Accessible Signage

Thursday, February 3, 2022
2:30 PM - 4:00 PM Eastern Time Zone

Youtube LiveStream

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What type of signs are covered by the ADA and ABA Standards? Which ones must be tactile? Are signs required where none are planned? These are just some of the questions that frequently come up when addressing access to signs under the ADA and ABA. The Access Board will soon issue a new technical bulletin on signs that clarifies scoping and technical requirements in the ADA and ABA Accessibility Standards for signs, answers common questions, and provides best practice recommendations. This session will review the new bulletin and requirements for tactile signs, directional and information signs, required accessibility symbols, and pictograms. Presenters will also explain ways to meet various provisions and common sources of confusion about accessible signage. This webinar will include video remote interpreting (VRI) and real-time captioning. Questions can be submitted in advance of the session or can be posed during the live webinar. Webinar attendees can earn continuing education credits.

Continuing Education Recognition Available

Certificate Credit hours
California Architects Board 1.5
Certificate of Attendance 1.5
ICC 1.5
LA CES 1.5


Phil Bratta, Technical Writer, U.S. Access Board

Sarah Presley, Accessibility Specialist, US Access Board

Josh Schorr, Accessibility Specialist, U.S. Access Board

Questions for presenters:

1 There is a design trend to use LARGE vertical letters, e.g. 1 0 9 often painted vertically on the door or sometimes in the 18" wall adjacent to the unit/guest room door (and sometimes on the wall perpendicular to the door in an alcove). What recommendations do you have for how the signage can be located which falls within the visual/tactile ranges? In-winging door option and Out-swinging door condition. Also, per 703.4.2: If the design has a 28" dimension measured from the edge of the latch side door jamb (along the wall in plane with the door), is the sign required to be located at 14" from the edge of the door since that is the centerline of the 28"? The text states 18" MIN (left to right) and 28" exceeds the minimum of 18" as the overall width. Or is the intent to always have the signs located at 9" o.c. from the latch side of the door to the c.l. of the tactile characters regardless of how much clear floor space is provided?
2 Can you speak to the signage requirements for outdoor recreation, such as trailheads, directional signage, viewpoints, interpretive panels, etc.
3 703.5.1 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." How does one measure glare, reflectivity, and color contrast?
4 Can you recommend a pictogram for adult changing tables. We provide 3 in our hospital and there is no standard pictogram other than for infant, and this is very different than that.
5 Can you recommend an appropriate form of signage to direct or designate a bathroom that has been made bariatric accessible? Our patient population is seeing more obese patients and we need to accommodate bariatric wheelchairs that just won't fit through a standard 36" door frame. We convey the bariatric friendly bathrooms to our greeters desks, but people aren't always willing to ask and may not know they are available.
6 Please address recommendations for street signage for organizations and signage on the side of buildings (that name the building, not provide direction).
7 What are your recommendations for Gender Neutral Toilet Signage in regards to graphics.
8 Can you explain what is correct Class 2 Braille regarding the actual raised domes and cell size. There are 4 types typically seen. Little shaved off domes which are sharp edges. There are very tiny dots. There are inset "balls" which can be picked off as the sign ages. And there are very large domes which practically run together eliminating all space between the cells. Similar question regarding the spacing of strokes. There are some contemporary thin/tall fonts which have possibly too much clearance between the letters, but seem also very thin regarding stroke height/width. Can you address legibility for people reading from a tactile point and or people with low vision/who need to be very close to see the letters on the sign.
9 Do tactile signs require an 18-inch by 18-inch clear floor space centered on the sign on the push side of doors or just on the pull side as shown in Figure 703.4.2?
10 Do the large 12-inch by 18-inch stairway identification signs, required by the International Building Code for interior exit stairways, have to comply with visual character requirements (703.5)?
11 How do you make digital signage accessible? This would be digital signage that happens in office lobbies, building entrances, restaurant dining areas.
12 What sort of audio technologies are available for the sight impaired and are being implemented for public spaces? Are there wireless or internet/apps being utilized?
13 At a tactile room sign, with regards to ADA Standard 703.3.2, is it permissible to have the raised characters and corresponding Braille for the room number positioned at the top of the sign, separated above the raised characters and corresponding Braille for the room name positioned at the bottom of the sign, as long as the respective high and low baselines are within the allowable heights? Or are the room number and room name considered multiline text that must be positioned as a unified block of raised character text above the corresponding Braille?
14 At multilingual signs that require tactile elements, for example a room sign that includes both English and Spanish, how should the non-English content be presented? Is it preferred to treat the two languages as a multiline block of text? Is it acceptable to have different sections of the sign for different languages? Should completely separate signs be provided? Also, for non-English Braille where contractions are not commonly used, is the non-English Braille still required to be contracted (Grade 2) even if the results are not understandable by the target audience?
15 What are the requirements for outdoor park settings and trail accessibility signage and how do they differ from indoor building accessibility signage requirements?
16 cannot see subtitles when white subtitles on white background on movie or TV screen can they be changed to be visible with different background colors? Can they also be adjusted to be larger if too small to read?
17 When there is no place to locate a room sign on the nearest adjacent wall next to the latch side of the door, such as when the wall turns the corner, is it better to locate the sign on the hinge side of the door or on the wall around the corner?
18 Where a room might have an assisted listening device system does an Assisted Listening Device sign need to tactile and have braille?
19 Code requires an Elevator Emergency 2-Way Communication Sign at Elevator floor-level landings. This also requires a sign giving simple instruction on using the communication device. Does such a sign need to be tactile and have braille?
20 At especially deep partition walls and door/sidelight frames the glazing where the sign would mount to is deeper than 6” from the face of the door/sidelight frame. Is this okay? (using same logic as >6” deep recess prohibition in ADA for door handle access)

Session Questions

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