ADA Sign Requirements: Where must you have an ADA Sign?

If you have 20/20 vision, you may take the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for granted.  However, those little signs with tactile copy and braille have saved thousands of lives in emergency situations and regularly help visually impaired people find their way around large facilities.  Therefore, the Department of Justice has published ADA Standards for Accessible Design – a 200+ page document that details all standards for accessibility enforceable starting March 15, 2012 for all new construction and alterations.  But if you are reading this, you are looking to know where ADA signs are required and may not need to know the height of an ADA compliant sink.

ADA Sign Location Requirements:

  • ALL permanent public spaces and rooms.  This means ADA signage should be installed next to all areas that will retain the same function for more than 7 days.  If you are in a commercial building, multi-family housing development, or provide services to the public, you are required to be ADA compliant.
  • ADA-compliant signs are needed when an area of the building pertains to safety. This means that such signage should be installed next to elevators, fire exits, and stairways.
  • Section 216.2 states that all rooms or designated interior spaces shall have compliant signage that provide labels, names, room/designation.  Examples rooms:
    • Room/floor numbers or letters
    • Conference rooms
    • Storage rooms
    • Changing rooms
    • Exam rooms
    • Electrical, IT, & Mechanical rooms
    • Break rooms
    • Stairwells
    • Restrooms
    • Kitchens
    • And more…

ADA Signs are NOT required for:

  • Parking lots (except for accessible parking spaces)
  • Private residences
  • Areas not meant for public use
  • Outside of the building where a business’ name/address is provided. Essentially, any area of the building with signage that provides nonessential information isn’t held to ADA standards.
  • Temporary spaces – areas that will only be utilized for 7 days or less

ADA Sign Placement Cheat Sheet

A picture’s worth a thousand words as the old saying goes.  Below is an infographic for ADA Sign Placement.  Of course, this applies to a perfect world.  When in doubt, contact your local fire inspector for direction.  In most jurisdictions this group of inspectors are the ones who ultimately pass you for your certificate of occupancy or fine you for non-compliance.


More infographics can be found on

Avoid noncompliance, delays in certificates of occupancy, and fines by using the tips above it you are a traditional businesses or private place that is open to the public.  Contact BSC Signs for your next construction project.


BSC is an award-winning full-service licensed sign contractor and custom fabricator based in Broomfield, Colorado. We design, build, and install signage for businesses and organizations in Denver Metro, Colorado Springs, and all around Colorado and southern Wyoming.