ADA Guide for Interior Signage

ADA compliant signs are required to mark every permanent room or space in all public buildings in the United States of America.

ADA compliance is required for:

  • Room ID Signs
  • Exits
  • Areas of Refuge/Instructions
  • Entrances
  • Elevators
  • Restrooms

ADA compliance is not required for:

  • Changeable or temporary signs
  • Menus
  • Directories
  • Company logos or name signs for branding


  • All characters must be uppercase (703.2.2)
  • Characters must be sans serif (703.2.3)
  • No italic, oblique, script, highly decorative, or unusual forms (703.2.3)
  • Character height must be a minimum of 5/8″ high and a maximum of 2″ high based on the height of an uppercase “T” (703.2.5)
  • Characters must be from a font where the width of an uppercase “O” is 55% minimum and 110% maximum the height of an uppercase “T” (703.2.5)
  • Character stroke or thickness of an uppercase “I” must be no more than 15% of the height of the character (703.2.6)

Examples of acceptable font families:

  • Arial
  • AvantGarde MD BT
  • Avenir LT Std
  • Century Gothic
  • Franklin Gothic
  • Frutiger LT
  • Futura Std
  • Futura MdCn BT
  • Gill Sans Std
  • Helvetica
  • Interstate-Regular
  • Myriad Pro
  • Rotis Sans Serif Std
  • SansSerif
  • Stone Sans ITC
  • Swis721 BT
  • Trebuchet
  • Verdana
  • Vag Rounded


Characters must be spaced a minimum of 1/8″ apart and a maximum of 4 times the character stroke width (703.2.7)


Characters must be separated from raised borders and decorative elements by 3/8″ minimum (703.2.7)

Line spacing from character baselines must be 135% minimum and 170% maximum of character height (703.2.7)


Must be Grade II Braille (703.3)

Must be placed directly below the text it is representing (703.3)

Uppercase braille letters shall only be used before the first word of sentence, proper nouns and names, individual letters of the alphabet, initials, and acronyms (703.3)


Four visual images are required to be raised – the International Symbol of Accessibility, the International Symbol of TTY, the Volume Control Telephone, and the International Symbol of Access for Hearing Loss (703.2)

Raised visual characters must be placed in a 6″ high field free from other content (703.2)



Anywhere that is wheelchair accessible, including bathrooms and exit routes, should be identified with this pictogram. The wheelchair pictogram is required in the following instances:

  • In historic buildings when not all the restrooms, bathing facilities, entrances, exits or elevators are accessible. In these situations, a wheelchair pictogram must be placed at accessible locations and a sign must be placed at each inaccessible location directing to the nearest accessible one.
  • On signs identifying areas of refuge or rescue assistance.
  • On signs identifying accessible check-out aisles and amusement ride entries
  • On signs identifying accessible parking spaces



Tactile characters on signs must be placed a minimum of 48″ and a maximum of 60″ above the finished floor or ground level (703.4.1)

Signs shall be placed on the latch side of the door for single doors. Double doors must have the sign located to the right of the right-hand door. If there is no wall available for mounting in this location, signs shall be located on the nearest adjacent wall (703.4.2)

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 (703.4.2)


Non-glare finish (703.5.1)

High contrast between background and letters (not including braille) (703.5.1)


Door jamb of elevator must have an ADA sign showing the floor number (407.2.3)

Room ID ADA sign for elevator lobby

Directional signs guiding people to the nearest elevator