Accessible Signage (A refresher)

Thursday, October 6, 2016
2:30 PM Eastern Time Zone


This session will provide a refresher on requirements in the ADA and ABA Accessibility Standards for signs. Presenters will review provisions that address visual access, tactile signs, required access symbols and other pictograms.

Continuing Education Recognition Available

Certificate Credit hours
Certificate of Attendance 1.5
LA CES 1.5


Paul Beatty, Accessibility Specialist, Office of Technical and Information Services, U.S. Access Board

Dave Yanchulis, Senior Accessibility Specialist/Coordinator of Public Affairs, US Access Board, Office of Technical and Information Services

Questions for presenters:

1 Could you provide some information on EXIT signage. Are they required to be posted in the same manner as other permanent signs? Do they need to have braille? If it's not an accessible exit does it need to be identified other than with a ceiling exit sign?
2 A local city park is being made more accessible. What types of signs need to be made accessible? There is the name at the entrance. There is the general information sign about the park, including history of the area and the person for whom it was named, maybe 6 feet by 4 feet. There is a bronze plaque on a stone in the ground. There are signs identifying some places to frequently see certain types of birds (in other words, good bird-watching spots). There are signs identifying some of the plants. There might be donation recognition plates on benches or other items in the park.
3 When used on a sign to designate a room or space (such as a toilet room), is the ISA symbol considered a pictogram or are only the male/female icons pictograms? In other words, do the reqmts for 6" ht, finish/contrast & text descriptors apply to the ISA portion or only to the gender icons? Otherwise, are 703.7.1 and 703.7.2 the only reqmts?
4 I'm often told that outdoor signs, especially wayfinding signs are not required to be accessible. When I go to a park, outdoor recreation facility, I often see "signs" that post rules, safety information, local educational information, maps or diagrams, names, etc. Even though these signs aren’t defined under 216 (ADAAG) wouldn't they become "programs" (Title II) or services (Title III) and be required to be accessible? Where is the line of distinction?
5 Are room/space identifier signs required for areas that are not accessible by the public?
6 In an auditorium dressing room, there is a door that leads to the restrooms. The door is located right of a wall mirror which performers use to get ready. Therefore, the room identifier sign can't be placed on the left side of the door handle without placing it on the mirror. Is the an alternative location to place the sign?
7 If an accessible sidewalk dead ends to a planter area/grass at the end of it. Are you required to place signs stating the path will not be accessible after a certain distance?
8 In reading the text of 216.2 states that interior and exterior signs identifying permanent rooms & spaces shall comply...." If an Owner decides not to label/identify ANY rooms (other than restrooms, exit and electrical) are they required to provide accessible signage?
9 Please discuss if large vertical Room numbers (e.g. 8" wide x 3' to 5' high) are used for the guest room doors, what is the best way to provide tactile signage.
10 Exit sign question. For Title II buildings, there is a sign by the primary exit, there is no sign addressing an alternate stairway exit (there is the lighted ceiling EXIT sign) with braille or pictorial - is there a requirement for same? Second question: if there is an emergency egress voice intercom system, should it have signage in Braille? and/or text for HOH or Deaf individuals? If yes, can you send or give the references in code please.
11 Could you address the placement of tactile signs at double doors, doorways with no doors, doors with adjacent glass panels and doors with no walls adjacent (i.e. push side approach no closer and latch)
12 I think if you can just be sure to include information regarding signage requirement for K-12 public schools (in general) that would be awesome. Specifically if there's any special considerations as it pertains to different grade levels, etc. Thanks.
13 Similar to questions 2 and 4, how much Braille is required when posting side-by-side panels of: You-Are-Here map, Safety, and Interpretive information all of which is shown graphically, in photos, various fonts and color contrast and 5 languages.
14 Except for when existing toilet rooms or bathing rooms do not comply with 603, are room ID signs required for any rooms? I understand that if you do identify a room, then you need to provide the sign but what if you don't, including restrooms except as mentioned above?
15 I was told that since dedication plaques are permanent and provide information, they must be accessible. So, does every dedication plaque on a bookshelf or book case in the library need to be in Braille? If not, what is my consultant misunderstanding about the ADA?
16 Signage Location: a public university conference center lobby space. Signage Type: signage purpose is to display info on certain faculty members, awards, honors, etc. and some signs that provide history about a particular department. Main question: are these regulated as visual signage required to comply with Directional and Informational scoping of section 216.3 and technical section 703.5? These are neither directional signs nor information about the interior space, but rather provide historical information about faculty, departments, awards, etc. While the technical requirements of 703.5 are certainly good design guidelines, are they requirements to be adhered to in this application?
17 Building Evacuation signs and other Emergency Procedure signs: Do they have any exceptions to the character height requirement similar to that for building directories, menus, etc [216.1 Exception 1]. If not, the minimum character height of 5/8" per Table 703.5.5 for Visual Characters on Directional and Informational Signs force the signage text to be highly disproportionate and unrealistically large. Is that the intent of the Standards?
18 My County office building uses large flat panel displays in the lobby, of the building directory, information regarding County programs, and transit information; are there any guidelines, standards, or recommendations to make these more accessible to people with visual impairments?
19 Why is the clear floor space at the sign required to be centered where there is a PUSH approach? Would a sign that is less than 9" from the corner wall (CL @ 4" from corner) considered a violation? It does not seem like the location of the sign will reduce accessibility if the sign is mounted on a consisting location (latch side of the door at all times) and the clear floor space is not in the way of the swing of the door (push side).
20 What are the implications of using the "dynamic ISA" adopted by some jurisdictions like New York City, instead of the approved ISA used across the board. Is NYC or anyone that uses the dynamic symbol in non-compliance?
21 Is braille required on apartment numbers in a garden style apartment, where each unit has only an exterior entrance (sometimes off of an exterior walkway or stair)?
22 For room signage, would you please clarify which Braille characters are to be capitalized Braille and which characters are to be lower case Braille?
23 Directional signage does not have to be in raised characters and Braille, correct? We want our county's Universal Design Standards to have such a requirement, as we want someone who is blind or has low vision to be completely independent. How can we write such a requirement? State that all signs mounted lower than 6 feet must contain raised characters and Braille?
24 The state of Massachusetts has had signage requirements as part of the state building code since 1968 (521 CMR). The main difference between our regulations and the 2010 ADA Standards is the height of sign at 60" AFF to centerline of sign (same as the 1991 ADA Standards). Does the federal ADA trump the height requirement of the state code?
25 Parking space signage---give accepted signage per 2010 Standards...Reserved parking w/ ADA logo w/ arrows or w/o arrows? @ 60" to "bottom" of sign on Post; ADA- Logo/symbol @ the "outside" end of space - so logo is visible when checking users.