Everything You Need to Create ADA Signage

ADA Alternative signs

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a law in the United States that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities, requires buildings to have specific accommodations for disabled persons. This includes guidelines on signage that provide information or directions and are required to be accessible to people with various disabilities, such as visual, hearing, or mobility impairments.

ADA Signage Requirements

One ADA signage requirement is the use of Braille and tactile lettering. Signs must include raised tactile lettering and Grade 2 Braille, which is a system of raised dots that can be read by touch.

Signs also must have a high contrast between the text and the background, and the colors used can’t be too similar in hue, saturation, or value.

The last requirement for ADA signage is the size and placement. Signs must be placed in locations that are easily visible and accessible to people with disabilities, and the text must be sized appropriately for the distance from which it’ll be read.

Why Should You Have ADA-Compliant Signage?

There are several reasons why you should have ADA compliant signage in your building:

1. Legal compliance: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that all public buildings and places of accommodation provide accessible signage for people with disabilities. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in legal consequences and penalties.

2. Safety: ADA signage provides critical information and directions to people with disabilities, helping them navigate buildings safely and independently. For example, Braille and tactile signage can help individuals with visual impairments locate restrooms, emergency exits, and other important areas.

3. Inclusivity: By providing accessible signage, you show a commitment to inclusivity and equal access for people with disabilities. This can help create a more welcoming and supportive environment for everyone.

4. Reputation: Having ADA-compliant signage can enhance your reputation as a responsible and socially conscious organization that values diversity and accessibility.

Having ADA signage in your buildings is a legal requirement, but it’s also an important step in promoting accessibility, safety, inclusivity, and usability for everyone who uses your facilities.

What Do You Need to Create ADA Signage?

Sheet Material

To create ADA-compliant signage, you’ll need specific supplies to ensure that the signs are accessible to people with disabilities. ADA signage can be made from a variety of materials, such as acrylic, metal, or plastic, but must have a matte, non-glare finish. The substrate material must be sturdy and durable, and it should be able to hold up to the production process and daily wear and tear. Rowmark carries a large selection of sheet material that’s compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Their selection of ADA-compliant material includes, but is not limited to, the Rowmark ADA Alternative Engraving Plastic which comes in a wide range of colors.

ADA Alternative Sheet Material ADA Alternative Sheet Material

Braille beads

Braille beads are small, raised dots that are used to create Grade 2 Braille on ADA signage. These can be made from plastic, metal, or other materials, and they’re typically inserted into pre-drilled holes in the substrate material. Accent Signage’s patented Raster® Braille Beads are a great choice when looking to create ADA signage. There are also certain UV-LED printers that can legally print compliant Braille.

White and Clear Raster Spheres Braille BeadsWhite and Clear Raster Spheres Braille Beads

Tactile lettering

Tactile lettering is raised lettering that can be identified by touch. It’s typically made from a durable material like UV-stable plastic and can be applied to the substrate material using adhesive or mechanical fasteners. Rowmark Engraving Plastic can also be used when cutting out tactile lettering for your ADA signage.

High-contrast paint or vinyl

There must be high contrast in color from the sign material and the material of the lettering. This means that there shouldn’t be similar tones and colors for the two. Black and white is a popular high contrast combination that’s used often for ADA signage such as restroom signs, exit signs, handicap accessible signs, and more.

CNC router or laser engraver

A CNC router or laser engraver can be used to create the Braille and tactile lettering on ADA signage. These tools allow for precise, accurate cuts and can create detailed designs and lettering.


Overall, creating ADA signage requires specific supplies and equipment to ensure that the signs are accessible to people with disabilities. It’s important to follow the ADA guidelines for materials, design, and production to ensure that the signs are compliant and effective.

Johnson Plastics Plus helps you to ensure that you’re following proper ADA guidelines by supplying you with everything you need to create the right signage. From Accent Signage Systems Raster Braille License Kits, to the Raster Braille Beads, to the right sheet material, you can find everything you need in one place at jpplus.com/accent. For additional resources about ADA signage, head to our ADA resources page or our video on how to make an ADA compliant sign.

ADA Alternative Sign being made with braille beadsADA Alternative Sign being made with braille beads
ADA Alternative Elevator SignADA Alternative Elevator Sign
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