ADA Quick Reference Guide

Tactile Characters

  1. Extruded Height – Tactile characters shall be raised 1/32 inch (0.8 mm) minimum above the background.
  2. Font and Style Characters shall be sans serif. Characters shall not be italic, oblique, script, highly decorative, or of other unusual forms.
  3. Case All tactile signs must be UPPERCASE. Signs that provide direction or information about a functional space and overhead signs may use Upper and Lower Case letters.
  4. Text Height – The uppercase letter “I” shall be used to determine the allowable height of all characters of a font. The allowable height is between 5/8” and 2”.


  1. Text Width – The width of the uppercase letter “O” can be 55 percent minimum and 110 percent maximum of the height of the uppercase letter “I”.


  1. Text Stroke – Stroke Width shall be 15% or Less of “I” Height.
  2. Character Spacing – Minimum character spacing is 1/8th inch and a maximum of 4 times the character stroke width. The distance is measured between the closest points of each adjacent character.1/16 space with beveled edge



  1. Finish and Contrast – Characters and their background shall have a non-glare Characters shall contrast with their background with either light characters on a dark background or dark characters on a light background.

Braille Text

  1. Braille Text Placement – shall be separated 3/8 inch (9.5 mm) minimum from any other tactile characters and 3/8 inch (9.5 mm) minimum from raised borders and decorative elements.


  1. Dot Base Diameter – Shall be .059” – .063”


  1. Dot Height – Shall be .025” – .037”
  2. Braille Bead Distances – USA Grade II Braille shown below. Bead distance varies between US standard and California standard braille

Pictograms – Pictograms shall have a field height of 6 inches (150 mm) minimum. Characters and braille shall not be located in the pictogram field.

Zachary Houser




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