Recently a question arose for one of our clients – why does the text on a certain sign needed to be “repeated” along with braille? It’s not an unusual question and it is actually a very good one. Many companies invest in signage unaware that there are ADA regulations specific to signage – only to find down the road it needs to be remade. This can be at great expense – not only does it mean making signs twice, but there are financial penalties for non-compliance. (Not to mention the negative reflection on your business.)

At GSI we can save you that headache. ADA compliance is one of our areas of expertise and our signage designs will always feature compliance over aesthetics. Though, hopefully, there’s a happy medium!

So, what do we look out for?

Here are 5 key areas of ADA 2010 (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance regulations:

  1. All tactile lettering must be within specific size and style parameters
  2. There is a specific size and shape of each braille “dot”
  3. A high contrast must exist between message and background
  4. The mounting height of the sign is important
  5. The precise location of the sign is equally important

Why? More than 2.5 million Americans suffer from a visual impairment – not just blindness. For these individuals, well-designed fully ADA compliant signage helps reduce barriers to access.

For example, identification plaques such as a hotel guestroom ID may feature the room number as a visual design element – however,  the room number is then repeated below along with braille as the tactile equivalent. Not all blind/visually impaired people read braille, some touch the letters only and so the letters must comply with specific size/thickness guidelines for a very specific sense of touch under a fingertip. Otherwise, the visual design letters may be far too thick and/or large.

If it feels overwhelming to keep track of the specific regulations when there are 100 other details waiting for your attention, you’re not alone. That’s one of the times a strategic partnership with GSI can be of the utmost value.

GSI is a results-driven, turn-key operation offering design, fabrication and installation of custom architectural signage. Visit us at