ADA signage tactile visual readers

Easy-to-Read 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

When creating ADA signage, it’s important to understand how the needs of tactile and visual readers differ. You can check it out yourself by testing out some tactile signs text the next time you are in a public space with ADA signs. The easiest raised characters to read have a beveled or rounded profile and are clearly separated from each other. The base of the character that is adhered to the sign plaque or molded from the plaque is wider than the top surface of the character so there is a clear profile.

—Sharon Toji, The ADA Sign Lady 

Keep reading: Finish Standards for ADA Signage