two-part sign ADA signage engraving

Creating Two-Part Signs for ADA Signage

Sharon Toji, aka “The ADA Sign Lady,” has been working with state and nationwide committees and organizations since 1992 to help designers, sign companies and owners of facilities to implement ADA signage standards. She originally represented the sign industry on the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) committee that writes the standards and now is the voting delegate for the Hearing Loss Association of America. She has written many articles on the topic, with the first one for NBM’s Sign Business Magazine back in 1992. Her manual “Signs and the ADA,” recently revised to include the 2010 revision of the ADA Standard, is used by people who want to learn about legal and accessible signs across the United States. You can learn more at

One of the most interesting possibilities in ADA signage is creating two-part signs. You use the same information on both, but the visual section emphasizes high-contrast, non-glare surfaces, and larger, bolder typestyles. The tactile section can be “invisible,” hidden in a decorative area of the sign with a digital print or shiny metal surface. The tactile characters are small, rounded, and easy to read by touch, as well as accompanied by Braille. This solution can use two separate signs, installed on the door as well as adjacent to it, or one sign creatively divided into two sections.

—Sharon Toji, The ADA Sign Lady

Keep reading about ADA signage in the September ’18 issue of A&E