs should be easy to locate near the doorway. The Access Board recommends that signs be located to the right of a doorway. For glass doors, the sign must be located on the door partition. Focus then moved to the second presenter who discussed visual signs.


Visual Sign Requirements

The presenter stated that signs which are directional or informational must be visual but not required to be tactile. Visual and tactile characters cannot be italicized. When raised characters are used, visual characters must be between 10% and 35% of tactile character height for the uppercase letter I. Visual characters must use color contrast. The presenter stated there are not minimum contract requirements in U.S. Board guidelines. However, he stated that more contrast is better than less. Signposts should not protrude into paths of travel. If they do, protrusions can only be a minimum of 4 inches and maximum of 12 inches. A final presenter then spoke about accessibility symbols.


Accessibility Symbols


International Symbol of Access

must be contrasted. The ISA can provide directions to various places including checkout aisles, bathrooms, entrances, parking or elevators. The presenter stated that ISA is an informational sign.

Additional International Accessibility Symbols

Brief mention was also made of the

TTY symbol.

TTY refers to communication for people who have hearing limitations. The

Hearing Loss Symbol

must be provided when assisted listening devices are available. Bottom line: making signs accessible may seem complex, but accessibility is necessary for inclusion of people with disabilities.


Question for Readers

Of the signage requirements discussed above, which caught your attention and why? I will return with another article.


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