Where are ADA Braille Signs Required?

Our main web page has a picture of a guy that looks like he’s scared out of his mind with the caption “We’re not trying to scare you, but it’s the law.” A little humor goes a long way when you’re trying to comply with confusing ADA mandates, especially when fines or shutdowns is a possibility. ADA signs are required in specific places, so let’s take a look at the big question “Where are interior ADA signs required?”

Interior ADA Signs (i.e. - signs with braille and tactile lettering) are required in public buildings where there are permanent rooms or spaces designated for specific uses, (ADA defines “permanent” as 7 days or longer.) Traditional businesses and private places that are open to the public also apply. Note that ADA compliant signs are also required for spaces related to specific life safety standards, such as elevators, fire exits and stairways.

If you’re still confused, you might consider all the doors in your building and determine if the spaces these doors lead to are permanent, and have a specific use or function. If so, these doors (and other spaces) would require compliant ADA signs. Practically speaking, an apartment or condominium would likely require the following ADA compliant signs: Unit ID Numbers (i.e. - 101, 102, 103, etc) Laundry, Fitness, Storage, Stairs, Janitor, Leasing Office, Pool, Restrooms, Meeting Rooms, IT Room, Mechanical, Electrical, Elevator Equipment, and Parking Garage. In addition to these signs, other safety related signs would also include: Elevator/In case of fire, Exit, and Stair/Stairwell, Fire emergency signage, etc.

Some additional important interior building signs may NOT require tactile text and braille. As a general rule such signs would include instructional signs, overhead signs, directional signs, directories, menus, and company logos. Nevertheless, there are some stated requirements concerning fonts, letter sizes, etc. for some of these types of signs.

Section 216.2 of ADA states that a “permanent” room or space is one that is “not likely to change.” One could interpret this to mean that a current storage area could someday be made into an office, and therefore argue an ADA compliant sign is not needed. Nevertheless, it’s always in the best interest of the building owner to show good intent, and to provide a sign ifor such questionable spaces. With this is mind, not only are you avoiding potential liabilities, you are also improving accessibility and assisting the sight impaired by limiting confusion and decreasing potential injury.

Still confused? Give us a call, we’re here to help!