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BRAILLE SIGN INFORMATION & RESOURCES
Understanding the ADA law and it's requirements as it pertains to signage can be complex and confusing. Requirements for ADA and Braille signs is not as daunting as you might expect. Let us help by summarizing ADA History, ADA braille sign regulations, and other sign requirements that go along with the ADA legislation including installation requirements and braille sign specifications. Find out where you need ADA Compliant interior signage, how they need to be constructed, and exactly where they need to be installed on your walls. Visit our special section about California and interior sign requirements and regulations and Title 24. We are happy to provide the following information and useful resources about ADA Signage. Follow the following ADA Resource links for more information:
  • ADA History

    ADA is an acronym for the Americans with Disabilities Act. This law was enacted by Congress in 1990, signed by President George H. W. Bush July 26th, 1990. The law was later amended in January 2009.
    The Americans with Disabilities Act is considered a civil rights law prohibiting discrimination based upon disability in areas such as employment and public services by government and private entities. For the purpose of coverage under the ADA, a person with a disability is defined as anyone that has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, or has a history of such impairment, or is perceived or regarded as having such an impairment. Such “Major life functions” would include walking, seeing, breathing, hearing, speaking, learning, working and other self-caring or manual tasks.
    ADA is made up of “Titles.” Title I addresses equality in employment, and Title II deals with access for individuals to government programs including public transportation. Title III addresses access to public accommodations and commercial facilities and include a wide array of facilities such as restaurants, hotels, theaters. Retail stores, schools, libraries, parks day care centers and more. Title IV covers telecommunications and Title V covers miscellaneous provisions.
    In summary, the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in the areas of employment, public services provided by state and local governments, public services operated by private entities, transportation, and telecommunications.
    For a more complete history, description and comprehensive resource on ADA, please visit www.ada.gov
  • ADA Sign Requirements

    ADA INTERIOR SIGN REQUIREMENTS


    For a complete resource on ADA's 2010 revised Standards for Accessible Design, visit

    http://www.ada.gov/2010ADAstandards_index.htm


    Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act mandates equal access for persons with disabilities to much of the built environment. The 2010 updates to the ADA code have gone into affect as of March 15th, 2012. These mandates and rules affect the construction, design and placement of building signage.


    Section 703 Signs of the 2010 Standard for Accessibility

    703.1 General. Signs shall comply with 703. Where both visual and tactile characters are required, either one sign with both visual and tactile characters, or two separate signs, one with visual, and one with tactile characters, shall be provided.

    703.2 Raised Characters. Raised characters shall comply with 703.2 and shall be duplicated in braille complying with 703.3. Raised characters shall be installed in accordance with 703.4.

    703.2.1 Depth. Raised characters shall be 1/32 inch (0.8 mm) minimum above their background.

    703.2.2 Case. Characters shall be uppercase.

    703.2.3 Style. Characters shall be sans serif. Characters shall not be italic, oblique, script, highly decorative, or of other unusual forms.

    703.2.4 Character Proportions. Characters shall be selected from fonts where the width of the uppercase letter "O" is 55 percent minimum and 110 percent maximum of the height of the uppercase letter "I".

    703.2.5 Character Height. Character height measured vertically from the baseline of the character shall be 5/8 inch (16 mm) minimum and 2 inches (51 mm) maximum based on the height of the uppercase letter "I".

    EXCEPTION: Where separate raised and visual characters with the same information are provided, raised character height shall be permitted to be 1/2 inch (13 mm) minimum.


    703.2.6 Stroke Thickness.
    Stroke thickness of the uppercase letter "I" shall be 15 percent maximum of
    the height of the character.

    703.2.7 Character Spacing. Character spacing shall be measured between the two closest points of adjacent raised characters within a message, excluding word spaces. Where characters have rectangular cross sections, spacing between individual raised characters shall be 1/8 inch (3.2 mm) minimum and 4 times the raised character stroke width maximum. Where characters have other cross sections, spacing between individual raised characters shall be 1/16 inch (1.6 mm) minimum and 4 times the raised character stroke width maximum at the base of the cross sections, and 1/8 inch (3.2 mm) minimum and 4 times the raised character stroke width maximum at the top of the cross sections. Characters shall be separated from raised borders and decorative elements 3/8 inch (9.5 mm) minimum.

    703.2.8 Line Spacing. Spacing between the baselines of separate lines of raised characters within a message shall be 135 percent minimum and 170 percent maximum of the raised character height.

    703.3 Braille. Braille shall be contracted (Grade 2) and shall comply with 703.3 and 703.4.

    703.3.1 Dimensions and Capitalization. Braille dots shall have a domed or rounded shape and shall comply with Table 703.3.1. The indication of an uppercase letter or letters shall only be used before the first word of sentences, proper nouns and names, individual letters of the alphabet, initials, and acronyms.


    703.3.2 Position. Braille shall be positioned below the corresponding text. If text is multi-lined, braille shall be placed below the entire text. Braille shall be separated 3/8 inch (9.5 mm) minimum from any other tactile characters and 3/8 inch (9.5 mm) minimum from raised borders and decorative elements.

    EXCEPTION: Braille provided on elevator car controls shall be separated 3/16 inch (4.8 mm) minimum and shall be located either directly below or adjacent to the corresponding raised characters or symbols.

    703.4 Installation Height and Location. Signs with tactile characters shall comply with 703.4.

    703.4.1 Height Above Finish Floor or Ground. Tactile characters on signs shall be located 48 inches (1220 mm) minimum above the finish floor or ground surface, measured from the baseline of the lowest tactile character and 60 inches (1525 mm) maximum above the finish floor or ground surface, measured from the baseline of the highest tactile character.

    EXCEPTION: Tactile characters for elevator car controls shall not be required to comply with 703.4.1.


    703.4.2 Location. Where a tactile sign is provided at a door, the sign shall be located alongside the doorat the latch side. Where a tactile sign is provided at double doors with one active leaf, the sign shall belocated on the inactive leaf. Where a tactile sign is provided at double doors with two active leafs, the sign shall be located to the right of the right hand door. Where there is no wall space at the latch side of asingle door or at the right side of double doors, signs shall be located on the nearest adjacent wall. Signs containing tactile characters shall be located so that a clear floor space of 18 inches (455 mm) minimum by 18 inches (455 mm) minimum, centered on the tactile characters, is provided beyond the arc of any door swing between the closed position and 45 degree open position.

    EXCEPTION: Signs with tactile characters shall be permitted on the push side of doors with closers andwithout hold-open devices.


    703.5 Visual Characters. Visual characters shall comply with 703.5.

    EXCEPTION: Where visual characters comply with 703.2 and are accompanied by braille complying with 703.3, they shall not be required to comply with 703.5.2 through 703.5.9.

    703.5.1 Finish and Contrast. Characters and their background shall have a non-glare finish. Characters shall contrast with their background with either light characters on a dark background or dark characters on a light background.

    Advisory 703.5.1 Finish and Contrast. Signs are more legible for persons with low vision when characters contrast as much as possible with their background. Additional factors affecting the ease with which the text can be distinguished from its background include shadows cast by lighting sources, surface glare, and the uniformity of the text and its background colors and textures.

    703.5.2 Case. Characters shall be uppercase or lowercase or a combination of both.

    703.5.3 Style. Characters shall be conventional in form. Characters shall not be italic, oblique, script, highly decorative, or of other unusual forms.

    703.5.4 Character Proportions. Characters shall be selected from fonts where the width of the uppercase letter "O" is 55 percent minimum and 110 percent maximum of the height of the uppercase letter I.

    703.5.5 Character Height. Minimum character height shall comply with Table 703.5.5. Viewing distance shall be measured as the horizontal distance between the character and an obstruction preventing further approach towards the sign. Character height shall be based on the uppercase letter "I".


    703.5.6 Height From Finish Floor or Ground. Visual characters shall be 40 inches (1015 mm) minimum above the finish floor or ground.

    EXCEPTION: Visual characters indicating elevator car controls shall not be required to comply with 703.5.6.

    703.5.7 Stroke Thickness. Stroke thickness of the uppercase letter "I" shall be 10 percent minimum and 30 percent maximum of the height of the character.

    703.5.8 Character Spacing. Character spacing shall be measured between the two closest points of adjacent characters, excluding word spaces. Spacing between individual characters shall be 10 percent minimum and 35 percent maximum of character height.

    703.5.9 Line Spacing. Spacing between the baselines of separate lines of characters within a message shall be 135 percent minimum and 170 percent maximum of the character height.

    703.6 Pictograms. Pictograms shall comply with 703.6.

    703.6.1 Pictogram Field. Pictograms shall have a field height of 6 inches (150 mm) minimum.Characters and braille shall not be located in the pictogram field.


    703.6.2 Finish and Contrast. Pictograms and their field shall have a non-glare finish. Pictograms shall contrast with their field with either a light pictogram on a dark field or a dark pictogram on a light field.

    Advisory 703.6.2 Finish and Contrast. Signs are more legible for persons with low vision when characters contrast as much as possible with their background. Additional factors affecting the ease with which the text can be distinguished from its background include shadows cast by lighting sources, surface glare, and the uniformity of the text and background colors and textures.

    703.6.3 Text Descriptors. Pictograms shall have text descriptors located directly below the pictogram field. Text descriptors shall comply with 703.2, 703.3 and 703.4.

    703.7 Symbols of Accessibility. Symbols of accessibility shall comply with 703.7.703.7.1 Finish and Contrast. Symbols of accessibility and their background shall have a non-glare finish. Symbols of accessibility shall contrast with their background with either a light symbol on a dark background or a dark symbol on a light background.

    Advisory 703.7.1 Finish and Contrast. Signs are more legible for persons with low vision when characters contrast as much as possible with their background. Additional factors affecting the ease with which the text can be distinguished from its background include shadows cast by lighting sources, surface glare, and the uniformity of the text and background colors and textures.


    ________________________________________________________________________

    Sign Compliance/Disclaimer/Additional Limits of Liability & Warranty

    This website is not intended to be a comprehensive authority or information resource on sign codes and regulations. User agrees that the use of www.justbraillesigns.com is at their sole risk, and we make no warranty regarding the accuracy, reliability, or currency of any information, content, service, or merchandise provided. Everwood, LLC dba / Awards USA makes no warranty or representation of suitability of a sign for any specific application, code, law, requirement or regulation. User and buyers are solely responsible for compliance with all applicable laws, rules and regulations. Signs, photos, drawings, pictures and all reference material and information provided is meant to be a resource for additional information, guidance, training, but not considered to be comprehensive nor construed in any way as legal advice or recommendations.

    No information contained herein shall create a warranty; nor shall User rely on any such information, as this website is “AS IS” and without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied.

    The requirements for sign content/text, construction and design are determined by intended use and by applicable regulation, and it is the buyer's responsibility to determine if their products purchased are compliant and installed correctly. The BUYER shall be responsible for determining the appropriate content, appearance, design, construction and installation for all signs and signage. The buyer shall also be responsible for determining whether or not received and/or purchased signage meet, and is in compliance with, any and all applicable city, state, federal, ADA / ABA sign codes, laws, requirements and regulations. Everwood, LLC is not , and shall not be held liable for costs, fines, hardships, law suites and/or any other monetary expenses/liabilities associated with, or as a result of, code failure, signage noncompliance or other sign violations, or any other monetary hardship, as it relates to our products, services, advice or recommendations.

  • ADA Sign Installation

    Installation of your signs, according to 2010 ADA Standards per section 703.4.1 reads as follows:

    703.4.1 Height Above Finish Floor or Ground. Tactile characters on signs shall be located 48 inches (1220 mm) minimum above the finish floor or ground surface, measured from the baseline of the lowest tactile character and 60 inches (1525 mm) maximum above the finish floor or ground surface, measured from the baseline of the highest tactile character.

    EXCEPTION: Tactile characters for elevator car controls shall not be required to comply with 703.4.1.



    703.4.2 Location. Where a tactile sign is provided at a door, the sign shall be located alongside the door at the latch side. Where a tactile sign is provided at double doors with one active leaf, the sign shall belocated on the inactive leaf. Where a tactile sign is provided at double doors with two active leafs, the sign shall be located to the right of the right hand door. Where there is no wall space at the latch side of asingle door or at the right side of double doors, signs shall be located on the nearest adjacent wall. Signs containing tactile characters shall be located so that a clear floor space of 18 inches (455 mm) minimum by 18 inches (455 mm) minimum, centered on the tactile characters, is provided beyond the arc of any door swing between the closed position and 45 degree open position
    .

    EXCEPTION: Signs with tactile characters shall be permitted on the push side of doors with closers andwithout hold-open devices.





    IN SIMPLE TERMS:

    When installing an ADA compliant braille sign, the braille and tactile characters of the sign must fall between 48" and 60" from the floor. Remember the baseline (or bottom) of the highest line can be no higher than 60", and the bottom text, measured from the baseline of the lowest tactile character, can be no lower than 48".

    Location - Refer to the drawing below:



    Installers should use an 18 in square jig or template and locate it by doors that open outward. Be aware that the space must be free from obstructions and clear so the reader can approach the sign. Do not install signs where readers can be hit by an opening door. For even further explanation, refer to the drawing below:



    ADDITIONAL TIPS AND INFORMATION ON ADA SIGN INSTALLATION CAN BE FOUND HERE

    Sign Compliance/Disclaimer/Additional Limits of Liability & Warranty

    This website is not intended to be a comprehensive authority or information resource on sign codes and regulations. User agrees that the use of www.justbraillesigns.com is at their sole risk, and we make no warranty regarding the accuracy, reliability, or currency of any information, content, service, or merchandise provided. Everwood, LLC dba / Awards USA makes no warranty or representation of suitability of a sign for any specific application, code, law, requirement or regulation. User and buyers are solely responsible for compliance with all applicable laws, rules and regulations. Signs, photos, drawings, pictures and all reference material and information provided is meant to be a resource for additional information, guidance, training, but not considered to be comprehensive nor construed in any way as legal advice or recommendations.


    No information contained herein shall create a warranty; nor shall User rely on any such information, as this website is “AS IS” and without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied.


    The requirements for sign content/text, construction and design are determined by intended use and by applicable regulation, and it is the buyer's responsibility to determine if their products purchased are compliant and installed correctly. The BUYER shall be responsible for determining the appropriate content, appearance, design, construction and installation for all signs and signage. The buyer shall also be responsible for determining whether or not received and/or purchased signage meet, and is in compliance with, any and all applicable city, state, federal, ADA / ABA sign codes, laws, requirements and regulations. Everwood, LLC is not , and shall not be held liable for costs, fines, hardships, law suites and/or any other monetary expenses/liabilities associated with, or as a result of, code failure, signage noncompliance or other sign violations, or any other monetary hardship, as it relates to our products, services, advice or recommendations.

  • California & Interior Signs

    California / Title 24 and Braille Signage
    (In relation to interior signage)

    BRAILLE AS IT RELATES TO INTERIOR SIGNS IDENTIFYING ROOMS & SPACES

    Signs that identify rooms and spaces include rules for high dark/light contrast between characters/text/graphics and the background color of the signs. In addition, tactile characters must be uppercase, raised 1/32", and sans serif measuring between 5/8" and 2". Stroke widths of the font should be no more than 20 percent of the the character height. Character width should be between 60 and 100 percent of the character height. Stroke width and character width shall be based on a capital "I" and "O". Grade 2 braille must accompany the text, and fall between 3/8" and 1/2" below the tactile characters. Characters and braille should be in a horizontal footprint.

    Since Title 24, California has it's own set of standards for braille signs. Specifically, California has specific requirements for braille dot and cell spacing. These measurements are incorporated into the 2010 ADA/ABA Guidelines. Braille shall have a horizontal format. Distance between two dots in the same cell is .100, and distance between two adjacent dots in adjacent cells is .200. Distance between corresponding dots in adjacent cells should be .300. Actual dot height is 0.025.



    RESTROOM SIGNS

    California has it's own standards for restroom signs. Two signs are actually required. First, per ADA standards, would be your typical "Restroom" wall sign with similar text such as "Boys", "Girls", "Men", "Women", "Restroom" and "Family Restroom". As per typical ADA guidelines, these signs would be accompanied by a pictogram within a 6" field, 5/8" minimum all CAPS tactile text in a sans serif font, contracted domed braille as described above, and placed 3/8" to 1/2" below the tactile text. If the restroom is accessible, the "ISA" symbol or "wheelchair pictogram" shall be included on the sign or separately or on a separate sign, or on the geometric door sign.


    Geometric signs are also required, and are installed directly on the door with the vertical center of the sign mounted 60" from the floor. Females require a 12" diameter circles and males a 12" equilateral triangle. The sign must be 1/4" thick, and the entire symbol should contrast with the door. The sign must be light on a dark door and dark on a light door. For a single user or "family" sign (unisex), a 1/4" thick triangle is superimposed on a 1/4" thick circle 12" in diameter. In this case, the triangle should contrast with the circle, which should contrast with the door. If you put the gender pictogram on the geometric symbol, you must also include it on the accompanying tactile wall sign. The ISA does not need to be repeated on the wall sign.


    If the restroom being signed is not accessible, the sign should not include the International Symbol of Accessibility. A directional sign should be placed near or in proximity of the restroom to direct persons with disabilities to the nearest accessible restroom.


    Remember to install restroom signs according to California standards.

    installation of california braille ADA signs


    DIRECTION AND INFORMATION SIGNS

    Regarding informational and directional signs, upper and lower case is acceptable as well as serif fonts. Character stroke widths need to be between 10-20 percent of character height and the width of the character should be between 60 and 100 percent of the character height, (as measured by an uppercase "I" and "O"). Characters should be sized according to the 2010 ADA visual character size chart. Signs need high dark/light contrast between characters/text/graphics and the background color of the signs.

    SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS (EXITS AND STAIRWELLS)

    California has some specific regulations regarding certain types of tactile/braille signs. Marked exit doors need to have specific text. When a door leads directly outside, the sign should read "EXIT." If a door leads to a stair ramp, the sign should read "EXIT STAIR (or "RAMP") DOWN" or "EXIT STAIR (or "RAMP") UP." Final exit doors, that is doors leading directly outside, can read "EXIT", however, interior doors leading to final exit doors should read "EXIT ROUTE." Doors leading to stairwells should read "EXIT ROUTE/STAIR" if it is leading to a direct exit level. If the door leading to the stairwell does not directly lead to an exit level, the sign should read "EXIT STAIR DOWN."

    Stairwell signs are also needed in buildings that are four stories or more. Information on this sign should include the identity of the stairwell, whether it has roof access or not, the floor level, and the floor levels accessed by the stairwell. This stairwell sign is to be installed in the stairwell where it cannot be obstructed by a door and at eye level (approximately 60" from the floor). In addition, a braille sign is required that designates the floor level and is located adjacent to the door that leads from the stairwell into the hallway or corridor (latch side, and 60" from floor). A star should be included on this sign if it's the main exit floor.



    If you are unsure about California Codes/Regulations and Title 24 requirements, consult your state and local authorities, or other appropriate resources.


    ____________________________________________________________________________________

    Sign Compliance/Disclaimer/Additional Limits of Liability & Warranty

    This website is not intended to be a comprehensive authority or information resource on sign codes and regulations. User agrees that the use of www.justbraillesigns.com is at their sole risk, and we make no warranty regarding the accuracy, reliability, or currency of any information, content, service, or merchandise provided. Everwood, LLC dba / Awards USA makes no warranty or representation of suitability of a sign for any specific application, code, law, requirement or regulation. User and buyers are solely responsible for compliance with all applicable laws, rules and regulations. Signs, photos, drawings, pictures and all reference material and information provided is meant to be a resource for additional information, guidance, training, but not considered to be comprehensive nor construed in any way as legal advice or recommendations.

    No information contained herein shall create a warranty; nor shall User rely on any such information, as this website is “AS IS” and without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied.

    The requirements for sign content/text, construction and design are determined by intended use and by applicable regulation, and it is the buyer's responsibility to determine if their products purchased are compliant and installed correctly. The BUYER shall be responsible for determining the appropriate content, appearance, design, construction and installation for all signs and signage. The buyer shall also be responsible for determining whether or not received and/or purchased signage meet, and is in compliance with, any and all applicable city, state, federal, ADA / ABA sign codes, laws, requirements and regulations. Everwood, LLC is not , and shall not be held liable for costs, fines, hardships, law suites and/or any other monetary expenses/liabilities associated with, or as a result of, code failure, signage noncompliance or other sign violations, or any other monetary hardship, as it relates to our products, services, advice or recommendations.