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ADA Compliant Signs in Kansas City

Did you know when it comes to manufacturing and installing ADA compliant signs there are several things to consider besides just the Braille lettering.


The colors chosen for background as well at the tactile features of the sign must contrast as much as possible.  That is the reason you see a lot of restroom signs that are blue with white, black with white, and ivory with black tactile features.  The contrast in color allows a person with low vision to better view the sign.

One way to “generally” ensure you are in compliance is to have a dark background color (i.e. black) with a light colored (i.e. white) tactile features.


When designing an ADA compliant sign, the designer needs to take into consideration there are really 3 sections to each sign.  One area for the pictogram, one for the tactile lettering, and one reserved for the braille lettering.  Consistency in the design ensures a person who is visually impaired can touch the sign and then know where to find the information conveyed on the sign.


The mounting height for tactile signs (signs with not only Braille lettering, but also raised pictograms or lettering) must be mounted as follows:

Minimum height: 48” from the floor to the baseline of the lowest level of tactile copy

Maximum height:  60” from the floor to the baseline of the highest level of tactile copy



Not only is the height important, but also the placement on the wall.  In general signs should be located on the strike side not hinge side of the door.  If there is not enough room, then it can be located on the nearest adjacent wall.  Other locations can be used depending upon the type of door.

Types of Braille

Braille is a system of raised dots arranged in cells. Any combination of one to six dots may be raised within each cell, and the number and position of the raised dots within a cell conveys to the reader the letter, word, number, or symbol the cell represents. There are 64 possible combinations of raised dots within a single cell. Due to the varying needs of Braille readers, there are three different grades of Braille.

Grade 1

Each possible arrangement of dots within a cell represents only one letter, number, punctuation sign, or special Braille composition sign – it is a one-to-one conversion. Individual cells cannot represent words or abbreviations in this grade of Braille.

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Grade 2

Introduced as a space-saving alternative to grade 1 Braille. In grade 2 Braille, a cell can represent a shortened form of a word. Many cell combinations have been created to represent common words, making this the most popular of the grades of Braille and is the type of Braille used in the design and manufacturing of ADA signs.



Grade 3

The last of the grades of Braille, grade 3, is essentially a system of Braille shorthand. Because it has not been standardized, it is not used in publications.


With all of the different requirements for ADA signs it can be very confusing.  Pathway Signs and Graphics is here to help you chose the best interior signage for your business or office space.

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