Understanding Which Signs Have ADA Requirements

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It is important to know which signs in your building are required to adhere to federal ADA signage regulations. The following sign types must follow specific requirements to be considered ADA-compliant:


Permanent Signs

These requirements apply to permanent signage in public buildings, but are not required for temporary signs. To clarify, temporary signs are defined as being in use for six weeks or less. Custom signs used for branding purposes, including organization name and logo, are not required.

Exit Signs

All doors, stairs, and exit routes must be identified using ADA-compliant signage. These signs must meet ADA visual character requirements, including the use of braille and raised characters. Pictograms are optional for this sign type.

Area of Refuge

Areas of refuge must be identified with ADA-compliant signage that provide instructions to take in case of an emergency. Instructional signage must meet ADA visual character requirements, but raised characters and pictograms are optional.

Inaccessible Building Elements

Entrances that are inaccessible must have directional signage indicating the location of the nearest handicapped accessible entrance, elevator, or restroom. These directional signs must meet ADA visual requirements, but braille and pictograms are optional.

Devices For Assisting the Disabled

Any signs that identify Text Telephones, Assistive Listening Systems, and Volume Control Telephones must meet ADA visual character sign requirements.

Required Outdoor ADA Signs

If exterior doorways are used to access bathrooms, classrooms, or other common areas, the doorway must be identified with ADA signage.

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