Installing ADA Signs
The ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) helps remove barriers for people with disabilities. More than 2.5 million Americans suffer from a visual impairment – not just blindness. High contrast ADA compliant signs help ensure accessibility for seniors, the visually impaired and blind.
An ADA compliant sign is required for every permanent room or space in a building. Always defer to your local building authority for regulations and code updates. You can review the guidelines enforceable as of March 15, 2016 at www.ada.gov – Chapter 7, section 703 of the ADA code relates to signs.
Use double sided foam tape. For heavy or oversize signs, also use a dab of silicone adhesive. The foam tape will hold the sign in place while the glue dries. Use a level or jig to place them straight and center.
ADA Sign Mounting Height Requirements
Although signs can be installed at varying heights, we suggest installing all your signs at 54” from floor to the center of the sign.
Specifically, the bottom of the tactile words can be mounted between 48” at the lowest point to 60” at the highest point. This allows signs of different sizes to be mounted on the same visual plane.
Elevator cars are excluded from this rule.
ADA SIGN MOUNTING LOCATION
Signs should be mounted to the wall on the latch side of the door. If there is no room on that wall, the sign may be mounted on the nearest adjacent wall.
Mount next to door on the latch side.
(One Active Leaf)
Mount the sign on the inactive leaf.
(Two Active Leaves)
Mount to the right of the right handed door.
Inward Swinging Door
Sign may be mounted on the door if three criteria are met: 1) the door closes automatically, 2) the sign is mounted on the push side of the door, 3) the door does not have a hold-open device. (For example: kitchen doors, restrooms, etc.)
Outward Swinging Door
Mount to the wall outside the arc of the door swing. The sign should be located within an 18” x 18” square of clear floor space.
OVERHEAD ADA SIGNS & PROJECTING ADA SIGNS
The bottom of overhead signage must be 80” above the floor.
Projecting wall mounted signs must be a minimum of 27” o” the floor and have a maximum protrusion of 4” into a pathway.
Signs should not interfere with or block any door function, emergency equipment or sprinklers.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQS)
Q: Do all signs need to be ADA compliant and have Braille and tactile letters?
A: No, there are a number of signs that are not required to be ADA compliant. Building addresses, directories, parking signs and temporary signs don’t need to be ADA compliant. Temporary signs are those used for 7 days or less.
Q: Do I need ADA compliant signs in the stairwells of my building?
A: You are required to have a tactile sign next to each door inside a stairwell. These signs should identify the floor level, stair level and exit level. Some local fire codes have size requirements for these signs. You should check with your local code authority.
Q: Who enforces ADA laws & requirements?
A: The Department of Justice has the ultimate responsibility for enforcing ADA laws. In practice, though, the actual assessment of signs is usually handled by local code inspectors. Citations from the Department of Justice can range as high as $50,000 for the first offense.